Piastri missing out on 2023 F1 seat would be an “injustice” – Ilott

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In the round-up: Callum Ilott says Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri must land a Formula 1 seat next year having been overlooked for promotion in 2022.

In brief

Ilott: Piastri must get F1 chance in 2023

Former F2 driver Ilott said IndyCar is a “new start” for him after failing to win promotion to F1 himself. However he feels strongly that Piastri, who won the F2 title as a rookie next year, must not be passed over for promotion.

“You always believe that that’s not going to happen to you and at the end of the day, it does,” said Ilott. “Life’s like that.”

However he said his situation is not the same as Piastri’s. “It’s a bit different in the sense that there wasn’t availability for the support package that he had for this year. So I wasn’t surprised, in that sense [that he wasn’t promoted].

“What would be a surprise if at the end of this year if he didn’t have a seat for the following year. Because you can have a year off as we’ve seen with many drivers, but if he doesn’t get one at the end of the end of the year, I’ll be very surprised and that will be an injustice to junior formula and the single seater ladder that we have.”

Callum Ilott, Juncos Hollinger, IndyCar, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2021
Ilott has committed to IndyCar for 2022
However Ilott acknowledge there is a shortage of spaces in F1 for talented drivers emerging from F2. “It’s 20 seats and most of them are filled by the guys who have proven and earned that seat for a long time,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s expensive for the teams, it’s expensive for the sponsors and you’ve got to fit into that package. And unfortunately, it doesn’t always work.”

Bird signs multi-year contract with Jaguar

Sam Bird has extended his time with Jaguar with a new three-year contract which will see him remain with the team into the arrival of Formula E’s ‘Gen3’ era in 2023. Bird is one of two drivers to have competed in every single Formula E race (the other is Lucas di Grassi) and the only one to have won a race in all seven previous seasons, having competed until 2021 with the then-Virgin team.

Bird moved to Jaguar last season and was able to match dominant team mate Mitch Evans, winning races in Diriyah and New York.

F1 sprint race sponsor ‘hit by cryptocurrency theft’

F1’s sprint race sponsor Crypto.com had $15 million worth of cryptocurrency Ethereum stolen from it, which is now being laundered through another Ethereum-based technology which ‘mixes’ the cryptocurrency to make it untraceable, specialist site CoinDesk reported.

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Comment of the day

Formula E is introducing a new qualifying format to try to make the way it sets a grid fairer; Brian suggests maybe it could be an option to shake up Friday qualifying for sprint events.

Hats off to them here. Whatever about the quality of the racing or the cars, I really like the sound of this qualifying format. It might sound a little complicated on paper, but I think in practice it’ll work really well. Not that I’d like to see it replace F1 qualifying outright, but it might be fun to see it as the Friday qualifying for Saturday sprint races.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Cathal, Explosiva, Qazuhb, The_Sigman, Charlie and Fikri!

On this day in motorsport

Mika Salo, Tyrrell, 1997
  • 25 years ago today Tyrrell launched the 025, which was raced by Mika Salo and Jos Verstappen that year, and delivered the team’s final points scoring finish when Salo ran non-stop to fifth place in the Monaco Grand Prix


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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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19 comments on “Piastri missing out on 2023 F1 seat would be an “injustice” – Ilott”

  1. I agree with COTD, it sounds interesting and should not be overly complex in practice. Looking forward to seeing how it pans out.

    A one-on-one ‘duel’ format with progressive finals through to a final two drivers is something that F1 should consider for Monaco. That’s the one circuit where qualifying could be staged as an outlier and go radical.

  2. The new Formula E qualifying system sounds very similar to what Superleague Formula used to do and that was awful.

    To me it just sounds overly complex & convoluted.

    You shouldn’t need to read something a few times to be able to understand a qualifying format & if someone like me who’s been watching for a few decades and is fairly knowledgeable about things like this s finding it a bit confusing how are the newer, more casual viewers meant to follow it?

    The old Format was awful, This just sounds bad in a different way due to how complex it seems.

    Formula E needs to attract viewers because it needs to start to grow. Potentially confusing & turning people off due to them not getting the qualifying format isn’t going to help them.

    1. To me it just sounds overly complex & convoluted.

      I only read it now and it seems very simple to me.
      It’s the same as many other sports; starting with a group stage and then a head-to-head finals stage.

      But maybe I totally misunderstood it and it IS indeed ’complex & convoluted’.

  3. Too late to state the obvious, Mr. Tavares. Now that the harm has been done it’s just a matter of time for the next trending hit on environmental plans to save the world.

    1. It’s curious to read that statement in its full and reflect on his thinking there @niefer. I really am not so sure what “easier” ways he imagines – unless he would be serious about making a massive push to seriously decrease reliance on private vehicles and a push towards public transport to replace that, but I doubt that would get a car manufacturer on board! Maybe immediately putting VAT on airline fuel and stop the current deals where flying across the continent can be cheaper than getting in a train to a city 100 km away in many countries? That wouldn’t affect cars much so maybe that is it?

