Chase Carey, Sochi Autodrom, 2017

Chase Carey given Le Mans starting honours

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Formula One Chairman Chase Carey has been given the honour of waving the French Tricolour to start today’s Le Mans 24 Hours in a gesture of goodwill by the ACO.

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Comment of the day

Should Renault seriously contemplate replacing Jolyon Palmer with Robert Kubica? @jureo offers this view.

Funny they should say that, regarding Kubica’s pace. Clearly one Renault driver has a noticeable lack of pace.

If I was Renault, I’d stick Kubica in Palmer’s seat at half season, if he is on similar level to Palmer. It would be epic positive publicity similar to Alonso at Indy500.

Renault could do with that. Naturally, he must be on pace for real, not just PR pace.

Considering they simulated one race weekend in a day, they should have data to compare. And mere fact they did speaks for itself, that they are considering.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 34 comments on “Chase Carey given Le Mans starting honours”

    1. Plot twist.. what if all this talk of Audi of entering F1 is CHINESE whispers and it’s actually Chinese car manufacturers FUDI.. haha!

      1. Perhaps the “Geeley Rood ” racing team, or just plain old “Force China”.

    2. There’s an awful lot of wriggle room in that word “arguably”. I’ve seen people argue all sorts of things which were frankly dubious. But here’s hoping we get to see Kubica back in F1, which will at least provide more fodder for argument.

    3. A change of engine formula in 2020 would be a real shame for Honda as they might actually be reliable and competitive by then.

      1. @hohum
        Or maybe they replace the hybrids with small turbo engines with a variable valve system to boost efficiency and Honda build the best engine, giving their new partner Red Bull their first championship in years while McLaren struggle in the midfield with their unreliable Mercedes engine.
        Ferrari yet again breaking my heart by building a fast yet fragile car that either wins or breaks, and Max is often heard complaining about these silly young guys pushing the limits in wheel to wheel battles…

        1. And Chase Carey will host the Oscars ;)

    4. That Novelty mustache on Carey always makes me chuckle.

      1. It’s actually to cover up a large scar he has there

    5. I know I would cry if Kubica makes a comeback, even in a test driver role. I agree with COTD, on publicity alone, it’d be huge, and probably no one would complain if he’s not really a match for Hulk. But I’m sure his imputs would prove a lot more benefitial to Renault than Palmer’s… and he’d have a much better chance of scoring as well.

    6. They got it wrong at Grill the Grid! Benetton didn’t win more than 1 WCC.

    7. Neil (@neilosjames)
      17th June 2017, 5:01

      Worth considering that we’re four races away from the summer break, which might be an entirely convenient time to make a driver change, and right before the summer break there’s the in-season test at the Hungaroring.

      Renault have one test day left in which they have to field a ‘young driver’ (guy with fewer than two starts) but the other day is free. So they could either plonk a race driver in, or see if a certain Polish chap can cut it in a 2017 car on a particularly twisty, busy circuit…

      I know which option I’d like them to take.

    8. Renault NEED a driver that can deliver in the other car now! They are currently 7th in the championship, but that midfield group (although it’s sort of in the lower middle) is really tight. Mercedes and Ferrari are light years away (> x10 the points), Red Bull and Force Indie are miles and miles away. And yet, there will be no new MGU-H this year. Although they had promised one.

      Without a great driver in the other car, they won’t even surpass Toro Rosso. But if Ferrari and Mercedes up their game in the engine department, then Haas and Williams will probably end the year in front of Renault!

      Those tiny gains to the engine won’t be enough to move up in the pecking order. They are a manufacturer team, but… 18 points after 7 races… I’d say it’s pretty disappointing. And I don’t want to hear all that ‘it could be worse’ nonsense. The MCL Honda situation is an abnormality. 18 points in 7 races is little to show for.
      By the way, did they sort it out with the MGU-K? The one they were supposed to introduce at the beginning of the year, but then switched back to the one 5 kilos heavier from last year?

      1. 18 points after 7 races is pretty decent for 1 driver ;)

        1. Agree, @f1-liners. And yet… it is the equal of a 5th and a 6th place finish. I rate Hulk as an excellent driver. Hence the car is not that great. They need another excellent driver in the other car to hope of finishing 5th in the WCC. But my money would be on them finishing in 8th if they don’t change Palmer midseason.

      2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        17th June 2017, 9:23


        Many will disagree here, but I think they should get Maldonado back. Especially if he will be able to fund the team too. He wasn’t a bad driver at all in 2015. He is certainly a fair bit better than Palmer and his experience with F1 should help. I think Renault would be better off with having Maldonado than risking bringing in a new driver. While it was worth seeing if Palmer could impress in 2016 and give him the chance this year to improve, I now think Renault would have got more points if they kept Maldonado instead over both the last couple of seasons so far.

