Fernando Alonso, United Autosports, Daytona, 2018

Nasr quickest, Alonso 12th in first Daytona 24 Hours qualifying session

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Ex-F1 racer Felipe Nasr was quickest in the first qualifying session for the Daytona 24 Hours, which determines garage and pit allocations for the race, while Fernando Alonso’s team posted the 12th best time of the 20 prototype entries.


United Autosports, Daytona, 2018

See here for more pictures of Fernando Alonso testing at the Daytona 24 Hours with United Autosports:

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Comment of the day

Is F1 chasing the wrong goal by trying to get rid of one-stop races?

I just don’t get the obsession with trying to get every race to feature two or three stops. A one-stop race can be just as interesting to watch as a two/three stop race just like a two/three stop race can be just as dull to watch as a one-stop race.

Give teams access to the full tyre range, Remove the (silly) rule forcing everyone to make a mandatory stop to run two compounds and let them do what they want be it no stops or a few stops. Open the rules up rather than locking them down to try and force everyone down a similar route via somewhat artificially generated means.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Michael Roberts!

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On this day in F1

  • Former BRM team owner Louis Stanley died on this day in 2004

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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66 comments on “Nasr quickest, Alonso 12th in first Daytona 24 Hours qualifying session”

  1. Isn’t it a bit ironic that a “model” is complaining about what she’s wearing as a grid girl?

    Or am I completely reading that wrong?

    1. Neil (@neilosjames)
      8th January 2018, 0:58

      She’s not complaining, rather commenting on the direction things are heading with regards clothing. Saying she used to wear one thing, now things have changed and it’s more likely to be something else.

      The whole article gives a better picture than the chosen highlight sentence (which has nothing to do with the actual message she’s trying to put across).

      1. The whole article gives a better picture than the chosen highlight sentence (which has nothing to do with the actual message she’s trying to put across).

        @neilosjames Your comment made me read the article, so thanks for posting that.

        I found her stance quite refreshing. She wants grid girls (or better said, grid persons) to stay, but only get rid of the more “flesh/body curves exposing” clothing.

    2. the worst thing to read in sexism debates, i.e. equality for women… is to read a man questioning a woman’s opinion— its like a white person questioning a black persons views on oppressional racism. lets get one thing straight, women ARE oppressed in society and the whole grid girl thing is an archaic institution built on sexism. i think 99% of f1fanatic readers are men, and that is a problem, comments should be disabled for any articles about equal rights. – i am a man married to a feminist and can see how pathetic the commentary is about grid girls on motorsport sites… it is only men commentating and not thinking from a fair point of view.

      1. Internet discourse in this matter is usually absurd though.

      2. A ludicrous statement, @kpcart. If you want a situation to improve, you need to ensure dialogue from all sides. Blocking one side from speaking only creates resentment and an “us vs. them” environment. Women have some advantages and disadvantages in society; the same goes for men. It’ll never be equal if people can’t grasp that it needs a collaborative effort to resolve discrimination towards any group. Not just “you bad, me good!”.

        As for grid girls, I wouldn’t miss them as I pay no attention to them anyway. However someone who enjoys them isn’t automatically oppressive and/or sexist. Those girls have a choice… if they didn’t want to stand in skimpy clothes on those grids, they don’t have to… and yet, they still do?!

        1. “If you want a situation to improve, you need to ensure dialogue from all sides.”
          That’s definitely not how it works, not on scientific matters, not on legal matters, and certainly not on social matters. That’s why we don’t lend slave-apologists any credibility. Or why we don’t ask apollo-skeptics for their opinions when we’re trying to study the geological characteristics of the moon.

          1. Lennard Mascini (@)
            8th January 2018, 10:45

            Slightly unfair comparison there…

          2. I do see what you’re saying, however you’ve misconstrued what I said.

            I’m referring to positive dialogue for change. Something constructive. By saying “I think 99% of f1fanatic readers are men, and that is a problem, comments should be disabled for any articles about equal rights.”, Kpcart is inferring that men could not possibly understand issues that women face, or vice versa. We know that’s simply not true.

