Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Ferrari’s IndyCar interest “tells you how far the series has come” – Penske boss

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Ferrari’s interest in entering IndyCar shows how much progress the American single-seater series has made, according Penske team president Tim Cindric.

What they say

Cindric commented on Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto’s remarks the Scuderia could expand into IndyCar as a result of F1’s budget cap.

I think it’s really encouraging to hear that a manufacturer like Ferrari might be interested in the series itself. It tells you how far the series has come in a very short period of time here, and I think if we can get back on track, a lot of those things are going to be pretty exciting.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Kenny is concerned F1 is returning to racing too soon:

F1 is in denial about this decision to begin racing in July. Example: If one person tests positive and is quarantined, what about the other people that this asymptomatic person has already been in close contact with? One contagious person could infect many others and so on. They haven’t addressed this obvious question.

They say they won’t cancel racing if one person tests positive – so just how many will need to test positive before they cancel? The’re afraid to address that because they don’t want to face that question.

Look, I’d love to see racing begin but they are playing with peoples lives here by starting at this time. I think it’s too early. I guess everyone that participates is agreeing to the risks but employees will tend to go along with it to keep their jobs. It’s up to management to make the responsible decisions.
Kenny Schachat (@partofthepuzzle)

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On this day in F1

  • 20 years ago today David Coulthard won the Monaco Grand Prix. The race had to be red-flagged and restarted after a multi-car collision on the first lap.

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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28 comments on “Ferrari’s IndyCar interest “tells you how far the series has come” – Penske boss”

  1. pastaman (@)
    4th June 2020, 0:34

    Can’t a person speak out about a single cause without having to speak out about every single injustice in the entire world? Stop punishing people for doing the right thing.

    1. Especially the one he know a lot about.

      1. Especially the one he know a lot about.

        On reddit, I saw a photo highlighting what Hamilton faced publicly in F1: ̶f̶a̶n̶s̶ racists in blackface with offensive banners/messages at a race in 2007. It really drove home how he has faced (and possibly continues to face) racism due to his skin colour even through his evolving career, and I can fully understand how he can relate in a large manner to the protests in the US. I originally had mixed opinions about how he called out the F1 community, but that photo set me straight.

        What the Times has called him out for is something he might not relate to without having first-hand experience, so him speaking out against it will likely be no different than any other celebrity who has a cause they champion. If he does pick it up, that’s fine and good of him, but if he doesn’t, that’s perfectly alright.

        Anyone who is asking why Hamilton isn’t espousing some other cause has to realize that they’re engaging in the logical fallacy of whataboutism. It just goes to show that they don’t like what Hamilton is doing, but cannot muster up a meaningful – or publicly acceptable – argument, and take refuge in this manner of argument.

        There’s millions of things wrong with this world. One individual cannot address or tackle them all. But if the billions of us can start actually doing things instead of merely trying to drag other doers down to our level… utopia.

        1. Yep I was refreshing my memory about Spain 2007/8, Interesting that AFAIK ?? his ex ‘teammate’ from that country has said nothing.
          We do what we can, Lewis has the bully pulpit and it warms the cockles of my heart to see he’s using it for good..and change.

    2. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
      4th June 2020, 3:50

      Can’t a person speak out about a single cause without having to speak out about every single injustice in the entire world?

      Yes, of course they can. But Hamilton didn’t just speak out. He also called out his fellow drivers. And now, The Times has called him out (I assume that’s what you’re referring to). What goes around …

      1. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
        4th June 2020, 3:59

        For the record, I’m not saying Hamilton was necessarily wrong in calling out his fellow drivers. Judging by how their statements have been received by the public, it may well be one of the best things Hamilton ever did outside of the race track.

        But he did kinda set himself up for others doing the same thing to him. It will be interesting to see how (and, indeed, if) he responds.

  2. Pretty quaint to imagine Ferrari landing a team on Indycar.
    Ferrari as an engine provider, maybe.
    A indycar budget may not even cover what Ferrari spends on espressos.