        1. This comment is proof of how bad Palmer is, he made Maldonado look decent

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            17th June 2017, 10:13

            I don’t think it was just because of this that Maldonado looked decent in 2015. I think he was about average then. Not well below like he was in his first 3 seasons. He has 2 or 3 very strong races with one very strong one in Austria. Most of his other races were decent too. And an awful amount of bad luck that people often don’t seem to remember just because of who he was. His luck was as bad or worse than Alonso’s is so far this year for reliability at the beginning of 2015. 6 retirements in the first 6 races all down to his car not him. He was only classified in one of the races. Although the results didn’t really show it, During the race, I don’t think Maldonado was much worse then Grosjean for race pace alone. He also did have the chance to race for Sauber this year along side Ericsson from what I have read but he wanted a more competitive team. After a couple of years off and a reasonably solid 2015, he could come back as a totally different driver. I think Renault should take the risk if Palmer doesn’t improve very quickly.

        2. From a PR perspective it would be complete disaster to have Maldonado back in the car… Many would be laughing to death, likely starting with the RB clans :)

        3. Fukobayashi (@)
          17th June 2017, 12:12

          The Maldonado money ran out a long time ago. He will not bring much if any funding to the team so, no.

          1. @offdutyrockstar I don’t think Renault needs any external funding.

            1. Fukobayashi (@)
              18th June 2017, 20:07

              @spoutnik my comment was in response to the original post; “Especially if he will be able to fund the team too.”

              Just clarifying, he can’t.

    9. Give Kubica a FP1 drive as soon as possible! Then we could see if he is really up for the challange and build from that.

      How about superlicense?

    10. I loved Kubica, but it does feel like a case of ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’. He was fantastic, but he really wasn’t the best in the group.

      1. @hahostolze, I do agree that, in some ways, it might be better if he were not to come back to F1 – I understand that there are many who want to see him come back, but at the same time there is a chance that any such return may prove to be a disappointment for many. Even though he seems to have done OK, at the same time it does feel a bit reminiscent of the tests that Pironi did with AGS and Ligier, where he was reportedly setting competitive times, after breaking both his legs a few years earlier.

        Maybe in some ways it is better to let people dream of what might have been and thus, as you say, become a hero in their dreams – better that than the potentially bitter reality if he comes back to an uncompetitive car and ends up slogging it out in anonymity in the midfield.

        1. @anon I think there is very much something to what you are saying. That said, if Renault wants to take him on, and RK himself is fine taking the risk from the standpoint you present, of looking mediocre, then perhaps who are we to say.

          But after reading the above article, I think any success for RK, aside from the obvious question of how well Renault will up their game or not, will very much depend on the direction of the tires. Reading how dependent he is on a perfectly balanced car, which allows him to push that ‘10% harder than the others’ at times, makes me think of how limited he would have been on the Pirelli tires of recent years, and even this year, with Pirelli having to have gone conservative due to the lack of sufficient testing on a proper 2017 car until after they had had to commit to their rubber formulas for this year. Pushing 10% harder would have ruined those tires.

          This year’s tires have surprised me at how temp sensitive they still are when I thought they were heading more toward treadwear degradation, but again, perhaps that just had to be the case for this transition to pre-98 dimension cars and tires.

          So I hope for, and expect next year’s tires to be less conservative, softer on average, less temp sensitive and more treadware related, ie. the start of the trend Brawn has talked about of a better ratio of mechanical grip to aero. If that happens, and RK is on a 2018 car, perhaps the timing will have been perfect. I can only envision that the 2014,15,16 tires would have greatly hampered RK. But then, they hampered all the drivers, hence their desires for change and more challenge, just as all drivers do better with a perfectly balanced car, not just RK.

      2. It doesn’t matter that much how good or bad Kubica is, as long as he is decent. Palmer is a disaster (so far) and they may as well save some money and only put one car on the grid. However the Kubica comeback will offset any potential race disappointment with extremely good publicity worldwide.

        In any case Kubica is not a in strong position to negociate, so they could easily offer him a half-seaon + option contract and be totally safe to switch in 2018 to someone else. If palmer does not up his game by the summer break, having Kubica back in the car is a win-win situation for Renault.

    11. We really were robbed of a Kubica vs. Alonso battle as teammates at Ferrari. Would have been epic!

      1. Agreed @mashiat, the inter-team relationship would have been fascinating from both a performance and a personality perspective

      2. Since Alonso would presumably still have left Ferrari after 2014, we also likely missed the chance to see Kubica drive alongside Vettel.

    12. Its the HYPE again..!
      I honestly thinks Palmer’s time is up.

    13. In other news, today marks a decade since Vettel’s F1 debut.

    14. Well, I’m still keeping my hopes in check – barely – but the chatter around Kubica is certainly not ebbing at the moment is it?

    15. We need a path that engages the fans, because if we don’t have fans watching this sport then we have nothing.

      This is an interesting comment. It seems to suggest Liberty Media have a different approach to F1 than the previous owners did. It will be interesting to see how things develop.

    Comments are closed.