            By “dialogue from all sides”, I am referring to involvement from even those who oppose what you’re suggesting. If you do not engage with those that you oppose/oppose you, how do you expect them to change their view and progress with you? The world isn’t good vs. evil… it’s far more nuanced than that, which is why open debate should be encouraged.

          3. @leonardodicappucino true, I apologize.
            What I mean is there is a thing called the Golden Mean Fallacy. In other words, it’s not true that we need to hear the opinion of those who want to keep motorsports as a “man’s thing” when we’re discussing how to make motorsports not be a “man’s thing”.

          4. Also by extension both scientific and legal matters are a discussion of observable fact. Both fields typically seek the most objective outcome based on what has been observed, or what applies to the written rule (i.e. law).

            Social matters are vastly different. They are often about perception, and subjective experience. Objectivity should (and does) come into play also, but in the current climate, ‘feelings’ carry more weight than facts and that is not good. We need a measured and considered approach to banish inequality and discrimination across the board (that includes, men, white people too).

          5. @enzov6 I don’t want to shut down anyone or anyone’s ideas for the sake of it. If someone who thinks grid girls are a good thing wants to talk and argue, fantastic, let’s hear it (and we do, we do hear them). It’s a nuanced issue, as you say, that influences and is influenced by a lot of factors, and worse still, it’s a divisive issue for many people, so there will be plenty of non-nuanced opinions about it. But as I said before, there is such a thing as a Golden Mean Fallacy. We need to reach conclusions that are valid and solid, even if they don’t align with what a lot of people think is correct.

          6. @rahnarlsmenves. Good points – I agree!

          7. @enzov6 It’s funny that you mention that “feelings” carry more weight than facts, but when the facts point to how gender-biased motorsport is and people try to do something about it, tell me whose “feelings” that hurts, and whose “feelings” are trying to be propped-up here into the same platform as the facts.

            I mean, I’m not trying to antagonize it. It amuses me that you’re using so many dog-whistles in your comments, but that might not be intentional on your part. There’s a lot of people with a vested interest in trying to make you defend their points for them, and platform them. A lot of great people on both sides. If you catch my drift.

          8. @enzov6 I meant I’m not trying to antagonize YOU. That was a typo. Sorry.

      3. Kpcart. Excluding an entire segment of people from a debate that affects them (even in a minor way) is one of the first steps towards totalitarianism and all it entails. Do you really have to be married to a feminist to understand the issues regarding gender inequality? Or you’re forbidden from discussing race equality issues if you’re white? That’s a pretty casual & damming indictment of the intellectual capabilities of your fellows isn’t it? Anyway, this is not an appropriate forum for such an exchange but I will say, I could care less about grid girls. Stay or go, it’s all the same to me, but you shouldn’t read anything into that statement other than my complete indifference to the matter.

        1. @baron, not to mention the spectacular irony of a man who makes comments about how bad it is for people to be oppressed, then simultaneously advocates the oppression of comments that he does not want to read because he does not want to read the opinions of others.

      4. But in this case it’s a girl who is talking about the grid girls. She has a opinion that’s worth to mention and put a different perspective tot the “function””.
        Nothing wrong with that is it?
        And i guess being married to a feminist clouds your perspective on the same level as other participants experienced.

      5. I don’t know… reading a man’s statement dismissing men’s statements in response to a woman’s opinion on the issue under discussion… that’s pretty silly.

        On a more serious note, saying things like “women can’t be sexist” and “blacks can’t be racist” is, in itself, sexist and / or racist. I’m a firm believer in equality, after all– anyone can be sexist, anyone can be racist. There’s no free pass for bigotry for anyone, regardless of their personal (or racial, or gender) experiences.

        Intelligent discussion, like actually talking to a Real Live Grid Girl, is a refreshing change of pace for our current society, where self-righteous people insist on enforcing their narrow ideology is far more common.

