In the round-up: Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon gave their backing to a 16-year-old driver entering today’s Le Mans 24 Hours.
Josh Pierson, who races in the IMSA sportscar championship, will become the youngest driver in the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours when he takes over the number 23 United Autosports car. At 16, he is too young to compete in either the Formula 1 or Formula 2 races at Baku City Circuit this week, as they have age limits of 18 and 17 years respectively.
Verstappen, who became the youngest driver to start an F1 race at the age of 17, prompting the introduction of the current limit, said he sees no problem with Pierson entering the demanding 24-hour race on the high-speed Circuit de la Sarthe.
“If he’s capable of driving, I don’t see why not,” Verstappen said when asked by RaceFans. “It shouldn’t depend on age. If he’s 16 and he’s capable of driving and he’s not a danger to others, then I think it’s perfectly fine.”
Ocon, who made his F1 debut aged 19, agreed with Verstappen. “I don’t think age should be a limit. I’ve arrived early in categories, in karting, arrived early into single seaters as well.
“Everything we are looking at is the performance really, not your age and how mature you have to be, and act to be professional at early age. And that’s probably what he’s going to face now.”
Charles Leclerc says he “forgot” to change his engine mode, which led to his frantic radio messages reporting a loss of power in second practice.
The Ferrari driver retired from the lead of the Spanish Grand Prix in May due to a turbo failure. On Friday’s second practice in Baku, Leclerc reported a loss of power in his Ferrari before being told to switch to a different engine mode.
“Let me know quickly, I don’t want to take risks,” he told his race engineer. “We think everything is fine and you can push,” Xavier Marcos Padros replied.
“Okay, so the loss of power was normal?,” asked Leclerc. He was then told: “Mode ‘race’, please. Mode ‘race’.”
Leclerc later explained that “actually it was not a power unit problem. It’s just me that forgot that I had changed something, which obviously made me lose power. But nothing weird.”
The FIA has appointed its first equality, diversity and inclusion advisor dedicated to motorsport, it announced yesterday. Tanya Kutsenko, who previously worked with the Emirates Motorsports Organisation and the Automobile and Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates, has taken up the position.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has set a target of doubling motor sport participation within four years. Kutsenko will be responsible for developing a strategy to broaden the FIA’s reach. She will report to the secretary general for sport, a position which is being held by Shaila-Ann Rao on an interim basis following the departure of Peter Bayer earlier this month.
The announcement of the new position follows Ben Sulayem’s recent comments about drivers using their status to make comments about issues such as diversity. Following Kutsenko’s appointment he said: “Equality, diversity and inclusion are a key priority of my mandate as FIA President. In line with our strategy to promote greater diversity, the appointment of a dedicated and experienced advisor in charge of these issues will allow us to accelerate inclusion and double participation in motor sport.”
Alexander Rossi headed the opening practice session for this weekend’s IndyCar Grand Prix of Road America. The Andretti driver, whose second place in Detroit last weekend was his best result since his victory at Elkhart Lake three years ago, set a 1’45.6027, putting him a tenth of a second ahead of Colton Herta.
The session was briefly interrupted by a red flag after Helio Castroneves spun to a stop. The Paretta entry for Simona de Silvestro, contesting their first race this year, finished at the bottom of the times. However a productive session saw them complete 20 laps, the quickest of which was just a tenth of a second off the next-slowest driver, despite being delayed by right-rear brake fire at one stage.
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Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:
15 years ago today I won my first ever race in F1. Thank you @team_lh for the artwork and thank you to all the fans both old and new. Whether you’ve been supporting me for 15 years or 15 minutes, I feel the energy just the same. Love you all, here’s to many more! pic.twitter.com/e36YqWZvoB
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) June 10, 2022
The @MercedesAMGF1 pride star in all its glory on @LewisHamilton’s car 🌈 #PrideMonth #AzerbaijanGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/ugTLfp2bHm
— Claire Cottingham (@Cla_Cottingham) June 10, 2022
I see the main argument re salary caps being made today is "junior single seaters are too expensive, but rather than address that issue we should just throw more money at it."
— Bethonie Waring (@bethonieboost) June 10, 2022
This purposing must be horrible for the back and head of the drivers.. We could see some serious injuries/problems after this weekend.. @F1
— Pål Varhaug (@varhaug) June 10, 2022
That HYPERPOLE session was awesome. Unfortunately i got done for track limits, otherwise we could have had a good run, my lap was done with a bit too much fuel. Never for Pole though. @RFrijns that was impressive my friend.
— Antonio Felix da Costa (@afelixdacosta) June 10, 2022
I am saddened by the news that a lifelong supporter of Formula 1, Francesco Longanesi Cattani has passed away. His passion for our sport and life will be greatly missed and my thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time. pic.twitter.com/jreZwMJC6B
— F1 Media (@F1Media) June 10, 2022
Motor racing links of interest:
Formula One bosses hope to stage a grand prix in South Africa next year (Daily Mail)
"If negotiations prove successful, the race would be held at the 2.8-mile Kyalami circuit, north of Johannesburg, which last staged a grand prix in 1993 after being a mainstay of the roster through the Sixties, Seventies and early Eighties."
‘He’s on a roll’: Why Red Bull’s veteran rising star is a title dark horse (Fox Sports Australia)
"He’s been much closer to his teammate all season. Not only does the pair share a pole position apiece, but Perez would’ve won in Saudi Arabia had it not been for a badly timed safety car, and of course he was handed the slower strategy in Spain that put him second behind his teammate at the flag."
TT rider left with ‘a pile of bird guts in his mouth’ as 200mph pigeon crash causes two black eyes (TalkSport)
"A rider at the Isle of Man TT has been left with two black eyes and a ‘pile of bird guts’ in his mouth after hitting a pigeon head on at 200mph."
Ferrari Teases Forthcoming LMH Hypercar (Daily Sportscar)
"As can be seen above Ferrari are, as yet, giving very little away about the car, the track testing programme for which gets underway next month.Ferrari do confirm however that the car "shows strong design references to the stylistic features that distinguish the models in the Prancing Horse range.""
WEC: update on the future LMP2 and GT classes presented at Le Mans (FIA)
"LMP2 has played a pivotal role on the endurance racing scenes and has proven to be hugely successful since its last overhauled in 2017. However, the rulebook is set to be updated in 2025. The LMP2 chassis will be supplied by the same four constructors who are currently involved in the LMDh class: Dallara, Ligier, Multimatic and Oreca."
Let's Play The Yes or No Game with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez (Red Bull via YouTube)
"Not your normal QA with Max and Checo! This time, the Oracle Red Bull Racing duo have to answer each other's questions without using yes or no. Sounds simple... right?"
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Happy birthday to Bazza and John Harvey!