Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Hungaroring, 2021

Spotter would have given us an advantage in Hungary – Gasly

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In the round-up: Pierre Gasly says teams missed a trick by not having anyone advise their drivers on the track conditions before the restart at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

In brief

Hungary tyre choice was “very obvious” – Gasly

Gasly believes drivers missed an opportunity by heading out to restart the Hungarian Grand Prix on intermediate tyres. All the drivers bar Lewis Hamilton immediately came in to switch to slicks, but Gasly said they should have realised before leaving the pits that intermediates were the wrong rubber.

“It was very, very obvious because the track is very dark so as soon as the sun [comes] out, it dries very fast.

“Actually it’s maybe something where we should have risked to go outside with the medium [slick]. When everybody boxed, we should have taken the start with the medium.”

In other series teams have used ‘spotters’ to advise their drivers on changes in track conditions and other incidents around the circuit.

“It’s something we need to do better,” Gasly continued. “If we had a spotter around the track, someone would have told us the track is completely dry. It was completely dry, so I’m surprised no one did it but it was a very obvious choice.”

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Comment of the day

Compensation for crash damage doesn’t strike Rowmk9 as a good idea:

Its a tricky subject because if you start getting guilty parties to pay for damages, we’ll see lots of excruciating court cases between teams trying to contest or overturn decisions of blame, as millions will be at stake. I don’t want to see F1 turn into the World Insurance Championship please.

At the other end of it, the cost of damages when you’re not at fault does seem like an unfair burden, so some provision should be made to allow a team to repair/replace damaged parts without going over budget or gaining an advantage (replacing a broken old spec wing for a non-cost capped newer spec, for example).

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On this day in motorsport

  • 30 years ago today Ayrton Senna beat the Williams drivers to victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix

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  • 26 comments on “Spotter would have given us an advantage in Hungary – Gasly”

    1. That’s a very good point and surprising teams didn’t have track spotters spread out but maybe the heavy clamp down on limiting the amount of personnel traveling and being at the track due to Covid protocols at HUN was the reason?

      1. Martin Elliott
        11th August 2021, 1:43

        Not just COVID restrictions. Staffing has been limited for several seasons by FIA to reduce cost !!

        1. Good point!

          1. Pretty sure you could have some fans of either driver provide this information from around the track for free!

            1. Why rely on people when you have good remote cameras?

            2. I remember people making this suggestion after Williams started both their drivers on slicks at Monaco in ’97 during a rainstorm – ‘Why didn’t they just call someone local rather than trust their data? Anyone could have told them what it looked like around the circuit!’ – yes, ‘call’ someone local, it was a long time ago. Seemed like good advice, but some things never change.

            3. @sihrtogg

              I get your point but the problem is that you cant rely on some fans who don’t have the training and professionalisms that they need from spotters. It is literally info and opinion that effects millions of dollars.

              It sounds simply to call out a dry or wet track but there’s way more to that. I do agree that teams need to start thinking about better utilizing teams members who are at the track to help cover jobs that was cut due to the new spending budget rules.
              Ferrari, Merc and Red Bull all had to make serious cuts in personnel and slash the massive team travel costs.

      2. Spotters, not spotter.

        I seem to have heard about spotters in neighboring areas calling in if it was raining, but I guess that was a long time ago.

        As for staff, I’m sure there are several support staff available who could do the job.

    2. The Nashville coverage & Racer article have me thinking again about the original Miami downtown proposal & Liberty’s potential for expansion in the USA. Indycar clumsily pulled off the major bridge street circuit concept that F1’s flirted with for a very long time – Bernie first floated the idea in Miami with Ralph Sanchez in the early ’80s (after pulling off Caesar’s Palace & Detroit while also flirting with other odd street concepts, like Flushing Meadows, before landing Phoenix). Granted, an F1 venture would have massively more money toward infrastructure to pull off a better circuit than Indycar has in Nashville, but Liberty’s original Miami route featured a similar length & width of bridge. And the return route from Dodge Island featured a hairpin that’s slightly tighter than Montreal’s L’Epingle. It also ran over tram tracks (twice) and total length was similar to Bahrain’s outer circuit. How serious was Liberty about staging this venue? Given the available space & relatively nice layout Apex have designed at Hard Rock stadium, the only reason I can see to first attempt downtown was to save a little money for Stephen Ross personally – I hope I’ve got that wrong.

