Former Alpine team principal Budkowski linked to A1GP revival bid

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In the round-up: The defunct A1GP could be revived under efforts of a team of executives including former Alpine team principal, Marcin Budkowski

In brief

Former Alpine team principal Budkowski linked to A1GP revival bid

Former Alpine team principal Marcin Budkowski is involved in an effort to revive the A1GP single seater series, known as the ‘world cup of motorsport’.

Nico Hulkenberg competed in the inaugural series
The championship competed between 2005 and 2009, with teams representing nations from across the world. Sky News reports that Budkowski, who was executive director and team principal of Alpine until 2022, is leading the project which has financial support from backers including Sir Keith Mills, who led London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

Reports suggest each national team would run two drivers from their respective countries – one experienced driver and one younger, less experienced challenger. The envisioned schedule of the championship would run between the end of the F1 season to July.

Williams hold charity simrace event for Emilia-Romagna

The Williams F1 team hosted a charity simracing event on F1 22 yesterday involving race driver Alexander Albon, junior driver Jamie Chadwick and even team principal James Vowles along with many Williams affiliated drivers and esports competitors and professional footballer Thibault Courtois.

After a series of warm up races, a 25% race was held around the Imola circuit, with Williams F1 esports driver Shanaka Clay taking victory.

The event was organised in benefit of the Emilia-Romagna Region’s Agency for Territorial Safety and Civil Protection. Anyone wishing to support the fund can donate online.

Garcia grows F1 Academy lead in Barcelona

Marta Garcia extended her lead in the F1 Academy drivers’ standings after taking two podiums in the opening two races of the weekend in Barcelona.

Garcia finished third in race one and second in race two to go from a 26 point advantage over Hamda Al Qubasi at the start of the day to 45 points at the end of the second race. Emely de Heus took victory in the opening race of the day with Amna Al Qubasi winning the reverse-grid second race.

Tramnitz beats Antonelli after late Safety Car

Tim Tramnitz won the the opening race of the Formula Regional European Championship round at Barcelona, holding off Mercedes junior driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

Despite starting on pole, Antonelli was passed by Tramnitz at the start and absorbed pressure from him until a late Safety Car effectively ended the race. Kas Haverkort finished third and remains in the lead of the championship with a second race taking place today.

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Comment of the day

After yesterday’s CotD lamented so many street circuits on the F1 calendar, @markzastrow offers the alternative view…

I have the opposite reaction — I find Baku, Jeddah, Hanoi, Vegas, and even Miami to have more character to offer than most of that list of Tilkedromes. I like the direction that F1 and Tilke’s son are taking with this new breed of street circuits, with semipermanent circuits with reduced runoff and some more extreme street layouts like Vegas and Baku. Not that I have any desire to see Monaco or Singapore drop off the calendar, but I like the current variety.
Mark Zastrow

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On this day in motorsport

  • On this day in 1978 Mario Andretti gave the Lotus 79 a victory in its first ever race at Zolder. Team mate Ronnie Peterson was second in a 78.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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9 comments on “Former Alpine team principal Budkowski linked to A1GP revival bid”

  1. I always quite enjoyed A1GP and would welcome a return, but it is important to be realistic about why the first attempt failed.

    Firstly, the way the series was run. The franchise model for teams never really took off beyond a handful of nations, and there were several missteps with scheduling (such as the much-feted Brazil rounds that never happened, and the Chengdu street circuit that was too narrow for the cars to get around). The series will need a much more competent set of administrators than the Middle Eastern billionaire and his cronies who made such a mess of the last version.

    Secondly, the lack of an audience. The concept was never popular with established motorsport fans and A1GP never really figured out how to attract new ones. FE has shown it can be done, to an extent, particularly with things like bringing the series to city centres on street circuits, but is that really realistic for a series that aspires to be faster than everything but F1?

    So I would be happy to see an A1GP return, and would even consider attending a British round in person, but I have my doubts about its long-term prospects.

    1. I’m with you on that – welcome a return too. How about as a support for the F1 circus – billed as the race of nations. It would capture eyeballs as well as sponsorship and maybe stand a chance of success!

    2. I agree. The timing is nice as well now Liberty shows more and more traits of a financial institute that just wants to generate profit and is not passionate about the sport or its legacy.