    1. Ferrari happily built an engine for the second generation A1GP car without much fanfare. Likewise there was the Ferrari 333SP that raced in the 90’s in IMSA (did Dallara build the chassis?).

      1. Not George, strictly speaking, the engine that was used in the A1GP car wasn’t a bespoke engine built for that series, but a modified version of the F136 road car engine that was produced as a joint venture between Ferrari and Maserati – that’s part of the reason why there wasn’t a huge amount of fanfare about it.

  3. They need to find work for a lot of employees.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      5th June 2020, 9:03

      @jt1234 Exactly. I’m sure they will be looking into Le Mans, Formule E and apparently even IndyCar.

      Trouble with IndyCar and Formula E would be that they are largely spec series. For IndyCar They could bring an engine perhaps, but does that help putting all those fired F1 chassis designers at work?

  4. Re COTD.
    As I understand it, the smallest a “sandbox” can be is “the team”, which I think too big. So when an infected person is discovered the whole team withdraws. Really, a team should be able to split into at a minimum 2 sandboxes, so if an infected person is found that half of the team withdraws, so 1 car is withdrawn as well (1 driver per sandbox). I think a better option is to have 3 or 4 sandboxes per team, with a driver or reserve driver in each sandbox, so if an infected person is discovered then there’s the potential that both cars can race, although maybe not with the contracted driver.
    There’s also a question of what happens with one of the support races. Unfortunately, and I just don’t know why this is, but there’s a whole lot we aren’t being told. Presumably their team is also their smallest sandbox too, so if someone in one of those events is found to be infected then that entire team and all their cars withdraw.

  5. Hamilton right to speak out on racial injustice, says Ecclestone (AFP)
    “I pulled the race out of South Africa when there was apartheid, which was wrong and disgusting.”
    Did Bernie Ecclestone really scrap the South African Grand Prix over apartheid?

    Keith – thanks for that link to the RaceFans article “Did Bernie really scrap” :)

    When I read the headline and excerpt, my first thought was to come down to the comments and ask for those who know the history (Dieter, anon, etc.) for some context, but that has been adequately answered by your article.

    1. @phylyp i had the same question as you and correct me if i’m wrong but…
      Apartheid lasted from before 1900 until the early 90s, it didn’t appear just only in 1985 and then stopped after F1 refused to race in South Africa.
      Didn’t Ecclestone took over F1 in the late 70s?
      We had races in South Africa almost every year from 1962 to 1985, all of them well in the apartheid years and at least 5 and maybe more since Bernie took over.
      Something doesn’t add up…

      Also it’s a lot hypocritical that Ecclestone of all people speaks up against discrimination, the same guy who if he could have his way, would stage an entire calendar in countries with terrible human rights records.

      1. Apartheid started (i.e. official racism, rather than the previous unofficial) in 1948 because the fathers of the nation decided it was in the best interests for the African population.

        The All Blacks took a load of abuse for playing in 1970 (I think). Bernie didn’t officially take over the commercial rights until after the SA race ended, but as boss of FOCA he could have done something sooner. The 1982 drivers “strike” was over super-licenses e.g. their wallets rather than the human rights abuses (read about Steve Biko for example for similarities to Floyd George). I wonder when McLaren will show solidarity over human rights issues? Oh yeah, that’ll be never with Bahraini government funding.

        Anyone who says politics and sport should mix is a coward. Good for Lewis!

        1. Apologies for getting George Floyd’s name the wrong way around (due to my stupid user name).

    2. @phylyp as the article rightly noted, it was really because of external pressure on the sport that the race was cancelled. Several countries were trying to prevent drivers from their homeland from competing, such as Brazil (impacting Senna and Piquet) and Sweden (Johansson), and quite a few other drivers were privately expressing their desire to boycott the race (Mansell, Lauda and Prost), although a lot of those drivers passed the buck to their teams by saying “if the teams want us to race, then we will race”.

