Interviews by Sergio Álvarez; photos by Diego Merino.
Little kiddies, look away as I’m about to write something truly monstrous today! Well, actually not.
As we’re slowly but surely edging towards the Jeddah Corniche Circuit Formula 2 round, let’s take a look at our Road to F1 journey so far: https://t.co/U4MmhJQ5Mb?amp=1 Powered primarily by Sergio’s unshakeable enthusiasm for the sport and Diego’s definitive photo skills. And a bit of journeyman blogging from your humble servant to boot.
The hot topic so far has been F2 drivers’ lack of promotion into F1 but now with Ant Giovinazzi exiting the Sauber F1 operation, aka fake Alfa Romeo, and Guanyu Zhou entering the scene, not to mention our new (soon to be crowned) champ, Piastri, taking on Alpine’s full reserve and computer game/sim role, we can hardly complain. Add ex-F3 runner-up Logan Sargeant, the newly signed Williams-Dorilton Team USA junior thrown in the deep end at Jeddah with the rather slow HWA RACELAB, to the mix and it doesn’t get better than that.
Gio vs Zhou, I mean, it’s like-for-like. It’s not as if AG blew them all away instantly in GP2, which kind of showed in F1. Freedom Fries want a Chinese driver and who could blame them? Certainly not me.
With Piastri it’s a different story though, I would love to see the guy race in F1 as early as next year, alas, it ain’t gonna happen unless… Come up with your own theory on that one. But since the Alps have got Alfonso and Cocoon all but dialled in and ready to rock’n’roll, it even makes sense to educate the young grasshopper a bit before putting his bum on full-time F1 driver seat.
And Logan would have done a far better job in dat Williams than the butt of Dan Ticktum’s very funny jokes, the Grove incumbent Nicky L.
Speaking of Dan, what a crazy world we live in! DT to Formula E? Come on. The epitome of greenwashing and corporate brainwashing, #sorrynotsorry Will kinda warm up my personal interest towards this strange form of life that is FE. I wanna see that, for sure. Last time Sergio spoke to Dan, he professed to having future Top Gear ambitions: “I think I’m an incredibly goal-orientated guy. If I haven’t got a goal, I’m the laziest person ever. But if I have got a goal, I’ll be up at the crack of dawn every morning to make sure that it happens so. But yeah, I’m sure there’ll be lots of opportunities, I just think maybe commentating, especially if I decide to pull out of motorsport, in the near future, commentating straight away will be quite tough, just watching F1 cars going round will be not easy. I mean, we’ll see. Maybe that’s a future job of mine. I’d like to be a TV presenter, like a Top Gear presenter. I’d love to do that. I love road cars, I’m like an encyclopedia for them so we’ll see.”
In truth, there’s not enough teams on the F1 grid to accommodate all the young talent, there needs to be at least 24 spots on each starting grid. One-car teams are dead and gone, obviously. I don’t suppose current F1 outfits would be happy to see their profits fall as a result of a new entrant diluting the Tea Party Agreement. They’re a bit like ladies, where yes means no and vice versa. When, say, a team principal waxes lyrical about attracting new OEMs to F1, it’s BS talk for little kiddies who got into following F1 a few months ago. Maybe, definitely maybe, Liberty should sponsor (out of their own endless capitalist pockets) a new team created specifically for F2/F3 graduates, but it better be a proper backmarker – you know, to give it a touch of romantic old-school Formula 1. I can dig that. Surely you’ll agree that top 5 in the F2 standings would deserve some kind of role in F1, no. They’re fine young professionals already at the age of 16 or so, things have sped up a lot recently! A guy making his F1 debut at 27 used to be normal to us.
What I can’t envisage is, for instance, Ferrari sacking both Carlitos and Charlie in favour of Shwartzman or Marcus Armstrong in 2023, and then proceeding to sacking Shwartzman and Armstrong yet again to give James Wharton and Maya Weug a chance in 2024 to satisfy our appetite for rookies. But you’d like that, wouldn’t you?
Besides, not winning 87 titles in Formula 1 is no real reason to be upset as a pro driver: you’re free to become a legend in other equally cool categories and I can guarantee you as motorsport historians we at Iberianmph will remember you fondly anyway. You know what I mean, why not WTCR or WEC? And yes?
So bring on Jeddah and let’s celebrate Piastri’s FIA F2 title as early as that.
On a final note, we’re incredibly sorry to hear about Frank Williams passing away last week. One of the original Super Gods of F1 has left the paddock.
Williams and Mansell was what caught my attention as a kid, I just thought they were so cool winning everything in fine style. All the right elements were there: gorgeous, fantastic looking/sounding cars, the liveries that felt like proper racing liveries and not bird sh*t matte paint splattered all over the place at random. Nigel’s moustache, oh my word! Lewis’s feeble teenage facial hair can never compete with that. Although I do appreciate the fact that Gen Z peeps might be equally inspired by Ham’s questionable/quirky clothing habits and Merc’s rather monotonous approach to car paint.
FW was the Man. They don’t make them like that any more. Thank you for the memories, Sir Frank.