Chilton: ‘F1 has always had pay drivers’

F1 Fanatic round-up

Max Chilton, Marussia, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013In the round-up: Max Chilton says he is not the only pay driver on the grid and F1 has always had some.


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Chilton out to silence doubters (Sporting Life)

“There are plenty of pay drivers on the grid and, in my experience, the sport has never changed. I think it’s always been that way, and it probably will always be that way. Some of the legends in our sport had to bring backing to get into it in the first place.”

Hamilton will drive Mercedes forwards, says Horner (Reuters)

“Their car looks quick, and with Lewis joining the team they will naturally take a step forward. He is worth lap time, which is why they signed him. I’m sure they’re going to be a factor this season.”

Williams’ Chavez statement (F1 Fanatic via Facebook)

Williams have just issued a short statement following the death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez yesterday:

“In the wake of yesterday’s announcement that Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, has passed away after a long battle with cancer, the Williams F1 Team sends its deepest condolences to the family of President Chavez and the people of Venezuela.”

Pastor Maldonado is backed by Venezuelan state petroleum company PDVSA, which Chavez nationalised while president.

Williams can win again – Maldonado (ESPN)

“We are fighting with mega teams and maybe we don’t have everything to be winning the championships, but I think we are going to win some races and we can be very competitive.”

My Formula 1 dream is now over, says Rossi (GP Update)

“Valentino Rossi says his dreams of racing in Formula 1 are now well and truly over, having previously pondered a four-wheel switch.”

Webber: Race engineer Pilbeam “will be missed” (NBC)

“Ciaron is happy to have a change of scenery as well, so he?s happy there because you don?t want him not to be happy where he is.”

Melbourne among best (The Age)

“Big-spending multinational corporate sponsors regard the Melbourne Grand Prix as one of the most influential Formula One races, according to an international sports marketing expert.”

A new experience (Go Car)

Gary Hartstein (former F1 medical delegate): “You might be wondering what the reasons were for this decision. Well so am I, because none have been given! None from Professor Saillant, a retired orthopedic surgeon, President of the FIA Medical Commission, none from Professor Piette, a retired internist, the current F1 Medical Delegate. The deafening silence, coupled with the unanimous support of the drivers, the teams, and you the public, comfort me in thinking that the reasons are purely personal.”

Lotus F1 Team and Ridley Scott Associates Present…. #ShowTime (Lotus via YouTube)


Comment of the day

We’re entering year three with DRS and the comments on yesterday’s article showed many if not most readers are still not happy with it:

That?s the worst thing about DRS, the defending driver can?t… defend.

Some of the most exciting racing happens when the driver in front is slower, but is driving fantastically to keep the faster car behind.

Racing isn?t all about overtaking. F1 (and a lot of F1 fans) seem to have forgotten that.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to fahadalam007!

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

Eddie Irvine scored his first career win in the first race of 1999 in Melbourne.

He was aided by the retirement of the two McLarens, which had locked out the front row and team mate Michael Schumacher failing to get away when he couldn’t select neutral at the start.

There was plenty of drama as the race began with both Stewarts suffering problems, as this video shows:

Image ?? Marussia

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100 comments on Chilton: ‘F1 has always had pay drivers’

  1. Spawinte (@spawinte) said on 7th March 2013, 10:18

    Anybody who wants to know why Hartstein was let go should check out his Twitter account. He holds rather strong views and isn’t afraid to express them, strongly. I would speculate that it was Sid Watkins’ opinion keeping him in place and that once Watkins passed on his time was limited.

    I really like Hartstein but it’s easy to see how a personality like his would not sit well with the stuffy old men in the FIA.

  2. StefMeister (@stefmeister) said on 7th March 2013, 13:42

    Regarding COTD, I do agree to an extent. One of my biggest dislikes of DRS is when the car in front is left totally defenseless & the car behind simply opens DRS & then goes straght past with relative ease.

    Some of the most exciting/intense racing I’ve seen have been when you have had one driver defending with a car behind doing everything to try & find a way past, I loved those 2 great Alonso/Schumacher battles at Imola in 05/06, I was kept on the edge of my seat through to the end of those 2 races watching 2 great drivers racing each other hard. OK no overtake occurred but it was thrilling to watch.

    @prisoner-monkeys And some of the most boring racing happens when the driver in front is slow enough to get caught by the cars behind, but quick enough that the driver doesn’t have to do much to keep his position.

    When there is zero chance to overtake & the cars behind are not able to even attempt an overtake then yes it can get a bit dull.

    The problem however is that DRS often swings things too far the other way, Instead of overtaking been too hard, It often then becomes far too easy & I think thats equally as bad.

