Esteban Ocon, Force India, Interlagos, 2017

Ocon must “take the next step” in 2018 – Wolff

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In the round-up: Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff want to see Esteban Ocon raise his game in his second full season of Formula One.

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Keith Collantine
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  • 36 comments on “Ocon must “take the next step” in 2018 – Wolff”

    1. “In fact, it’s hard, as a woman, to know whether to burst with pride over this hitherto unsung contribution or to ask why the grid – whatever that is – should be so excessively small, or hard to spot, that drivers are unable to get on and off it without the orientation offered by young women in tight clothing.”
      The, obviously uninformed, opinion of one Guardian journalist, too lazy to do any research, on the grid girl ban, which of course, SHE is in favour of. Reminds me of the lyrics of a Billy Bragg song “How can you lay there and think of England, when you don’t even know who’s in the team.
      Why let factual knowledge get in the way of a good, feminist, byline.

      1. @lotus49 did you read the article? it was obviously tongue in cheek and in fact mostly about enforcing speed limits.

        It seems like yours in the obviously uninformed opinion of an F1fanatic reader, too lazy to click the link and read the story.

          1. Yup, it’s brilliant when rage-bate titles actually work on their intended target :P

    2. Ocon is quite in a tricky situation, yet interesting one. He probably has one of the biggest change to land one Mercedes seat next year but he has several ‘if’ attached.

      He should beat Perez while making sure he is not responsible of any contact between the pair. That means giving up a position if needed. And if he manages to beat Perez despite that, he should be first in line to be next to Lewis.

    3. For whatever reason, young women are not going to karting tracks. That’s what all the boys do.

      Yeah, I also have no idea why it is so. It certainly has nothing to do with the image of motorsports.

      Seriously though, women can drive and women do sports. So why are only 7% of young kart racers female? I am sure that this proportion is radically different in other sports, such as basketball or track and field. If female racers are really never going to be as good as their male competitors (so far I have not seen any research that would prove it), then they should indeed have separate championships but please do not say that car racing is not for women or pretend that public opinion, media coverage and general image of something have no impact on people’s choices.

      1. @girts I’m still a bit lost as to why ‘there should be females in F1’. Because it is “not fair there’s only men”, that’s hardly a valid reasoning for me. It’s not like a woman is being overlooked by definition because she is a woman. If she were to be as good or promising as a Hamilton or Vettel I have no doubt she could reach F1.

        I’m also not convinced this entire ‘society says this’ argument. We’re seeing people change genders every day, in every single male-dominated-profession we see women levels increasing (thanks to ridiculous quota in some though), there isn’t passing a day or another movement for equality rises, men are getting fired for wearing ‘offensive’ t-shirts, men are nearly getting exiled for having a different opinion, it is socially acceptable to yell ‘woman are the future’ at national prize awarding shows and there’s men applauding that, Oprah can be as hypocrite as she wants and there’s still a massive support for her, almost everywhere there’s a quota or movement to get more women in whatever. If I was a women and whether or not I’m a feminist I’d feel more supported than ever by whatever weird choices I would take by society. I am convinced a strong woman with a passion for motorsport would find no hinder whatsoever to get through the ranks if she were to have the talent, in essence what also applies for a man.

        1. @FlatSix I agree with you that there will always be rebels, who swim against the tide and succeed. Michele Mouton and Jutta Kleinschmidt are examples of that. However, most girls, who might have the potential, will not even try if car racing is perceived as ‘a man’s business’.

          As for feminism and human rights movements, one can make a mockery of anything by taking things too far and certain activists indeed do that. I think that one’s views on these issues depend on their own personal experiences. If you live in, let us say, London or New York, and probably also spend a lot of time on the social media, then you might get the impression that the world will turn agender any time and that men will soon be put into prison for smiling at women. I live in the Eastern Europe, which is still a conservative society where trans rights and same-sex marriage are treated the same way as the idea of Formula E would be seen in the 1990s. When I spend my holidays in Switzerland or southern Germany, not much seems to be different. I believe that the largest part of the world still has a long way to go when it comes to equal rights for everyone.

