Razia: “Conflicts” prevented Barcelona test showing

F1 Fanatic round-up

Luiz Razia, Marussia, Jerez, 2013In the round-up: Luiz Razia explains why he did not drive during last week’s test at the Circuit de Catalunya.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Quest??es financeiras amea??am estreia de Luiz Razia na F-1 (Folha de S. Paulo, Portuguese)

Razia says “conflicts” kept him from driving for Marussia in last week’s test but he expects to return to the cockpit this week.

A white-knuckle ride (1974-1981) (McLaren)

“Looking back on it now, I?d say 1979-80 was probably the most turbulent period in McLaren?s history. By the end of 1980 the team?s exhausted designers had produced three different chassis in 18 months ?ǣ the M30 arrived in 1980 ?ǣ and the executives of the team?s long-time sponsor Marlboro had had enough. The result was that the Marlboro men effected an amalgamation between McLaren and Ron Dennis’s Project 4 organisation ?ǣ and the rest, as they say, is history.”


Comment of the day

William Katz puts the case for encouraging more women to compete in motor sport:

I?ve said it before, and I will keep saying it, the only reason there aren?t more women in motorsport is because little Michelle Schumacher or Sabrina Vettel would not have been given a go-kart at the age of three years old the way that many of the stars of this sport were.

That is not necessarily the fault of Formula One, but it is something that I think it is the responsibility of the sport?s governing body to try and address. Doing this means changing the attitudes of the sport?s fans.

And yes, that can feel forced at times, the same way that racial integration felt forced, but that’s what’s necessary and it’s a worthy pursuit.
William Katz (@Hwkii)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ivz, Jake and Mike Roach!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Tony Brooks turns 81 today. Brooks was runner-up to Jack Brabham in the 1959 world championship while driving for Ferrari. The year before he won three times for Vanwall.

His memoirs, published last year, are well worth reading:

Image ?? Marussia

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111 comments on Razia: “Conflicts” prevented Barcelona test showing

  1. andae23 (@andae23) said on 25th February 2013, 10:32

    I think that the ‘women in motorsport’ debate is very intriguing, as it is such a delicate subject. There is a very narrow band between discriminating women by not letting them race and discriminating them by giving women advantages over their male colleagues. So on one side, it is wrong that the best drivers in the world (i.e. the current F1 drivers) have all been male for the last thirty years. But on the other side it is wrong to force women into Formula 1 for the sake of having a woman in F1.

    There are two main reasons why women are not represented at the top level of motorsport. First is that there is discrimination (to some extend) that women may experience on the way up the ladder. Therefore it is important that the FIA introduces a working group for ‘Women in motorsport’ – which already exists.

    The second more important reason is that women are being ‘held back’ right at the start of their motorsport career. It is a fact that more boys aged 10 are in karts than girls aged 10, same goes for other male-dominated sports where men and women can compete against each other fairly (chess for example) – it is a fundamental problem that has nothing to do with Formula 1. Therefore I think that it is not the FIA’s responsibility to raise awareness for women in motorsport (or sport in general).

    I hear you think: if it’s not that, then what is the solution, andae23? Well, it’s a social issue and consequently I think society should figure it out themselves. If the emphasis on the differences between women and men is tempered (thus staying in that narrow band I described in the first paragraph), these sort of problems will disappear ‘automatically’. It is actually already happening in motorsports, as the number of women in karting and Junior series like GP3 has been increasing over the last ten years.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th February 2013, 10:47

      Well, it’s a social issue and consequently I think society should figure it out themselves.

      Isn’t that what “society” is doing by debating it on a platform like this though, figuring out what and how (or whether anything at all) to do about it?

      I do think there’s a good reason for FOM and FIA to grab this opportunity and move it forward though. While motorsports are big, it does not seem to be as big or rising as fast as other big sports. So then getting more of the total population in on motorsports (and surely by getting both parents in a couple interested its easier to have their children be interested as well), is a number one commercial priority as well.

      • andae23 (@andae23) said on 25th February 2013, 10:57


        Isn’t that what “society” is doing by debating it on a platform like this though, figuring out what and how (or whether anything at all) to do about it?

        Yes. But that doesn’t mean the FIA should do something about it. In my opinion, if the FIA picks this up, the difference between men and women is emphasized, which leads to people thinking that a lot of ‘other people’ think there is a difference, which does more harm than good.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th February 2013, 11:18

          I think the sport should take every possible angle to show why its great if someone new and interesting gets into the sport.

          Be it Vettel and worshipping Schumi ages ago, Chandhok and Karthikeyan for being Indians potentially driving at the new Indian race, or indeed capturing fan interest with a possible drive for a US driver at COTA. Or Hamilton being the first black world champion. Or Mercedes returning to the sport.
          Its all about getting attention of people and get seats filled after all.

          • andae23 (@andae23) said on 25th February 2013, 14:11

            @bascb Sorry, forgot to reply..