    One of the thing which got me hooked on racing is the racing, I love watching close racing, I love watching good/close racing battles & I love watching good, exciting overtaking & to me DRS produces none of these & over the past 2 seasons its been doing nothing but hurt my enjoyment of the races to the point where my attention has started to go elsewhere.

    I remember in the Pre-DRS era, Watching one car starting to catch another was exciting, Watching that car looking for ways to overtake was exciting & watching any eventual overtaking move was exciting. Now I all too often find myself getting excited over one car catching another only for that car to hit DRS & breeze straght past when he gets there, No excitement, No tension over a good battle, Nothing & that really kills my enjoyment of the race.

    One example from last year was Montreal, Watching Lewis catching Vettel/Alonso got my heart rate up, However he then passes Vettel super easily in the DRS zone & it was then blatantly obvious he woudl do the same to Alonso when he caught him, For me there was nothing exciting about that, Especially since the pass for the lead/win was predictable before he even caught him.
    If you go back & watch the pass for the lead, Lewis starts to pull alongside but begins to stall out & as a result we woudl have been treated to a great battle down to the braking zone, However as soon as they got to the DRS line Lewis pushed his button & was driven clean past, Boring!

    Im not saying that I necessarily prefer what we had before as overtaking was harder than it could have been, I accept that. However I don’t believe DRS is the answer because I feel its taken things way too far the other way, Overtaking is now too easy & there’s now so much of it that I feel its starting to be devalued. I also believe that the drivers that are great overtakers are also now not standing out as much as they used to because everyone can pass & there’s now less need for that exciting dive up the inside which made guys like Hamilton, Kobayashi & Juan Montoya stand out like they did & become fan favorites as a result.

    In the DRS-era we are seeing more passing, A lot more, However we are now seeing a lot less exciting overtaking & thats the thing I hate the most!

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 7th March 2013, 14:45

      I totally sympathise with you and COTD but what you have to understand is that F1 fans are only a small percentage of the viewing public, the majority of the viewing public like reality shows and video games so that is what F1 will have to become, lots of passing and crashes with all the reality of a video game and reality shows. Real F1 fans are an unimportant minority.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 7th March 2013, 17:05

        @hohum I find your comment worthy and thought provoking but I hope you are being a little more pessimistic than is the reality. I would like to think that at least half the viewing audience are F1 fans, or at least racing fans, not a ‘small percentage’. I think there are a lot of viewers who have been watching F1 for a long time, and therefore are a little older and are less likely to be reality show and video game fans.

        And I would like to think that even reality show fans can distinguish when a show under the guise of ‘reality’ is too contrived to have much longevity. And I would like to think that one of the attractions to video games is the escape from reality, even as the graphics themselves get more and more real, and that fans can distinguish from what a video game is meant to provide vs. a F1 race with actual drivers in actual cars made by actual people funded by actual car companies for actual marketing purposes. And for the sport of it.

        If real F1 fans are an unimportant minority, then F1 is doomed, and destined to fall by the wayside soon just as does the reality show or the video game that quickly becomes old hat to a fickle market. I would like to think F1 has much more meat to it than a reality show or a video game will ever provide. After all…it is a sport, and a competition, and a business, that has a rich history, with revered icons…the same can’t be said of reality shows and video games.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 7th March 2013, 17:33

          Ahh, yes @robbie, I did have my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. I despair at where F1 is going everytime Bernie has an idea to increase TV viewership, always pandering to the lowest common denominator to try and get people who basically are not interested in motorsport to watch for 15 minutes and improve the ratings.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 7th March 2013, 18:04

            Lol I can see Bernie doing that, and his argument would be that he may have gotten some of those ‘lcd’s’ to get hooked. Of course, just as many might get turned off, but he would deny that. One interesting irony here as it relates to this conversation is that surely F1 races going to pay-per-view would weed out the lcd’s and make it much more of a pure F1 racing fan base, as those would be the ones willing to shell out to watch the sport they love. So if it becomes a much more dedicated audience, who will in fact pay more to see it, then won’t they also demand more and more a return to seat of the pants racing by gladiators out there, not passengers? One can hope.

  3. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 7th March 2013, 21:00

    “Some of the legends in our sport had to bring backing to get into it in the first place.”
    There’s nothing wrong with bringing backing but when drivers who have won zilch in their career (not naming any names) come into the sport as a result of having an incredibly rich father it leaves a sour taste.
    Just because F1 has always had pay drivers have always been here doesn’t mean it is okay, it just means this problem is recurring and needs to be solved!

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