      6. Mark in Florida
        9th January 2018, 0:26

        I myself am married to a strong independent woman. She’s strong enough to let me be a man and she enjoys all the perks of being a woman. I have my opinion and she has hers and never shall the twain meet. But that difference makes life fun. I happen to like the grid girls they add beauty and tradition to an otherwise bland looking grid. It also gives the girls a chance to meet people they would otherwise never have the chance to meet. I guess that ball boys in Major league baseball should be banned , they look abused and oppressed like the grid girls.

      7. Well, why don’t they stop executing these kind of roles then (any ‘look at these pretty girls’ roles). That would most certainly help. A few of them (still allowing themselves to be ‘displayed’) are holding the whole group back.

    3. It would be ironic if she was a fashion designer on the side or something like that. Otherwise this is not ironic.

    4. @beejis60, it’s very consistent with the current climate of “I’ll use my attractiveness and sexuality to get what I want, then I’ll demonise those who enabled me in the first place”. I’d feel more empathy towards it if those campaigning didn’t typically benefit from this “sexism” first.

      F1 does not need grid girls in my opinion. I’m not sure I’d even notice if they were taken away (I also wouldn’t miss the ridiculous line up of girls clapping as the drivers walk into the post-race cool down room before the podium). Both are unnecessary in my opinion but let’s not act as though these women are forced to do it.

      1. I thought the current climate was “I’ll use my position of power to get sexual favors AND pretend that I am the victim who got ‘used’ because of my victim’s attractiveness and sexuality that apparently only women have”.

        1. Both sides are guilty. I think what we’re establishing here is that there is an insidious issue of hypocrisy, which is undermining efforts to eradicate this current climate.

          In reference to your above post about antagonising me… I do understand where you are coming from, and agree with much of what you are saying – we’re essentially pushing for the same outcome, perhaps through differing methods?

          Disagree about the ‘dog-whistles’ however. My reference to facts and feelings is about not confusing correlation (i.e. low numbers of females in motorsport) with causation (i.e. motorsport must be hugely sexist). Equality of opportunity is what we should be seeking – not equality of outcome (which in itself requires discrimination).

          1. I’m sorry, who’s the victim here? This is seriously off-topic. How are both sides guilty?
            This is what I mean by dog-whistles. You’re bringing in issues that are not being discussed here, because they are issues are align with the typical narrative of a certain online crowd. Gary, you’re pushing a narrative. You’re ALSO trying to address a problem. And I see no reason not to believe that you’re ALSO doing in good faith.

            The issue here is not “there’s not many women which means the sport and/or everyone in it is sexist”. Society at large is sexist, motorsports are a VICTIM of that sexism, and that’s why there are not many women. My point was that it’s unreasonable to expect things to change if we fix the symptoms (grid girls) without fixing the cause. It can help, but in some respects, it’s like arguing that there shouldn’t be girls-only stripclubs. The fact that there’s more female strippers than male strippers is not gonna change until we address some seriously deeper issues with society than just grid girls and whatever.

            But again, whose “feelings” get hurt when we talk about those things?

            I’m not sure we’re pushing for the same outcome though. But that’s alright.

          2. I’m interested in seeing what narrative I’m supposedly pushing, when all I have been suggesting is that the grid girls discussion is more nuanced than the sanctimonious approach kpcart and yourself seem to be taking?!

            If you want to sort this apparent problem of “society at large” being “sexist”, then you could perhaps reduce the blanket statements and approach it with more critical thought? Your example of Strip Clubs is confusing, especially considering that has nothing to do with sexism, but biological factors which drive consumption of such practices – unless by which you’re suggesting that drivers of male/female biology are now sexist?!!!

            You make reference to me aligning with a “certain online crowd”, which is quite suggestive that you deem those who share a similar view are somehow less ‘progressive’ than yourself…

            It’s always hard work having a dialogue with people who believe their views are somehow superior to those who disagree.

          3. @enzov6 And now I’ve gone and hurt your feelings. I’m sorry about that.
            Also, I’m not progressive. You can clearly see that from my comments. I believe it is wrong to remove grid girls from the sport as the sport is today, although, of course, it’s a nuanced question.

