In the round-up: Mattia Binotto says Formula 1 should seriously consider reverse grid races following Lewis Hamilton’s charge from the back of the grid in Brazil’s sprint qualifying race.
Reverse grids can be “so much fun” – Binotto
Binotto, who has repeatedly pushed for F1 to introduce reverse grid races, said Hamilton’s 15-place climb to fifth in Saturday’s sprint qualifying race at Interlagos makes a strong case for them.
Hamilton’s remarkable ascent through the field in 24 laps demonstrated the value of the idea, Binotto believes. “What happens is so [much] overtaking, so much fun,” he said.
“So I think we should really consider it, obviously for the sprint race format. Having seen what happened, I think it’s even not debatable.”
A recent official F1 survey of over 167,000 fans found 68% were against introducing reverse grid races.
Ocon: Alpine are “two against one” in AlphaTauri fight
Despite Yuki Tsunoda recent improvement in form, Esteban Ocon believes Alpine only has one AlphaTauri driver to worry about as it tries to beat the team to fifth place in the championship.
“Of course, it’s an unknown where we are going to be in Qatar,” said Ocon. “Nobody knows the track exactly, but we want to be in the top 10 again, scoring with both cars, as that’s the only way we are going to be able to keep that championship with the constructors close with AlphaTauri.
“They are going to be faster than us, but we are two against one. So we are going to keep pushing to beat them.”
Brivio hoping to put Moto GP experience to use at Losail
Davide Brivio, racing director of Alpine, is one of few current F1 staff with extensive experience at Losail. As the former team manager of Yamaha and Suzuki’s Moto GP teams, Brivio has visited the track for races multiple times.
“I think it’s going to be interesting to see how the Formula 1 car works there as it’s unknown for all teams and drivers,” said Brivio. “In my experience, I’ve been many times to Qatar as Moto GP raced there since 2004. It’s a nice circuit, which has a little bit of everything. There’s the long straight at almost one kilometre in length and possibly an overtaking opportunity into turn one. After that there are many long sweeping corners, which flow quite nicely.
“We’re going there at a good time of year with the warm weather. I’d imagine it will be warmer than Mexico and Brazil and much more stable. The heat will provide some challenges on cooling but similar to what we see in Bahrain, for example. Racing in the evening will see lower temperatures though and it could be quite windy at the same time.”
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Motor racing links of interest:
Qatar Grand Prix: Shutting off Qatar and Saudi will not help, says Domenicali (source)
"Domenicali: 'Such an important change cannot happen overnight. It is a cultural change that will take time. But the timing will be accelerated by the fact big events are there. And Formula 1 will play an important role in that respect.'"
Plenty of promise and a lot learned: Jak Crawford on his rookie season (Formula 3)
"Crawford: 'As a team, we were expecting much better results than we had, but if I had to choose something, then I would say that it was the speed and the potential that I showed throughout the year, which was promising.'"
Air Force drops sponsorship of number 20 ECR IndyCar (Racer)
"'Ed and I spoke today about that, and I have other sponsors, other funding, that I’ve been developing in case the Air Force pulled out,' Daly said."
Exclusive interview with Matheus Servello, the marshall who gave Hamilton the Brazilian flag (Formula 1 Blog - Portuguese)
"At a certain point in the race, when Hamilton was still in second, Léo came to me and said, 'Oh, let's go and tell Fábio that if Hamilton wins the race we will flag him (Hamilton). He (Fábio) will go crazy, because he was crazy with that flag.'"
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Happy birthday to Matthew H and Ionut93!
On this day in motorsport
Born today in 1932: Nasif Estefano, who made his single F1 start in his home race at Buenos Aires in 1960