Zhou compromised own race to help Bottas score Mexican GP point

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In the round-up: Zhou Guanyu says he played the team game to help Alfa Romeo take a point in Mexico.

In brief

Zhou “tried to play the team game” in Mexican GP

Zhou qualified 12th and finished 13th in the Mexican Grand Prix, but his latest non-score may have proven beneficial for Alfa Romeo as team mate Valtteri Bottas scored his first point in 11 races. The rookie revealed he compromised his own race to try to support Bottas, who qualified sixth and finished tenth.

“I tried to play the team game, and I had a good stint in the mid-part with the medium,” said Zhou. “It was going well and then after I tried to give Valtteri some positions with the Alpine, which I was happy to compromise a little bit my race,” he said.

“But it was a bit frustrating in the end because I was so close to being ahead of this DRS train and unfortunately stuck behind and then it was hard to overtake them.”

He explained that Alfa Romeo “tried to use me like slowing the pack down, which makes sense waiting for maybe a Safety Car window” and he thought it was “worth a gamble” when it looked unlikely he would be finishing out of the points-paying positions anyway.

Mexican GP claims audience record

The Mexican Grand Prix promoter claimed it attracted its highest-ever attendance of 395,902 over the three-day event. A total crowd of 145,934 was recorded on Sunday alone.

Ericsson reflects on tricky start to IndyCar career

Marcus Ericsson spoke about the difficulty of moving from Formula 1 to IndyCar as he unveiled his face on the Borg-Warner Trophy, the silverware awarded to the winner of the Indianapolis 500 each year.

After five seasons in F1 with a best finish of eighth, Ericsson switched to IndyCar in 2019 and initially was also light on success. He claimed one podium in his first two seasons, won two races last year, and then was victorious in this year’s Indy 500.

“I wouldn’t say I underestimated IndyCar, but I thought I would be a bit stronger a bit earlier than I was,” he said. “My first two seasons were pretty tough, and the first year was really tough. I guess you could say the second year I thought I was sort of finding my way a little bit, but it was still a bigger challenge than I think I expected.

“But when you think about it, you’re up against guys who have been racing here for 10, 15, up to 20 years, and they know these cars and these tracks. You know naturally it’s going to take a bit of time to get on top of that.”

On his form over the past two seasons, both of which he has come sixth in, he added: “Years three and four here have been really, really strong for me, and I’ve been running up front. And this is a great series; I love it. It’s so competitive now with so many good cars and drivers, and you know every time you go out there it’s going to be a fight. I love racing in a series like that.”

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Comment of the day

Red Bull refused to speak to Sky over the Mexican Grand Prix as the team was unhappy with a broadcast segment involving voiced by Ted Kravitz which referred to Lewis Hamilton being “robbed” of the 2021 world championship.

I think the point with Ted Kravitz in particular is that it’s not the first time he has thrown shade at Red Bull. The conspiracy theory that Yuki Tsunoda’s retirement at Zandvoort was engineered to help Verstappen win – and led to abuse and threats directed at Red Bull’s chief strategist – was voiced by Kravitz early on, without evidence, in a Sky broadcast.

I don’t think it’s a Red Bull thing in particular, I think Ted just likes the drama – he was also an advocate of the equally baseless conspiracy theory that Charles Leclerc deliberately crashed in qualifying for Monaco last year to guarantee himself pole position.
Red Andy

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Narboza22, Rafael, G and Greggriffiths!

On this day in motorsport

Chico Serra, Fittipaldi, Brands Hatch, 1982
The Fittipaldi team disappeared after 1982
  • 40 years ago today Emerson Fittipaldi’s Formula 1 team Fittipaldi Automotive closed. Its cars and engines were purchased by ADA Engineering.

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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16 comments on “Zhou compromised own race to help Bottas score Mexican GP point”

  1. The times is just proving how bad today’s journalism is. No objectivity only subjectivity shoved by media as indisputable truths. Ted Kravitz like cotd suggests, likes drama, but what cotd does not say is that kravitz passes his opinions as facts, and he does this whenever he wants, these views of his are absolutely biased.

