Adam Carroll at DPR? Why not!

Italiaracing reports today that Autosprint magazine places Adam Carroll at DPR for the Istambul race.

I have written about this talented Irish driver in another post, and it would be a great move by André Herck to place Adam in his second race car.  Given that Giacomo Ricci, apart from bringing in no money,  has produced zero results for the team, bringing in an experienced GP2 race-winner like Carroll is a great bet.  If you’re going to incur a loss, might as well do it with drivers that can put your car in the top 10.

If Herck’s gamble pays off well, it could convince drivers such as James Jakes that the team is competent and that in the hands of a strong driver can be competitive.  If it doesn’t, they’re just back where they started.  Good move from Herck, since it’s not easy to find drivers of this caliber available and willing to go on a race-by-race deal.

Post-race evaluations – Monaco GP

Evals Monaco GP top 6

eval Monaco GP rest

Evals Monaco GP bott 4

Best of Monaco feature: KC

After an outing in Barcelona well below his standards, Karun Chandhok put in a stellar comeback at Monaco.  Initally qualifying 10th – not great but solid – KC slipped back at the beginning with the momentary chaos at the Saint Devote chicane.    Making that chicane cost him positions, but saved him from the post-race carnage rightly imposed by the race stewards.

KC battled with a frustrated Maldonado and a still unrecognizable Valsecchi, eventually pitting early.

Karun emerged near the back, as expected, but with little traffic to slow down his strong pace.  Meanwhile in positions 8-12, drivers battled and slowed themselves, allowing KC to position himself well when these began pitting for tyres.  Karun emerged in the top 10, even overtaking teammate Parente, and putting in solid laps behind the group where D’Ambrosio and Filippi were battling it out.  At the end, KC was able to build a nice lead over the people behind him, effectively avoiding the pile-up at Loews which left Mortara out and Parente terminally wounded.

Strong race, good comeback and a good starting position from the front row in today’s sprint race.   Careful with Pastor… if you don’t believe me, ask Koba!

8 penalties at Monaco feature

Good job from GP2 in penalizing 8 drivers in the Monaco feature race. My only concern, why did it take so long to decide?

As a recap, Lucas Di Grassi, Nico Hulkenberg, Javier Villa, Roldan Rodriguez, Edoardo Mortara, Luca Filippi, Kamui Kobayashi and Dani Clos were handed 25-second penalties for jumping the chicane at the start. Those most punished are DiGrassi and Villa, with Andy Zuber and Pastor Maldonado the great beneficiaries.
The chicane was cut, not much to argue there, just a question of why it was cut and why the penalties have come after the race.

If you recall in last year’s race Adrián Vallés, racing with BCN Competición, was given an in-race drive-through penalty for cutting that same chicane while figthing for a 4th place position.

I ask you guys:

  • Which is more “fair”? In-race of after the race?
  • Why do you think they took so long to decide if it happened in the first 10 seconds of the race?

Looking forward to the sprint race. Pastor should see clear sailing if his ART Dallara can get off the line well.

Teixeira + 107% rule = no start

POST UPDATE: Seems like Ricardo didn’t start the Monaco feature race… is that correct?
POST EDIT: Seems like GP2 applied the 107% rule correctly… great job. Compliments from my side, but Teixeira’s case (unfortunately) may not be a one-off thing. Thumbs up for Bruno and his team today. Second question, though, will he start tomorrow’s race??

With so many comments on this issue, I had to write my thoughts on it as well…

By my calculations, Ricardo Teixeira’s Monaco qualifying time is outside the 107% limit, which used to be in place in F1 – though never in GP2. Sometime during the 13th lap, Grosjean & company will catch up to Ricardo, barring any safety cars. This is, of course, unacceptable in any racing circuit but especially at Monaco. Teixeira will actually not be “racing” but “cruising”, permanently looking in his rearview mirrors, while inevitably bothering the faster drivers – no matter how well he does it.

I don’t want to criticize Teixeira, but instead the officials who keep letting him race in GP2. Regardless of how much money is behind him, he has taken too big a jump from F3 to GP2 and someone (apart from me) should tell him. He is doing a great disservice to his sponsor and, in some way, to GP2. Even Carlos Iaconelli, who last year brought up the rear frequently, had solid showings inside the top-20 and wasn’t significantly slower than many other drivers.

In my opinion, only Maurizio Salvadori’s Trident team is benefiting here, with a wadful of Sonangol cash. Respectable objective, to make a living, especially in these times.