            This actually takes us back to the original discussion: a woman driving in F1 would be a great inspiration to women/girls, I won’t deny that, but if she doesn’t ‘earn’ to be in F1, then there simply is no place for her.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th February 2013, 14:25

            if she doesn’t ‘earn’ to be in F1, then there simply is no place for her.

            we could take that literally (see Razia in today’s roundup)!
            As is true for every driver. I think the majority of us loves drivers getting into the sport for their ability to make the car go fast (and to the finish at least on occasion).
            But the reality is that drivers get in from paying a lot (yes, that is you Guido and you Pastor), having the right connections (Kobayashi, Vettel, DiResta) or even being the right nationality (Chandhok, Karthikeyan, QuMinHo, Ho-Ping, Alex Young, Petrov and to an extent Rossi) paired with differing amounts of skill. Personally I don’t see a problem if being female helps another driver who might not have been there if male would get her chance in F1 that way. And as with all of these drivers, some actually turn out better than expected (Kobayashi, Petrov for example).

  2. Cuthbert23 (@cuthbert23) said on 25th February 2013, 12:57

    on a complete side note, just walked to Morrisons in Norwich and two Lotus (renult) trucks drove past… Any ideas why they’d be in Norwich or this part of country?

  3. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 25th February 2013, 12:57

    I think the important thing here is that in motorsport itself, there is literally no barrier to female drivers. There are no rules which say that women are only allowed to compete in smaller, lower leagues, against other women. Girls are naturally expected to go through the same process as anyone else.

    So the problem is not with motorsport; not only is there equal opportunity for girls, if anything it could be argued that there is a genuine desire for a girl at the top level of motorsport so that in itself could be a boost to anyone’s career.

    There is a much broader issue which is the continual reinforcement of gender stereotypes in western society. In fact, far from becoming more progressive, the trend seems to be getting worse. One only needs to spend a few minutes in a toy shop to realise the horrendous ‘pinkification’ of girls these days which is almost inescapable. Toy shops put all of the creative, educational toys into the boys’ section, whereas girls, from before they’re even old enough to talk, are taught that they should be interested in looking pretty and having babies. Dollies and makeup being the two main types of toy marketed at girls, with dressing up being a close third. It’s no wonder that with these gender stereotypes being crammed down their throats from such a young age, that girls are left with these very strong ideas about what is and isn’t for girls.

    The second issue, and perhaps linked to the first, is one of drive and aspiration. When I was a teenager I had cause to be involved in national schools’ karting, and the thing I noticed is that there were a lot of girls there. It wasn’t 50/50 by any stretch, but maybe a quarter of the racers were girls. However as the years went on, it was clear that few stayed in the sport for very long, and I think it’s because these girls were at a slight competitive disadvantage compared to their male rivals. Not because they weren’t talented, but because the males had an aggressive attitude towards their own driving careers which the girls didn’t generally seem to match. Apply this to the wider world of motorsport, and it’s not hard to imagine that generally males are more aggressively chasing the opportunities, at the expense of female drivers.

    All of which means that consequently there is a far smaller pool of female drivers from which a genuine talent can emerge. And it’s important to understand that talent isn’t something which people are just born with. Perhaps some people have a natural aptitude which means that they are more likely to pick things up quicker, but any determined person should be able to develop skill in motorsport. Talent is something which grows and grows as the driver gains more experience. Even the likes of Alonso are still gaining experience, still growing, still getting better. Hamilton is a better driver now than he was this time last year. Next year he’ll be better still. Talent of the sort needed for F1 may exist as potential in abundance among the small pool of female drivers. But while they only represent a very small minority beyond the lower karting levels, it’s likely that these talents will never be able to realise their full potential.

    Role models are really important then. A female driver in F1, even a comparatively poor one, would be an incredible boost for girls in the lower leagues who are wondering whether motorsport is really for them. Suzie Wolff may be that role model, or maybe she won’t. But it is something that F1 needs. Because what you really need is more talent coming up the ranks, and a good female role model will dramatically increase the pool of talent. The first modern female F1 driver won’t be a champion. She may not even score a point. But the next one may be. Or the one after that. But you’ll never get there without that first role model to start with.

    • Tango (@tango) said on 25th February 2013, 15:23

      I absolutely agree here. I have seen exactly the same thing while sailing (another sport where there is no reason for girls and boys to be separated, except maybe windsurf and light boats which depend heavily on weight and muscle). By the time I started doing World championships in HC16 which does not classify really in the later, our class of 30 which was 50/50 when we were 12 yo shrinked to a mere 1 girl for 5 boys when selected for the French system of helping children with their schedule between school and high level sports training when we were 17. And I know somehow the acceptance of our parents to do so varied whether we were boys or girls. It undoubtedly had an effect

  4. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 25th February 2013, 14:21

    Breaking News Paddy Lowe will not make it to Melbourne he will be put into the “gardening leave” by his team
    Another time chapeau Eddie Jordon

  5. I, for one, do not want to see women racing in Formula 1. Women competing against men in sport is a joke, and not something I’m the least bit interested in watching. Bernie might think it a great idea in terms of his marketing-mind that’s always one-step away from being judged ridiculous or retarded, but in no uncertain terms I turn my back on female drivers, of whom there’s not one who’s better than the “worst” pay driver currently on the grid.

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