Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, Hungaroring, 2018

Gasly expects tough races at Spa and Monza for Toro Rosso

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Pierre Gasly, who yesterday was confirmed as Red Bull’s new Formula 1 driver for 2019, expects the next two races at Spa and Monza will be difficult for Toro Rosso:

What they say

RaceFans asked Gasly whether going to Spa would be worthwhile for Toro Rosso given their power deficit:

It’s always worth it. We just need a bit of rain to make Eau Rouge a bit hard as a corner. At Spa anything can happen. Clearly it will be difficult there and Monza will be a tough one.

There are couple of places where I expect our overall performance to be better like Singapore. But I know Honda is pushing a lot, they improved a bit, they just need to improve more, and hopefully some upgrades can come quickly in the season.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Todd says IndyCar must take drastic action in response to crashes such as Robert Wickens’:

The best option for IndyCar, would be to move away from ovals completely.

Look at the attendance at Pocono from this year and previously, it was absolutely dreadful, same for Texas, Phoenix and other ovals. The only exception is Indy, for obvious reasons. I think there is a generational shift (in America) at play, where lots of younger fans simply aren’t interested in oval racing. NASCAR’s numbers are horrific and Indy’s oval numbers are struggling as well.

Simply getting rid of ovals would be an easy solution to the problem, and one that probably wouldn’t be met with much resistance, except from just a few old-guards.
Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)

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  • 34 comments on “Gasly expects tough races at Spa and Monza for Toro Rosso”

    1. I haven’t seen it mentioned on the site yet, but it seems like Force India dropped “Sahara” from their name, at least on its social media accounts. Has there been a mid-season entrant name change like this since ING left Renault in 2009?

      1. Sahara was a sponsor name, so it’s not a mid-season entrant name change.

        1. only in regard to the logo – philip morris is still a major sponsor for the team.

    2. That emotional reaction !? Could it be something to do with Blond hair?

    3. Re: CotD – IndyCar has the unique opportunity to use the infield course at some ovals to add more variety to their calendar with ovals, road courses, and mixed oval/road tracks. I personally would enjoy more road courses with some banked corners a la the F1 Indianapolis configuration or the classic Monza.

    4. Those old guards own the business and, as far as i know, also own a whole lot of tracks… Money runs the business, even more so at America, so no chance they’ll move away from ovals. I wish, however, that they improved the safety of the tracks in a drastic manner, like they did post Dale Sr

      1. Money does run the business, but not in that way—IndyCar’s oval races are usually money losers for tracks and few can afford the series’ sanction fees. IndyCar is always struggling to retain oval races and often has to promote their own races or waive the fees. There is perennial concern that ovals will fall off the calendar not through any safety issues but because IndyCar can’t get fans to come out to them (though it seems that Iowa and Texas are stable for now, and Gateway’s robust crowd was a pleasant surprise last year).

    5. Say what you will about Hamilton, he sparks an emotional reaction whereas the likes of Nico Rosberg or Sebastian Vettel do not.

      Should spend a bit more time in racefans.net that would change his mind

      1. Would it ? Hamilton leaving would be a tragedy. Even for those who don’t like him

        1. @tango I think @johnmilk) meant that Vettel and Rosberg have and do spark an emotional response in these parts of the web.

          1. Oh I see @tonyyeb . Then I do agree but then we have to remember that this is a fanatics’ forum. We would talk in details about something Paddy Lowe said. But then, we care about who Paddy Lose is. Nobody else does, really.

    6. Having a few character building years at Ferrari have made him more rounded

      Having supported him since his Monza win in 2008, I wonder just how true this might be. The top memories I have of him at Ferrari are mostly negative ones – his potty-mouthed tirade against Charlie in Mexico, his red mist at Baku. And that’s not counting some significant driving errors which could have been attributed to the exuberance/aggression of youth, if he were younger.

      1. I’m guessing that becoming a father has far, far more to do with his character change than switching teams.

        1. @grippgoat I haven’t really noticed there been a change in his character since early-2014 (when he first became a father) compared to how it was before that. I don’t find him being too different these days Vs., earlier in his career.

      2. did you watch this year? lots of great aggression getting past rosberg in Silverstone and Hamilton in Austria, also many great drives and pole laps.

        1. lots of great aggression getting past rosberg in Silverstone and Hamilton in Austria, also many great drives and pole laps.

          I’m not sure his pass on Hamilton was all that special and when did he pass Rosberg? While Rosberg was in the pitlane presenting for Sky F1?

      3. I get that but feel that is a pretty unfair assessment. All in all, Vettel has done very very well at Ferrari; but he isn’t the type to promote this, actually he always finds flaws in himself, even in front of the camera. But doing what he has done at Ferrari is pretty exceptional.

    7. “My new car will be nailed to the floor! Who cares how I do here?”

    8. CotD
      I’m not part of the old guard… A relative newcomer to IndyCar after years of F1 boredom…
      I much prefer the oval races to the street circuits… but they have some good tracks as well.

      This year I was almost becoming a Wickens-fosi… so I’m saddened by this event, and hope something can be done to help avoid anything similar in future… BUT… I don’t think the accident was 100% caused by the wire-mesh… and I don’t think the wire-mesh causes the low viewing figures at the ovals…
      I have heard ALL IndyCar races have low viewing figures, along with many other motor-racing formulae… and, indeed, along with many other sports…

      I don’t think this issue is as simple as Paul Tracey, in his infinite (and one-sided) wisdom proclaims.