But the GP2 organizers should work on this situation, helping set some guidelines to avoid the future Teixeiras from clogging the grid. 107% rule, anyone

Sorry Paul Jackson… I disagree

iSport boss Paul Jackson has seen himself in the news lately with his possible bid to enter F1 in 2010.  He seems to enjoy this protagonism and is repeatedly in all the “top-10” lists for new teams in 2010.  First, I would like to see if iSport can line up a constructor for F1, but more importantly, he’s now making comments that in the end are hurting his current business: GP2.

Excerpt from comments on Autosport:

“Well, at the end of the day, F1 always was small teams. If they named GP2 Formula 1 and put it on the TV, how many people would know? Only the real hardcore enthusiasts.”

Sorry, but I have to disagree.  F1 was never “small teams”.  It was always “independent teams” which is a very different concept.  You want me to believe that Lotus, McLaren, Williams, Ferrari were “small”?

Come on, Mr. Jackson!   What they were, with overwhelming majority, were independent teams.  Engineering firms manufacturing chassis and then fitting the best available engine or whoever gave them the best deal.  The arrival of BMW, Renault, Toyota and Honda began to change this, and that’s part of what needs some fixing.

On the other hand, Paul Jackson is losing sight of his current source of income.  If they named GP2 Formula 1 it would be the end of his €2.2 million-plus per year money machine.   Like I posted previously, GP2 would become just another open-wheel series, and fans would flock to the rival “new” FOTA series where Ferrari & company are.  You would be competing for drivers with WSR, F3 Euroseries and F3000.

Tricking people is not the answer, and you underestimate and insult the fans by making comments such as these.  Mr. Jackson:  everyone would know this is not the real F1.

“Hardcore enthusiasts” are everywhere, and even my young daughter would ask me watching next year’s Australian GP:  “where is Ferrari, daddy?”…. even if you painted your iSport Dallara bright red.

Be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it.

What about GP2? Is anyone asking?

With so much focus on Max Mosley, Ferrari, FOTA, Bernie, etc. no one is asking: what about GP2?  What is best for our category, a watered-down, budget-capped F1 or the current series?  I will give you my opinion, trying to avoid getting into much detail with regards to the sad state of F1 politics.

First of all, I must confess I agree with both the FIA and FOTA.  Each has valid points, and as with many things in life the best answer lies in a compromise of different positions.

  • The FIA is right in containing the out-of-control expense level in F1.  The category has evolved too far too fast and some teams are still managed by corporate results for which F1 is a mere line item.  This is bad because when times are good they will spend mercilessly, but when times are bad they will pull the plug without much remorse.  This has happened with Honda and could happen with Renault and Toyota any time soon.
  • FOTA is right in opposing a budget cap of €44 million all of a sudden, especially if it will result in a two-tier series.  Teams surely understand the need to contain costs, not only for one season but structurally, but it cannot happen overnight.

That said, we are so busy with all this that no one, not even Bruno Michel (do you actually work between races?…. must be nice), has stated a position regarding what’s best for GP2.  Since no one has taken this position, I will.

GP2 is best off with the best F1 show possible.  If the FIA and FOTA do not agree and somehow end up splitting up, as I understand it GP2 will stay with the new “decaf F1” since it’s owned by the CVC private equity group that bought Bernie’s “show”.  This scenario would immediately devalue GP2, bringing it down to WSR levels (about half its current value).  Why?  Because the premium commanded by GP2 is greatly associated with the exposure to F1, to the team owners, to the big-hitters and to the overall glamour.   If this is not there, it will be just another great racing series with no atmosphere, no global TV coverage and partially empty grandstands.

More importantly, the gap left by GP2 will be filled by someone, and the new constructor’s F1 will have its new support series.  Understandably, drivers looking for that same exposure would migrate to this series.

Or maybe, just maybe (conspiracy theory here), the FIA will “stick” is crappy F2 with the new crappy F1 and let GP2 go and find fortunes elsewhere, even with the FOTA-led runaway series.

Let’s hope in several days this will all be just conjecture, and the successful F1-GP2 partnership will continue for many years to come.  Let’s hope so…

All this said, it would be nice for Bruno to speak up, state his position and raise his voice for his team owners.  Oh, I forgot… you don’t do that, you just follow orders.  Sorry, sorry…. you can go back to sleep now.