      Liberty want a third race in the USA & another street circuit seems likely. Las Vegas is always mooted, of course, but with the presence of Stan Kroenke I think it might just happen. I’ve read that Tilke has a possible layout ready for proposal. Vegas has a few points along the strip that seem viable (Convention Center, for example), just hoping for another Baku and not another ‘radical’ concept jammed into place for the sake of having one in that particular city.

      Also makes me wonder again about the viability of F1 racing at Zandvoort in Liberty’s (obviously very justified) push to get Verstappen a home race after failing to secure a new street race there as well. These cars driving that circuit in anger will be incredible, but is Liberty overzealous in getting these new venues pushed into the calendar? Can’t wait to see how this one turns out!

      1. LV has been mentioned several times over the years, but nothing concrete has ever come true, so I have my doubts.
        What does Stan Kroenke, a name I had never been aware of before, has to do with this matter?
        Furthermore, I haven’t read/heard of any specific 3rd race mention, only about US expansion in general, although two in one season (except last season with Italy) is enough.
        Neither have I read or heard anything of an NL street race before Zandvoort joining. Nothing was reported anywhere since 2017 when LM took over, or at least I don’t recall.

        1. Also Streetraces are banned for motorsport for the cities. FE is the only motorsport possible to held in a citycentre.

          Only TT assen was in the picture before Zandvoort was selected.

        2. @jerejj – Most of my sources come from this website. For example, serious attempts at a Rotterdam street circuit were reported by Keith Collantine & Dieter Rencken here on 13th September, 2018 – you posted the very first comment.

    3. Gasly has an interesting point. He’s also right that in hindsight, leaving the pit lane on slick tyres rather than inters would’ve been a good move, although every remaining runner should’ve done the same. Maybe next time should a similar situation arise.

      I wholly agree with COTD, things could/would become messy in the long-term, so better avoid this route.

      AutoBild: Seb is under contract and Lance is guaranteed as long as Lawrence is in charge, so nothing to confirm for next season.
      I doubt JV’s prediction would come true. Since Russell’s Mercedes move is effectively all but confirmed, Bottas to either Williams or Alfa Romeo.

      NU: I also hope Hamilton won’t get bad treatment because of the Silverstone collision.

    4. Does Ralf Schumacher think the Imola crash was 100% a racing incident?

    5. I played some kind of olympics themed game a few times on C64. I think it was Epyx Summer Games (1984). Given the year of creation and the hardware, the whole thing seemed to be shockingly good (agile use of those few pixels and colors, nice sound, nice animation). It can be played with multiple players with hot seat mode iirc.
      Although this current game is quite good as well, by the looks it is better than I expected. I guess the multiplayer mode can be funny.

      1. This “Caveman Ugh-lympics” (C64, 1988, EA) seems to be a funny idea too, apart from they tried to use many and vivid colors, and it seems more cluttered partially because of this.

        Although one of my favorite oldies is the “Ugh!”, from 1992. In this title you are air-taxiing at the prehistoric age, with a helicopter made of a wooden cage, and palm leafs as a rotor :) It is made for multiple platforms, uses the colors and pixels very well, and has a very challenging but well done game mechanics, nice music, offers challenge for long days or months. And it is an astonishingly small game, less than a half megabytes :) Likely can be found on oldie game sites, some of those even offering emulators to run it in a browser, but luckily I stil have it :)

    6. Spotters aren’t like the 5 start lights. They’re delayed. Gasly’s spotter saves him but the guy behind smashes him. Its just part of first lap racing. This is why you practice reaction time Pierre.