          4. @rahnarlsmenves. Haha, my feelings are intact, thankfully. Evidently internet discussions seem to lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Regardless of whether we agree or not, you have a right to your views, and I respect that. Good discussing this with you.

    5. Well, thanks @keithcollantine for including this article in the roundup. It’s stirred the hornet’s nest but we’ve been asking for the opinion of the grid girls themselves since this topic came up, and this is the first I recall seeing.

      She seems to have a pretty sensible view on the issue. Keep the job, but remove the more overt exploitation like skimpy clothes (and hopefully the ‘corridor of clapping women’). Interesting that she says there need to be more female racers so they can have more grid boys, hadn’t thought of that angle.

  2. Of course having grid girls in races is a sexist practice. I don’t think the people who like grid girls are bad people, and I don’t think the grid girls are terrible people. But if you’re choosing someone to fill a job role because of their gender when their gender has nothing to do with their job, apart from sex, then yeah, it’s sexist.

    I don’t really care about the whole issue. I think motorsports will always be a relatively hostile hobby for women, and the removing the grid girls or adding grid boys (which I am in favor of) is not gonna make any difference whatsoever. It’s a step, but look at the IT industry and how there are relatively few women working in it, and you can see how hard this issue actually is.

    F1 and motorsports in general should be striving to create a perception that it’s not a “man’s thing”. The grid girls don’t help, but while cars themselves are a “man’s thing”, they don’t really matter either.

    1. So, in fact if you are a grid boy it’s all okay ;)

  3. DaveAngel100
    8th January 2018, 2:34

    Whilst it would be interesting to allow all types of tyre at each grand prix and leave strategy and stops entirely up to the teams there are two limiting factors to this;

    1. Cost – It would be prohibitively expensive for Pirelli (or any other manufacturer) to bring enough sets of every compound to every race.

    2. The softest tyres would almost always be the tyre of choice, all the teams simulations show it’s quicker to run slightly off the pace on the quicker tyres. The only reason anyone chooses the harder tyre now is because of the two compound rule and they are starting near the back or out of position; gambling on a safety car.

    1. Lennard Mascini (@)
      8th January 2018, 10:52

      1. In the current rules, Pirelli already have to make a certain amount of tyres which is different for every GP, and in that case teams just have to choose their tyres slightly earlier.

      2. Softer tyres will not always be the tyre of choice, as you wouldn’t want to run a 3-stop strategy at Monaco (for example) when a Sauber might try to do a no-stop because you will get stuck behind them. Also, the softest tyre, even over one lap, might not be the fastest tyre at every venue, as I believe for example at Barcelona the 2017 ultras didn’t make it for an entire lap. So

  4. What’s up with those high-pitched, chipmunked pop songs in the background on most YouTube videos these days? I never get it.

    1. Indeed. And when Jenson does the ‘hit the like button’ bit at the end a piece of my soul dies inside :)

  5. I just don’t understand the obsession to try to do something on something like the grid girl-topic. It’s one of the least relevant ones, and yet they (LM) are still obsessed to do something about it. ”If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” They should stop focusing on the wrong things so to speak, i.e., things that aren’t really that relevant, etc.

    1. ‘least relevant’?

      Not a fan of keeping up with non-F1 news, eh?

    2. Actually, Liberty Media has said it’s a pretty low priority for them.

      It’s a high priority for the people who are convinced that a pretty woman in a flattering outfit is being oppressed, enslaved and exploited, however.

      1. @grat ”Actually, Liberty Media has said it’s a pretty low priority for them.” – Good to know that, LOL.

  6. Is young master Gasly really that naive not to understand the billion dollar company behind him providing the financial support for his career ?

    1. @uneedafinn2win Yes, technically RB has provided the financial support for his career, but still, though, they’re tendency is to bring up drivers based on performance/talent, i.e., He as well as Ricciardo, Verstappen, Sainz, Vettel, etc., got to F1 purely on merit.