      Asides from the threat of the TV broadcasters dropping their coverage, the boycott by Renault and Ligier, seemingly under pressure from the French government, and the allegations of heavy French political pressure on Balestre were contributing factors to the race being dropped.

      That said, to some extent Bernie’s position reflected that of a number of teams as well, as there have been allegations that some of the teams were more ambivalent about competing in South Africa than they might have been in public (indeed, if you look on the comments section of the article that Keith wrote, there is one individual, claiming to have been a former F1 team worker, who seemed to look back on racing in South Africa in that period relatively fondly ).

      Although disapproving of apartheid in private, it seems that quite a few took the attitude of “we’re contracted to race, so we will race” – and, as Keith notes in his article on the 1985 race, the South African GP was a fairly high paying race, giving the teams a strong financial interest in keeping the race going.

      As Keith notes in that same article, there were also fans who took the line that sport and politics shouldn’t mix and that F1 should ignore the external pressure on it – not the first, nor last, time that such a sentiment has been expressed.

      1. It’s worth pointing out that at the time there was a lot of disagreement about whether a sporting boycott was good tactics – not about the evilness of apartheid. It wasn’t people not caring, it was them being unconvinced about the nature of the proposed remedy.

        At this point in history, with the benefit of hindsight, it’s pretty hard to argue the sporting boycott was effective at anything except salving western consciences. It clearly had no effect on ending apartheid, and it denied us – and oppressed South Africans – such joys as seeing the all-white South African cricket team hammered by the great West Indies sides. (I’d also suggest that the absurdity of things like making Joel Garner an ‘honorary white man’ – as was proposed at one point as the way they’d get round apartheid laws for visiting teams – would have only hastened the demise of apartheid.)

        In this context it’s interesting that Bernie has made basically the same arguments for visiting countries with poor human rights records. I tend to agree. We never hear about Bahraini abuses except when F1 is in town, for example.

    3. Exactly @phylyp, that was my thought too.

      I guess we can be glad that at least by now Bernie has realised how bad Apartheid was.

  6. I don’t agree with the COTD. I don’t find next month to be too early for F1-racing to make a return. Yes, there might still be some risks involved, but I’m confident things are going to work out fine.

    1. You changed your mind all of a sudden, a few weeks back Monza in September was too soon!

    2. Mercedes doing two days protocol runs at Silverstone next week. Bot tue, Ham wed using the W09

    3. Re: COTD …. the time will never be right to keep everyone happy.
      At some point you just have to take charge and … Do It.!
      Those in the medical community are naturally biased towards holding back until absolute certainty can be achieved. I get it and appreciate their motivation, but life isn’t a certainty.
      Yes, we have no real cure, no vaccine and limited control. The same can be said about seasonal flu, which we have a vaccine for (of sorts). Still, it kills around half a million a year … every year.
      If not now, or soon, when.? The cost of not getting on with “it” is rising all the time.

  7. That article on Williams is revealing. It seems Frank, mainly, put his faith in a lot of rather unimpressive men (and Claire) over the years. The beginning of the slide began when Patrick left – I believe they really were an interdependent leadership team. Without Patrick, Frank is lacking something crucial.

    1. @frood19

      Frankly, it struck me as a misogynist casting around for flimsy excuses to attack Claire Williams for being a woman.

      There is one cause, and only one cause, for Williams’ decline: the ghost of Christmas past who haunts the factory. Whoever is in charge isn’t really in charge because Frank just won’t let go, so their position is constantly undermined. That’s no way to run anything successfully.

    2. @frood19 I found the article too superficial and vague, but it really all comes back to Frank doesn’t it. Giving up the Stroll money to keep a controlling interest when the painting was on the wall must be considered a mistake, although I also understand the pride.

      1. @balue agreed but from Frank’s viewpoint, shutting down or becoming stroll’s is the same thing, he’d be giving up the team.

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