  2. The first time I watched a Formula Regional EU by Alpine race.
    The race itself was okay, but red-flagging was excessive, so I sarcastically pondered if Niels Wittich is the RD.
    An SC finish was okay at least, like in SF & IndyCar.

    1. RandomMallard
      21st May 2023, 12:45

      @jerejj I only saw little bits of it, but it’s not unheard of for lower-level junior formulae to red flag for much less severe incidents than F1 would. Part of this is due to the races being so short that a long safety car could easily use up half of the race at least, but also the fact they don’t have as much recovery support available. Yesterday it looked like the recovery tractor had to travel quite a long distance the wrong way along the track to actually reach the cars that were stuck, so for a combination of safety and keeping the race at a reasonable length, I am not overly surprised it was red flagged. I wouldn’t expect F1 to red flag for that kind of incident (at least not previously, who knows now…), but for a FRECA race it wasn’t a huge shock imo.

      1. @RandomMallard Okay, I hadn’t realized junior single-seater categories (except for F2 & 3) tend to red flag for much less severe incidents & situations.
        At least, I was more prepared for today’s race & can be for possible future viewings.

  3. I can’t say I agree at all with COTD.

    I find the more modern batch of ‘temporary circuits’ to be quite dull in every regard and lacking any character as they all tend to feel quite similar now as they all tend to have very similar features.

    I think Baku is really the only standout as the middle section feels more like a traditional style street circuits been very narrow, twisty with very little room for error. Tracks like Miami, Jeddah & based on what has been seen so far Vegas just all feel very flat, featureless, similar with no character of there own and I don’t think any of them would be missed should they drop off the calender just as the similar Valencia & Sochi circuits were very quickly forgotten.

    If the street circuits of today were more like those of old where they were designed around existing streets with normal road tarmac, bumps etc… & around offering a real challenge to car & driver then they would be more interesting, memorable & have more character. But sadly they are all resurfaced regularly, Are quite wide & just end up feeling very samey and lacking character.

    I’d be far more interested in seeing circuits like Sepang, Istanbul, Hockenheim, Nurburgring, Mugello, Portimao, Kyalami, Indy, Argentina, Magny-Cours & Adelaide come back than seeing more of these awful modern fake street circuits.

  4. Regarding the COTD, prior to the first race at Jeddah, Tilke said:

    “Why this circuit works so well is that it will have the atmosphere of an urban venue, but the space and run-off so we can increase the speed of the corners. This is something you can normally only do at a permanent facility, but here we have been able to create very challenging fast corners that the drivers will love. I have driven the lap many times on the simulator and with sections featuring walls close to the edge of the circuit, you really need to concentrate to avoid making a mistake. It will be very rewarding for those who can master all 27 corners.”

    Much of the atmosphere is obscured by the fact that the race is held in the dark. By contrast, one of the reasons Monaco, despite being an awful track, is still somewhat cool is that it’s raced in the middle of the day around an oldish city (though some of the recent development projects have taken away from that) and the speed of the F1 cars is very evident, because everyone sort of has an idea of how big streets and buildings are. Same when you compare Monza to something like COTA; although both are fairly wide tracks, Monza is in a park/forest area where there are a ton of reference points that everyone instinctively understands. At COTA with its desolate surroundings, a lot of those cues are missing and the experience is lesser for it.

    Is the track at Jeddah exciting for drivers? Probably, but as for it being a challenge; these are race car drivers. Some of the best. They’re not going to struggle mastering the corners like Tilke alludes to. Just look at this weekend’s Nürburging 24h, where even much more averagely talented drivers are able to get to grips with a track that’s as long as about four or five standard F1 tracks put together. This isn’t the key to a great track.

    It’s a shame Malaysia is no longer interested in hosting F1, as they had one of the best modern style tracks that allowed the F1 cars to actually stretch their legs with high speed corners, long corners, quick changes in direction, some hard braking, a few long straights, and no fewer than four or five natural overtaking spots. Compare that to a lot of the more recent semi-permanent tracks which have a whole bunch of slow (below 4th gear) corners and some long curved straights with very little in between. But those missing parts are exactly where F1 cars are at their best.

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