      1. @jerejj, Sainz Jr had fairly substantial backing from Cepsa during his junior career, and Cepsa themselves published an article when Sainz moved to Toro Rosso – which they had agreed to sponsor – as achieving their objective to get a driver into F1. He might have talent, but even Sainz Jr himself implied that Cepsa’s sponsorship played a part as well in getting his seat at Toro Rosso.

    2. @uneedafinn2win Are you really that naive to ask such a question? You have to have money to get to F1. It was always thus and even more now when a season of GP2 costs millions of $.

      For decades in F1, when a driver was said to get to F1 “without money” it meant that he got there on pure merit of his talent without anyone sponsoring him because he’s someone’s rich son or for some other convoluted purpose. RBR didn’t pick him up because of his pretty eyes, and even when they do pick up drivers they don’t hesitate to drop them in a blink of an eye if they don’t perform.

      In many ways the RBR young driver program is similar to France’s Pilote Elf program of the 1970’s. It got many great drivers like Arnoux, Depailler, Pironi, Laffite, Jabouille, Tambay and of course, the crown achievement, Alain Prost into F1. Many of them of modest means that would have never got far in motorsport without Elf money. They supported their entire junior career on the condition that they get consistently excellent result. The moment one hadn’t got that he was dropped. Those who were not dropped were the best of the best France could provide. That’s what without money means in F1 terms.

      In stark contrast, I wish Papa Stroll dropped Lance and gave his vast sums of money to someone more deserving. No chance of that happening.

      So yeah Gasly was correct in his statement 100%.

  7. “Did anything ever look more wrong than a red Williams?”
    Lance Stroll in an F1 car?

    Nah, just kidding. ;) Indeed, it would take a blue Ferrari to beat that one.

    1. Which of course, actually happened. Surtees raced a blue and white Ferrari to the world title in 64. Apparently Enzo was a bit unhappy with Italy at the time and swore to never race in red again. It lasted two races.

      1. I wonder what Italy told Enzo that he’d go back on his word.
        “It’s alright honey, I have a surprise for you tonight…”

        1. @rahnarlsmenves, to be more accurate, Enzo was in a dispute with the Italian representatives of the FIA over the homologation of Ferrari’s latest racing car, the 250LM, which Ferrari had tried to enter into the Group 3 GT category and had been told that he would not be allowed to enter it.

          What the Italian representatives of the FIA then told him was that either he had to accept that the 250LM would have to be classified as a prototype, even though that placed it against much more powerful cars, or that the FIA would simply refuse to allow the 250LM to compete in any races at all. It was Ferrari that was forced to back down in that situation when being told they either had to shut up or simply not race at all.

      2. I’m not sure how not racing in Red is a snub to Italy as Blue is (historically) the Italian racing/sporting colour isn’t it?

        1. That’s a very interesting point, @asanator! It is a particular light blue precisely, not any other.
          But then that is exactly Bugatti’s colour, so either way Ferrari’s identity gets lost with it.

        2. Red is Italy racing colour. Sky blue is used by national sports teams in Italy. It’s the former royal family of Italy colours. England national teams are white but racing colours green.

      3. Oh snap!

    2. Like this one? :) https://i.pinimg.com/564x/66/a8/d0/66a8d08e45a6ae5f845308c2a08538b2–ferrari-racing-ferrari-f.jpg

      According to Jackie Stewart’s book he nearly signed to drive for Ferrari and one of his conditions was that his car would be painted (at least in part) blue because he is Scottish. The old man apparently agreed…but Jackie decided against signing in the end.

    3. I still remember seeing that red Williams as a kid (I was about nine) and being continually confused.

  8. Lennard Mascini (@)
    8th January 2018, 11:04

    Re:COTD There seem to be two current objections to the completely free-tyre rule. Firstly, that costs will increase because the tyre manufacturer has to have enough of each tyre, and secondly that everyone will choose the same/softest tyres. In response to those 2 points:

    1. In the current rules, Pirelli already have to make a certain amount of tyres which is different for every GP, and in that case teams just have to choose their tyres slightly earlier. Also, as the tyres are not mass produced, the cost doesn’t change if they have to make 7 sets of each of the 7 compounds or 49 sets of one compound.

