F1 faces challenges

by John Surtees on 16th September 2014

Spa is a very special place; with its challenging circuit and its variable weather patterns  it always throws up some challenging situations.

I’m not going to go into detail over the Rosberg/Hamilton incident. More than enough has already been said on that, much of which I’m sure they regretted afterwards. It was interesting of course to see that the FIA stewards deemed it a racing incident.

What was most disappointing, however, in the way we project motor sport around the world, is to hear that certain element in the crowd booing the World Championship leader, Rosberg. Everybody attributed it, in comments I’ve read, to the incident with his team-mate. But I recall last year that it was Vettel who was getting the booing, so it makes one wonder.

What I would say is that if someone has driven well enough to be able to stand on the podium at Spa, particularly after having an incident, he certainly doesn’t deserve to be booed. However, it fortunately didn’t detract from the obvious pleasure of Daniel Ricciardo in being able to pull the win out of the hat against all expectations. Daniel is further proof of the massive contribution that Red Bull makes to motor sport with its driver programme.

After Spa I didn’t find it unexpected that Lewis Hamilton would win in Monza; he drove well and made no mistakes. Mercedes got their 1-2. I must say however, and I was there, that I have never seen a driver look so happy finishing second as Nico Rosberg did; it appeared almost as if it was a relief! Ferrari, in practice, at times looked quite promising. I was sad to see the race fall apart for them with the early retirement of Alonso and Kimi having to battle to finish ninth.

This brings into question regulations which restrict teams from having a rethink or a redesign in the first season of the new formula when they may have got it wrong. Restrictions in the regulations are not really in the interests of Formula 1. I was disappointed to see Luca di Montezemolo suddenly depart and that another non-motor racing person is now being brought in to be chairman of the company.

I thought it was dangerous to make a change mid-season with the team manager and I would have thought the main thing for the racing team was to have a period of stability. Mind you, I know from my own experience that that often doesn’t happen at Maranello and that they do have a habit of shooting themselves in the foot.

Don’t forget John’s karting event in aid of the Henry Surtees Foundation at Buckmore Park on October 8, 2014. There are some fantastic prizes available for young racers. For more information please visit the Foundation's website.

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