Interviews by Sergio Álvarez; photos by Diego Merino; also feat. screen grabs from https://www.fiaformula2.com/livetiming/index.html
Why, you may wonder, oh why – when looking at the header image – am I seeing Tatiana Calderón being interviewed by Sergio in Barcelona while they both are currently located on two different continents? At least two different countries, Japan’s ain’t no continent, am I right?
Well, for no apparent reason at all other than the webmaster being confined to the confines of his luxury villa and he can’t find any other productive things to do apart from coming up with these new F2-themed headers.
I’ve my 1999 bottle of Alentejo wine which I intend to uncork should Pietro Fittipaldi win the SAKHIR GRAND PRIX, caps lock. Let’s party like it’s 1999!
And so back to F2 then.
While some of you may complain about Mazepin’s on the limit defensive moves in the Feature Race, did he manage to imitate Rosberg (half a century ago, in 2012, on Alonso in Bahrain) and Schumi (on Rubens in Hungary in 2010, 19th century and a half) or wot? Wow.
This whole Schumacher topic, with Rosberg as Michael’s former team-mate at Merc, seems to make F1 go round at the moment. It’s Schumacher or bust, innit.
Translating this race result lingo into the Queen’s English, it’s a box of toys. Callum and Mick retain their relative posistions in the title fight, since, having scored 8 points each, they head into the Sprint Race separated by exactly the same 14 points as before! They’re rocking all over the world, thus maintaining the status quo.
Yuki’s spirited win has all but confirmed him at the AlphaTauri F1 team for 2021, as did Morbid Helmut’s reserved fist bump with the Japanese ace in the pit lane right before the podium ceremony.
But let’s hear from our top 3. As I’m typing this, Race 1 classification is still provisional as per the FIA so don’t hate me if penalties are applied later today. #ItWasntMe
IMPORTANT UPDATE: this just in. NP indeed got penalized.
- Yuki Tsunoda (Carlin)
- Guanyu Zhou (UNI-Virtuosi Racing)
- Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix)
We wanted to know whether after Sakhir’s controversial on-track moves the three drivers could think of any changes to the rules of engagement occurring off-track at the rule-maker’s office?
Said Guanyu: “I think every Formula 2 driver at this level knows what to do with overtaking and defending – that we race as fair and as hard as we can.
“From the point of view of a TV spectator and our view trackside, it’s hard but fair. From my side, I try to always race as clean as I can, at the same time not giving a position easy to the other competitors and that’s what you do as a racing driver. I’ll have to have a better look of what happened but on my side it was perfectly fine.”
Over to you, Yuki (still under investigation for passing Mazepin off tack for good measure).
“I expect of course from a racing driver that you wanna have an overtake from behind easily. He tried to move his line but I have DRS and much more speed than him. As soon as I tried to go on the inside, I couldn’t go in other direction. I was a little bit on the inside of him, but not fully, half of him.
“When I see in front there’s already white line there, there’s no going (to the other) side of the track and there’s no space to brake so I just sent it! Even now I don’t think did any misjudgement for that. I think that was fully correct.”
That explains it. Yuki licked the stamp and sent it.
For the record, I’m of the opinion that a lot of the moves under investigation were on the limit of what’s acceptable. However, everything happens at speeds well over 200 kph, with your brain engaged in racing mode and all the adrenalin that’s starting to kick in it’s sometimes impossible to judge, unless you can slow it down mentally and switch on your survival instinct because motor racing is dangerous.
Plus all drivers are fiercely competitive. Once you see red, you go crazy. In all honesty, Schumacher had initially thought that Villeneuve drove into the side of his Ferrari at Jerez during that fatal European GP. The guy was high on potenuse, memory overload, he had no clue. Who’s right and who’s wrong? We’ll never know.
It’s my personal point of view tho, please don’t go berserk.
Back to Nikita, here’s how he saw it. Is he happy with the level that’s allowed in terms of defensive driving?
“Yeah, I think that’s the reason why the oval track was introduced: people want to see the show, people want to see basically ‘straight line – brake’, ‘straight line – brake’, ‘straight line – brake’ so when you put a track out there like this that’s what you’re going to expect.
“It’s not Formula Ford, everyone’s fighting here for life, for careers. Everyone knows how to defend, everyone knows how to overtake and I think it gets people excited but I’m not here to make the rules, such as read the rules, analyse them and try to use them in a proper way.”
The best answer ever, beautiful! NP will be just fine in F1: PR 101, say a lot, stay polite and don’t give any direct replies. It’s a form of art, no matter what one might think. Does he work with a public relations coach or something?
Stay tuned for the BIG ONE tomorrow.