        2. @flatsix I don’t think ‘there should be females in F1’ but more ‘there could be females in F1’. Nobody wants undeserving people in f1 cars.

      2. Expecting equality of outcome in a outlier domain is the problem.

        Most boys don’t race go karts. Of the millions of boys in the UK, a tiny percentage race go karts. It’s not a typical activity for anyone, boy or girl.

        So while males and females are more similar than they are different on average, there is more variation within males than females, and that’s universal across culture and even species.

        So while it’s normal to expect more even distributions of males and females within more normal domains, within outlier domains like being a race car driver it’s logical to find a higher percentage are male than female. Being a racing driver is not a representative domain to judge behaviors.

        1. @philipgb To be honest, I am struggling to get the concept but maybe it is just me. I might agree with that explanation if we were talking about some exceptional activity, such as space diving, which requires extraordinary physical requirements. But I do not believe that go-karting lessons for kids are such an activity.

          1. In what way is go-karting not an exceptional activity? For most other sports (or “conventional domain” as philipgb mentions) one can participate in them at school or do aspects of them on the street, in a local park or in a garden all at very little expense; think football, rugby, cricket, basketball, netball; even tennis and badminton. For most of those, you need a ball and a bit of space to play casually and I’d wager that all those sports have higher levels of women participation.
            “Playing casually” with a go-kart is a whole different game, you need a go kart for starters, not exactly cheap and then fuel on top. Then you’ll need a very large space or a track, which (when compared to football pitches and gyms) are in pretty short supply; you certainly couldn’t do it on a school playground as part of PE…

          2. Perhaps karting, for whatever reason, is a sport that appeals to young boys more so than young girls, and as a result to figures represent this?

            There is no right or wrong here in terms of outcome, the right or wrong is opportunity; are young girls prevented (directly or indirectly) from taking part? First we need to identify whether a problem exists (not being a 50/50 mix is not in itself a ‘problem’) – it is dependent on the factors that cause such a disparity (i.e. naturally occurring or manufactured due to societal and/or cultural influences).

          3. @girts

            It’s not a conventional activity that many kids actually do, I don’t mean have the ability to do.

            It’s an activity that a very small minority of people pursue as anything more than a casual activity, especially for children. And when you have an activity that doesn’t draw in a large proportion of the population, owing to the tendency for there to be more deviation from the mean in male populations of any culture or species it stands to reason that a relatively obscure activity like go-karting has a larger number of males taking part.

      3. Women are underrepresented in motoring generally, they’re just not generally as interested in cars or engineering.

    4. @lotus49, I don’t like Guardian’s Motorsports coverage any more than you do, but….
      It seems like the quote you’re referring to, was preceded by the following:

      And perhaps there might even be a rethink, now he’s made clear – at least, to anyone unversed in the sport – how critical they were to its operation. “They were necessary really,” Ecclestone said, “because when the team driver wants to get on to the grid, it’s much better and easier for them to know their place where they need to stop.” It’s just a guess, but for some F1 historians, this is presumably a bit of a Rosalind Franklin moment.

      Big articles are quite boring to read.

    5. All cursive from now on @keithcollantine?

      1. @flatsix @keithcollantine Because the influence of Italia in Formula 1 is diminishing, F1Fanatic decided to go with Italic instead.

      2. Ah! All italics hurts my head!

    6. make that 9 different winners in the past 10 years.
      But I don’t think an NFL payment structure is correct if the 2017 winner sits somewhere in the middle of the earners list.

    7. George Orwell said of socialists: “Socialists don’t care about the poor, they just hate the rich.”

      And I think there’s nothing they hate more than the social mobility of people who don’t adhere to their principles. A working class person going through university and making good of themselves is fine because they’ve likely mingled and picked up enough of the acceptable traits along the way. But there is a bitter resentment they have towards sports stars and models who achieve high status while not being indoctrinated into middle-class behaviour.

      The grid girl issue wasn’t anything to do with progress, there won’t suddenly be 10 female drivers on the grid or any more female team bosses as a result of this. It reminds me of when Emma Watson took flack for daring to not be ashamed of her attractiveness:

      “Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my **** have to do with it. It’s very confusing.”