      Why curious? Because that 2035 limit was almost certainly also discussed with car manufacturers – for them a ban with a timeline is FAR better than leaving it up to the individual companies. If it was left up to the companies, most of them would have to still put some capacity into research and development of ICE engines, since there would be a risk of a competitor (say a Dacia, or heck why not a cheap Indian or Chinese competitor) coming in and competing for car sales with a dirt cheap ICE variant to the bigger brands still expensive EV stuff in the next few decades.
      Having this clear timeline is much alike F1 limiting use of expensive materials, development segways for alternative configurations of the powertrain etc. in that takes away some of the risk of betting on the wrong horse and spending huge money on it, since everyone will have to go down that same line.

      Sure, no guarantees that it was the best, or even a good path, but at least they are all in the same boat. And they will learn the same lessons and this will mean that in 5 years battery EVs will become a really good, and possibly not even too expensive product.

      1. @bascb it has also been noted that several of the companies within the Stellantis group had been devoting relatively limited amounts of their budget to R&D, particularly when it came to electric vehicles, with several of them lagging behind in that technology – the marques under the FCA side of Stellantis were particularly criticised by investors for chronic underinvestment in new technologies in the past.

        We therefore need to take into account the self-serving element of Tavares’s statements – he has made it clear that he wants to pump up the profit margins on the cars his group sells through, in part, cutting back on costs. However, if he has to pump money into the FCA side of the business to make up for that historical underinvestment, particularly in the field of electric cars, that would be doing pretty much the exact opposite at this point in time.

        He’s complained in the past that having to invest more in electric cars mean sacrificing either profit margins or sales volumes – now, given his main selling point to investors was that he’d pushed up profit margins on cars and increased volumes, having to do something that could compromise those goals and thus bring criticism from the shareholders is not particularly attractive.

        Added to that, with rivals being better placed due to investing earlier in that field, there is a risk of Stellantis losing market share to rivals. Criticising and seeking to slow down the growth in electric car sales, therefore, would be beneficial for a company that has fallen behind in that field.

      2. Some solid points here @bascb.
        But as illustrated, some will label anything as just “the next trending hit on environmental plans to save the world”. Carlos Tavares is surfing on that wave to sell more cars without investing in a new technology.

      3. Yeah @s303, Anon, it certainly looks like Tavares’ knows how far Stellantis is behind the game with EVs and is trying to find a way out, or at least throw the blame onto someone else than himself when the company doesn’t make much headway in the following years (it almost certainly will, since it is lacking in current capacities, lacking in good stuff in the pipeline and is almost certainly not on top of the game with new developments being incubated either.)

      4. My bad, @bascb, for keeping you waiting! Haven’t logged in for some days.

        I say that’s fair enough!

        Though my parent post is less about Tavares and more about the push. I mean, an electric engine at the hands of any manufacturer can be just as dirt as an ICE whatever their motives are. Hybrid ICE with synthetic or bio-fuels, whatever, could be a decent way. But I don’t feel comfortable with bureaucrats terminally deciding about things they do not have the wisdom (and lotta times competence) to even grasp.

        A tendency is healthy, and I’m sure the majority of industry would jump boat to full electrification by their own without the help of a pen shackle, that even despite any vocal trendiness. But killing good alternatives is what really bothers me.

        For instance, I don’t know at which point Koenigsegg’s new “camshaft” R&D is at, but that with cleaner technologies could give ICE the way they needed to thrive in this new world.

        I simply can’t help to distrust imposed things by those who will profit over them.

  4. Sergey Martyn
    20th January 2022, 7:21

    Hackers. please blow that cryptosponsor to smithereens so we won’t experience these meaningless and stupid sprint “races” again!

  5. Piastri missing out on 2023 F1 seat would be an “injustice” – Ilott

    I think Nick de Vries don’t agree with that, the problem there are only 20 F1 spots and we get too many ‘young guns’ to try to fill that. I think we got too many drivers from F2 last year as we don’t have enough room in F1.

    F2 champions should get a test compairing them with their former F2 rivals and the fastest should get a seat. So you get a driver who was already in that seat and beat the newcomer or the newcomer wins and get his seat. So effective you get 1 new driver each 2 years.

    Or every driver get 2 years to promote themself to the top teams or just dropped. And this is way to brutal.

  6. he feels strongly that Piastri, who won the F2 title as a rookie [last] year, must not be passed over for promotion.

    It might help if the F2 season started and finished much earlier than the F1 season does, e.g. say it finishes just about the time F1 has their Summer break, so the season champion is able to talk with teams when they still had uncontracted seats available.

  7. Tavares overstating the case as usual for trad auto kicking and screaming their way into the 21st century 22 years late.
    US – Model Y 62.5K vs Toyota Highlander PHEV 42K – 22 grand right there.
    You can read academic papers (last one I read said breakeven at 30,000k) or stakeholder assessments but for me CO2 footprint (& all other footprints) correlates closely with the actual dollar costs (discounting subsidies), upfront and running.

  8. ChainBear just made a nice video about race direction and stewarding, that’s a top tip for the next round-up

  9. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    20th January 2022, 9:09

    Didn’t Mika Salo have front wing damage in his non-stop Monaco 97 race as well? Not that it looks like that crude front wing would help that much anyway haha.

    1. I don’t remember that. But as far as Salo damaging his front wing driving a Tyrrell in Monaco I sure remember him in the last lap pile-up in the crazy 1996 GP with Irvine and Hakkinen :))))

  10. Injustice is par for the course. Deal with it.

    1. @danmar
      He dealt with it excellently well, so I don’t know what your point is ;)

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