      1. Same, I’m a relatively young Indycar fan and have been watching for only 3-4 years but I hope they don’t move away from ovals. They make the championship so unique, there’s really nothing else that requires versatility like Indycar’s mix of road courses, punishing street tracks (proper street tracks, mind), short ovals and superspeedways.

        And yes there are some boring oval races, like this weekend after all the enthusiasm was sucked out of the race. But they also lead to some of the most spectacular racing I have ever seen in 10+ years of watching motorsport. And dropping the Indy 500? No way.

        Let’s not forget that Dario Franchitti’s ferocious, career-ending crash was on a street course, so there will always be a danger. Indycar are constantly pushing safety forwards with both the cars and the circuit facilities – in many ways they are steps ahead of F1 with their permanent safety/medical crews and the medical facilities available at the speedways. I’m sure there is more that can be done on the catch fencing, personally I think raising the armco barrier by a couple of feet would do a lot and maybe even simply tightening the actual mesh so that the actual posts aren’t so exposed would help.

        I’m really hoping that Wickens is able to make a full recovery and can get back to where he belongs – setting Indycar alight.

        1. I’ve never been to an oval race and hardly ever watch it. What is so special about an oval that it adds to the mix (serious question). I always saw oval races more as a funfair attraction (like the motorbikes in a barrel) with the only attraction that all spectators can see the whole course and guaranteed to cause spectacular accidents.

          PS intriguing username @graham228221, took me some time to decypher it. You must be born on an overnight flight between Europe and the US on 2 feb 1982 in Europe and ‘82 feb 1st still in the US.

          1. @coldfly Feel the same. Watched Indycar for a couple of seasons and thought it would be my second sport to follow, but had to give up due to the dreary ovals and yellow flag fakery.

            Of course I’ll watch again now that Alonso will go there, but hope they will drop a few ovals.

          2. haha @coldfly not quite – i was once registering for an email address and it was one of the suggestions when I put my name in, kinda liked it.

            it’s just a unique spectacle – even the most boring oval race is still quite astonishing to watch because of the speeds, the commitment and how damn close the cars get throughout the race. it does feel like a throwback to a bygone era, where motorsport really did require balls of steel, but that’s no bad thing when F1 is so sterilised and corporate.

            Alex Rossi brilliantly explains the challenges of oval racing here: https://racer.com/2017/07/09/rossi-the-mysterious-art-of-oval-racing/

      2. it usually seems F1 fans are the ones that want to get rid of ovals after an accident – usually f1 fans that do not watch indycar., yet F1s best driver is moving away from F1 to win on an indycar oval. I like F1 and Indycar. I have always preferred Indycars competitiveness and the ovals are a unique spectacle, fastest lap average speeds in the world.

    9. Simply getting rid of ovals would be an easy solution to the problem, and one that probably wouldn’t be met with much resistance, except from just a few old-guards.

      which is exactly why CART won out vs IRL.

      1. Rubbish, CART won it because it was a higher level series, more popular teams, and drivers, more advanced cars. CART at that time was a real alternative to F1 as the best open wheel racing series in the world. IRL was a stupid protest series. CART had lots of ovals at the time too and produced amazing races like Michigan 500 in 2000, and CART drivers all wanted to do the INDY500 even though it was in IRL, and many entered, ie Montoya who won it in 2000 as a CART driver.

    10. Couldn’t disagree more with COTD. Yes of course, lets just sack off the Indy 500.
      6 from 17 races are ovals this season. I like the mix between ovals, road course and street course. Its the most varied caldendar of any top line motorsport.

      Saying “probably wouldn’t be met with much resistance, except from just a few old-guards.”
      Is as daft as simply saying, “F1 should go closed cockpit and this probably wouldn’t be met with much resistance, except from just a few old-guards.”

      1. comment of the day.

        1. What he said…! (i.e. kpcart)

    11. What amuses me and speaks volumes for oval racing is the highlights footage for the Pocono race which says it is the best bits in under 5 minutes. The video is actually less than three minutes long including the end of race celebrations. They couldn’t find enough stuff to pad out the 5 minutes! And after the crash at the start the next highlight was lap 173 or something.

      1. kinda like many processional f1 races eh? how many non drs overtakes does f1 have per race? 5 or less usually. how many f1 drivers are able to fight for pole every race? 2 or 3? nice way for you to pick one race and bash the series just because an accident is in the news.

        1. At the risk of becoming a ‘kpcart’ groupie, can I add that YouTube shows F1 GP highlights… and they’re all about 6-7 minutes… No wonder so few potential newcomers find this enough to turn them on…

          Maybe a few turn on… but not many tune in… and the rest drop out. I can’t help thinking that nobody is likely to pay in order to be introduced to F1 – the first gambit has to be free… and longer than 45 minutes.

    12. Yes, both Spa, and Monza could be challenging for Toro Rosso given their power-deficit, but the same to a certain extent applies to Mclaren, and even Red Bull as well, although it’s possible to try to minimize at least some of it by playing with the rear wing configuration as much as possible to reduce drag on the straights.

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