In the round-up: Narain Karthikeyan says Sebastian Vettel’s criticism of him was “really unprofessional”.
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“For a world champion to say things like that is really shameful. It is really unprofessional. For a driver who has achieved so much to take out his frustrations on me just because he is having a difficult year is really sad. One does not expect a professional sportsman to be such a cry baby.”
“One leading F1 figure told me: “‘It was completely Vettel’s fault – he needed to give Karthikeyan more space. He only had to clear the last inch and he cut across the front of him. He was showing a bit of frustration and it bit him.'”
“Karthikeyan didn?óÔé¼Ôäót do anything unnecessary – didn?óÔé¼Ôäót hit him, didn?óÔé¼Ôäót change direction sharply. Sebastian overtook him and started to turn. But Narain was going straight.”
“There is an allocated media hotel and media shuttles have been laid on. I will be avoiding both. It?óÔé¼Ôäós just too much of an obvious target for those wishing to get their message across to an international audience.”
“It is just a shame that the final doubts about the place were not swept away with invitations to the event for Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the two major human rights organisations in the world. If they had come to the party and said that all was well, then no-one would have any worries.”
“French PM Francois Fillon is visiting Le Castellet tomorrow. Le Parisien newspaper says he will announce deal done for French GP in 2013.”
“We would obviously be disappointed if Abu Dhabi didn’t host the Young Drivers’ Test because it has become a part of our season, but I can understand the teams’ concerns.”
“In the last two years, Red Bull’s big benefit was in having a car on which they did not have to do much work at a race meeting. But in Malaysia, for the first time ever, I saw them changing torsion bars, roll-bars, ride heights and so on.”
“The goal for mid-season is the same as it is for the whole year ahead. We know what is achievable, and breaking into the midfield is a huge challenge, so the reasonable target is tenth again.”
“The most pertinent question was why he had gone off. Which brings us back to the radio message; a pretty dumb call, if ever I heard one. Apart from presupposing Perez hadn’t worked out the implications of a DNF for this little team, history shows that asking a F1 driver to slow down is like suddenly discussing the weekend’s shopping while having sex. Or, so I would imagine.”
“It’s the not the first time I’ve gone through a difficult moment like this and I know well that things can change quickly, but now is the moment to do my utmost because I want this negative period to come to an end.”
“The chassis we have back here now is Romain?óÔé¼Ôäós car from Malaysia, chassis E20-01. We didn?óÔé¼Ôäót originally intend to bring this car back, but after the events of Sepang and the damage incurred it made sense bring it back for repairs as well as getting everything else we need done.”
“Lewis Hamilton spent two days this week in Manila with UNICEF, the world?óÔé¼Ôäós leading children?óÔé¼Ôäós organisation, making a short film about street children that will be shown during Soccer Aid on May 27th 2012, on ITV 1.”
Comment of the day
Much praise for the efforts of marshals from several readers yesterday, including this from TimG:
We seldom hear much about it, but motor racing at every level is completely dependent on the time and goodwill of volunteers who perform a range of essential tasks, mostly without payment or acknowledgement. Having been involved in grass roots-level motorsport in the UK, you really get to appreciate the efforts of the dedicated and highly skilled people who give up their time ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ and often take similar risks to the drivers and pit crew ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ to make the sport work properly. It?óÔé¼Ôäós easy to criticise officialdom at motor races, but doing the job is incredibly difficult to get right all the time ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ and most of the time they do get it right.
I’m not surprised that (most) teams are grateful for having their cars brought back safely. I have vivid memories from years ago, when I was working on a Formula Ford at Castle Combe, of the marshal who took the time and trouble to return a body panel that had come off on the far side of the circuit after contact. Above and beyond, really.
From the forum
Several updates were applied to the site yesterday to correct faults and improve performance. See here for details.
Happy birthday to Lee!
On this day in F1
There’s much discussion about the arrival of Sky as an F1 broadcaster this year. Three years ago we were discussing the return of the BBC to F1.