    8. Looks like someone forgot a closing in the COTD!

      1. A closing italics/emphasis tag!

    9. Although Ocon is a Mercedes-backed driver, it’s still a bit weird that a team boss can be that bothered by what’s happening in a rival team.

      1. I think it is about attitude, and being a team player.

        I’m sure many team bosses have a dim view of Speed’s actions, even if it is in a different series.

      2. @jerejj
        Would you think the same if it was Arrivabene talking about Leclerc? We know they’re both under consideration for the main team.

      3. If I am not mistaken the fact that Ocon is a Mercedes driver and they pay (or rather give a reduced price on the engine) for him being there to learn, is exactly the reason why Wolf is talking about him.

        He wants him to develop further, so that he can be a valuable addition to their own F1 team when they need him @jerejj

    10. Gosh, £2.5 billion. You can live very well, I will guess, on £5 million a year. That leaves a huge surplus which actually begs to be spent on a great project of some sort. Why hoard it? You can’t take it with you when you die. Anyone who dies with cash in the bank is an idiot imho.

      1. Because they are crazy psychopaths who get off on the idea of having more power than anyone else.

      2. Simply to keep score Islander

    11. the gas-guzzling, sock-on-the-head git circus that is automotive racing

      I didn’t read the article, because paywall, but that description is hilariously accurate. ^^

    12. On the grid girl ban, I apologise in advance, but this will be sort of a rant. I think people are missing the point and the larger issue at hand. Grid girls are models whose only source of income is not just one race weekend in the entire year. The ban won’t throw them on the streets with a begging bowl; at worst, it will force them to look for an alternate career for a few weeks. If they ‘love the sport’ and want to be near it they better pay for it and come to watch it as fans. If I had the chance to be a grid model, then I’d give a leg and an arm to attend a race like that every year. They’ll be fine, so we don’t need to worry too much there. If you’re so concerned, set up a gofundme or something.
      Coming to the real point, does anyone realise what image it gives off when one of the most global sports in the world has 20 men in full Nomex suits prepare to go charging in their cars for two and a half hours while being cheered on by women, who at the end of the race line up to clap for the real sportsmen? It says that in sport, men fight and women support them. Nothing wrong with that though…in the last century. Today, with issues like #MeToo and incidents like the President’s Club dinner, it bodes really well for a sport of such a stature as Formula 1 to do away with this ancient and ridiculous practice and gives inspiration to other sports around the world. I’m an Indian, and at every IPL match, I slink away in shame when I see the scantily-clad cheerleaders dancing at every four and six and I hope the league takes a cue from F1 and follows with it.
      People like to look at this sport with rose tinted eyes and with stories of “James Hunt and his naked models”, but I really do not want to see Lewis Hamilton gallivanting around the grid with three models by his side to cheer him on. It’s a new world, and I’m glad F1 is moving on with the times.

    13. Interesting that the three big F1 name defenders of the grid girls practice are Bernie, Jackie and Niki. Interesting in that they do not grasp the concept of treating women as equals rather than objects is a more welcoming attitude for F1, and for all institutions really.

      Can’t just blame it on age, I’m somewhat old too, but not quite as old as them, and I don’t believe as they do. Plus, there are plenty of younger men who believe the objectification of women is the way to go.

      Quite frankly there still is an ongoing struggle for equal rights for women, and minorities, around the world. It’s more difficult to see if you are not a woman or a minority.

    14. This year Ocon needs to be blowing Perez away if he wants to progress and not be left behind. Kid has good speed an consistency, but how much speed im yet to be convinced

    15. Caption. Let’s keep mocking Rosberg for having his family sponsor his early career whereby the other kid is the sponsors dream for one of the biggest car makers ever since age 13… I’m sure Hamilton must’ve had some trouble getting his karting budget but I’m sure Rosberg didn’t want to race opel engine in f3 but had not enough support to do otherwise, maybe that’s why he changed flags.

      1. And then implying Rosberg didn’t win fair and square? The cheek of it. Tut tut.

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