  2. Lewis Hamilton was robbed.

    Indeed. Sir Hamilton was robbed by driving into gravel and hitting a wall at Imola. By massively underperforming in Monaco. By not turning left in Baku. By having slow in-lap in France. By introducing his mightily bad set-up from the sim in Austria and damaging front wing running over kerbs. By staying on the track while every single, apparently lesser driver switched to slicks at Hungaroring. By being outqualified by Russell in his midfield Williams at Spa. By igroring his team and staying out in Turkey. By not even attempting to defend in Turn 5 at Yas Marina. Sir Lewis Hamilton was robbed, so thank you the ever impartial British media for emphasizing this fact!

    1. You don’t understand what the phrase “was robbed” means do you?

      1. I think the point is that the title wasn’t lost at that race but over a whole season. We like to point at key moments of bad luck or unjust decisions (Abu Dhabi, Silverstone accident, Hungary) but we need to look at the season as a whole. Why can’t we just conclude that Verstappen deserved the title, like Hamilton would’ve if he had won it, and move on.

        1. Yes, that is the point and I agree, I just don’t agree both deserved the title, one drove better than the other, especially early season, so on balance verstappen deserved the title. Also goes for 2022 I think, but I’m much more impressed by 2021 because of having a slightly worse car, while in 2022 the car was far better.

  3. Well we can see which way the media is spinning this.

    Also by focusing on a single comment made by Ted, rather than the multitudes of comments, snide remarks, and years of conspiracy theories invented. I am glad COTD was included, because it was looking a lot like a one-sided affair from the chosen articles and tweets.

    Holding press accountable by a boycot of them is being made as the greatest disgraceful behaviors ever. I find it to be an appropriate way to go about it. If you happen to find Ted to be in the right for making whatever “colorful” remarks he wants too, then surely there is no issue with refusing to participate in interviews with his outlet for a race?

    1. Also weird that Brundle calls for a “face to face” as the only way to settle disputes. Did Ted make these comments “face to face?” I don’t recall seeing an interview with Red Bull’s Hannah Schmitz or Christian Horner where Ted accuses them directly of orchestrating an incident with Tsunoda to take Mercedes out of contention.

      1. Kravitz didn’t accuse them directly re Tsunoda. It’s a thing he does – brings up a conspiracy theory then says it’s daft. I don’t agree with stuff like that, I’d rather silly conspiracies not get given any air time, but he doesn’t do it just against Red Bull – see COTD for another example. That time Red Bull were denied pole by what happened with Leclerc. If he was doing the Notebook in 2008 then I’m sure he would have mentioned the Glock conspiracy theory too.

        1. He literally invented this conspiracy theory, live on air, from the pit lane.

          So no, no pass on this one.

        2. He is still bringing up Glock last year so he is a kind of repeating parrot. Once it’s funny but after 4 times it gets akward.

      2. But to continue on Brundle’s quote: “we have different jobs to do”. Excellent point there, Ted Kravitz’s job isn’t to stir up any drama for one driver or team in particular. Be a professional, get over your own opinions, no matter how well they might land with your audience.

        And, with all due respect, it would be more remarkable if a British veteran F1 pundit would not have Kravitz’ back, rather than what Brundle has to say here.

  4. Using the phrase “was robbed” when referring to the events of Abu Dhabi does not suggest any wrong doing by Red Bull or Verstappen. Nor does it suggest Verstappen wasn’t equally deserving of the title over the course of the season. Nor does it take anything away from how well Verstappen drove last season.

    1. Correct but it’s how Ted said it you could hear between the lines max robes Lewis and that is what i thought when i heard him maybe for the native speakers it’s alright but for the others you understand what he meant.

    2. I can understand why RB and MV are quite done with the whole discussion. Imagine working towards a goal your whole life, finally achieving it after an intense battle with an amazingly good rival, overcoming some major setbacks and coming out victorious. Only to have a group of people discrediting it at every opportunity they get.
      Suddenly it’s not that weird to stop wanting to talk to them….

  5. Zhou struggled to progress, but how he let his teammate pass into T1 while simultaneously getting overtaken by Ocon was good team play.

    I can’t read The Times post, but the title is somewhat exaggerated.

    Alpine should release Piastri for the post-season test as they’ll do with Alonso, not to mention, Gasly will/might already drive for them.

    Brundle couldn’t be more right.

    Ida’s tweet should also include Russell.

    I share COTD’s general view on Ted, having known who he is for a long time & watched many of his post-QLF & race Notebooks on YT over the seasons.
    Indeed not the first time either that he’s said something negative concerning RB on air.
    I’ve generally liked him, though.

  6. How lucky, I do not have a subscription to The Times. And knowing the kind of excreta they publish, I never will.

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