      1. @fletch He referred to track conditions, not avoiding hits. My initial thought too.

        1. Yeah he wanted to know track conditions prior to lining up on the grid so that he could choose the correct tyres. That would have saved having to pit for slicks and people would not then have been out of position due to having to avoid unsafe rlease with everyone coming in at the same time.

    7. Dutch Grand Prix promoter and Former F1 driver Jan Lammers has urged fans attending the race to show sportsmanship and hospitality towards Lewis Hamilton after he was booed by spectators at the Hungaroring.

      I had more the feeling that the home public was booing because of his pro LBT sayings. As HUngary is the same as the most eastern countries LBT people are forbidden to act themself.

      1. @macleod

        As Hungary is the same as the most eastern countries LBT people are forbidden to act themself.

        Actually, this is not true at all. In fact, the laws regarding homosexual behaviour have been historically more relaxed in the east (I am talking post WW2) than, say, in the UK. For instance, the sad story of Turing wouldn’t have happened in Hungary.
        For the past at least 20 years, gays and lesbians are living as they wish without intereference, as I know not from the knowledge of local laws and life, but also from personal experience, having two gays as relatives. The main difference compared to the current west is that majority of LGB people do not feel the need to actually gain advantages by calling public attention to them being LGB, they simply prefer to be treated as anyone else.
        The same is true for Hungary. The law for which it is being chastised does not restrict gay lifestyles at all, because it does not addresses this at all. Its major point is that it does not allow for propaganda at school and media. Now granted, this is controversial, but it is definitely on a different level compared to the stories that are circulating in western media and pushed by some EU politicians, or by misinformed posts like yours.

        1. Maybe in the past what you said was true but the lasy few years not really but i must not compare all countries. I was more talking about Poland and Russia and Hungary wasn’t on my mind untill people were reporting on that law.

          Its major point is that it does not allow for propaganda at school and media. Now granted, this is controversial, but it is definitely on a different level compared to the stories that are circulating in western media and pushed by some EU politicians, or by misinformed posts like yours.

          Not allow for propaganda means? My post is a bit harsh but was i really misinformed? If you can not talk about it on school where are you going to get informed? I hope not on the streets, also not by family or churches. Media would be a good second for information but that seems also forbidden but good luck with that Internet never get blocked by goverments. This are the first steps for serious stuff coming.

          But I had it over the Booed of Lewis that wasn’t the Dutch fans but more the homecrowd.

    8. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I read, ‘Spotter would have given us an advantage in Hungary – Gasly’ as in how Indycar has ‘spotters’ at ovals. And somehow having one going into turn one would have helped with the Bottas / Stroll kamikaze’s, I was dismissive thinking no spotter / driver could work that quickly.

      I do feel a bit stupid.

    9. All that is about to be said is in a humorous and light note so I wouldrequest to just enjoy the satire and save the bashing :P

      To solve the spotter problem, If there were grid girls, we would have two for each team, who can then chose to sit in the extreme ends of the circuit to spot for wet or dry track in case of rain. This kill many birds with one stone like Inclusivity and diversity, we can even have L grid girls just to get it right (and probably defend the sex symbol debates as they won’t be getting any D , that is, if they are not B, or if all drivers are G or Q or T or F The Rainbow kinda M).
      In any case there would be precise spotting for wet/dry conditions under experienced experts.

      1. Heaven forbit that idea. All we need is to give the TV production coordinators more eye-candy to focus the cameras on while there is racing on track.
        It is bad enough with the current staff and hangers-on restrictions that the producers still find focus points during the on-track action. They need time slots for C Horner’s twitchy feet and A Newey’s hair-cut (a cheap copy of mine).

      2. @nimba hard to enjoy when it’s hardly satire and less than funny. It was good that you provided the warning… but if you already feel that a comment necessitates a warning, then you’re probably already aware it’s bad-taste and probably not needed.

    Comments are closed.