    2. Softer tyres will not always be the tyre of choice, as you wouldn’t want to run a 3-stop strategy at Monaco (for example) when a Sauber might try to do a no-stop because you will get stuck behind them. Also, the softest tyre, even over one lap, might not be the fastest tyre at every venue, as I believe for example at Barcelona the 2017 ultras didn’t make it for an entire lap. It is also sometimes very marginal in qualifying, as a car with slightly better tyre wear might just be faster on one tyre while another car might have to go on a slightly harder tyre. It could be fascinating if, for example, most teams think the hyper-softs are the best quali tyre while the softs are the best race tyre, and then a top driver makes a mistake in quualifying, slightly overdrives and spins, ruining a set of tyres, and then might not have enough hypers to make it through to q3, having to qualify on a set of softs, which are 3 steps harder.

    In my opinion it would be even better if everyone has to start the race on the tyre they qualified on. It would be fascinating to see how teams would play qualifying, which tyres they would use to qualify on because they would also have to race on them, and if someone who thought they could get through to q3 just gets knocked out in 11th and then have to make a first lap pit-stop. Because in qualifying there is very little time and these kinds of tyre choices are also made on what you expect to see around you, even the biggest teams would sometimes make a mistake and find themselves further down the order.

    1. Did it not use to be like that for a few seasons? Starting on the tyres you qualify with I mean. Or at least those who got to q3? Not sure whether I’m making this up and (if not) why was that rule dropped

  9. Lol at that Gasly article. How can he say that you don’t need money when Red Bull has funded his entire career?

    1. “How can he say that you don’t need money when Red Bull has funded his entire career?”
      That’s exactly why. It took none of his money.

      1. Lol at your answer @damon.
        Who can pay for a career of racing with own money, Stroll family excluded.

        What I find is strange is that money from RB, Ferrari etc. doesn’t seem to count compared to money from other sponsors.

        If I find a young talent in his early days and pay for his racing career through the series compared to if Red Bull should pay for it, to many people that driver then is a worthless pay driver.

        I think the discussion is twisted. Someone is always paying and to say he has proven that it’s possible to reach F1 without money is just stupid.

    2. Same goes for Hamilton and McLaren.
      Talented drivers that eventually catch the attention of F1 teams, driver programs, etc and manage to reach the sport.

      That is different from, my parents are millionaire, my country wants to inject some oil money on my career, and so on

      This cases are of course few and far between (isn’t Ocon also a similar story?), and there is a need to create some sort of scouting program, otherwise the drivers of the future will have more or less the same surname as the drivers of today, especially if the sport popularity follows the relative negative trend that it is on

      1. The surname can help only if it comes with money or some talent. Prost’s son didn’t reached F1 for example.

        1. Nope, instead he races Formula E on daddy’s car…

  10. Might be a bit premature but it feels like Alonso is having a way harder time getting used to the prototypes than the indycar he drove last year. Neither are the most complex circuits yet indy sure has it’s challenges, and T1 here is very tricky too.

    1. @flatsix Indy and F1 are very different, but way more similar between them than the prototypes. I always thought that one of the most difficult aspects of the switch over for any driver is the fact that they cannot see the tyres inside the prototypes.

      For this particular experience add the fact that the track, as you rightly pointed out, presents bigger challenges to the drivers

      With that said, it is only a session to determine the garage positions, so I don’t know what kind of effort they put into it, or if some take it as a test/setup session for the proper qualifying. Maybe someone that follows the series closer than I do can shed some light into it, as I’m just speaking out of my limited knowledge regarding the subject

  11. Not a single comment about nasr destroying alonso and a handfull of other great drivers. That guy has Soo much talent , imagine if he was a British driver how much backing he would have .

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