mouthpiece President Luca di Montezemelo has again restarted his ongoing and unwarranted attack on the tail-enders of the Formula 1 grid, and again called for the imposition of three-car teams rather than allow slower cars the right to compete in the series.
This latest diatribe apparently stems from Fernando Alonso’s passage to a potential race victory at last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix being thwarted by the loss of time and momentum while trying to lap some of the backmarkers.
Di Montezemelo is quoted by Italy’s La Gezzetta dello Sport as saying: “In modern F1 races cars with GP2 levels of performance shouldn’t be allowed to participate – they are supposed to race on Sunday mornings.
“Our car’s race pace was good enough for victory. Let’s hope that, in the future, there won’t be mistakes in pushing a button nor in lapping cars that put us at a disadvantage, because we’ve already gone through that,” he added.
Would Luca be making these statements if Alonso had won the race and the rival McLarens had been blocked by the backmarkers? I think not!
What is interesting to acknowledge – and which di Montezemelo is clearly failing to do – is how much the three rookie teams have improved over the course of the season to-date, many of whom operate on a fraction of the budget that the big-hitters seem to function on. Indeed, it is rumoured that the Hispania Racing Team’s budget is less than 10% of that of Ferrari’s!
While it is clear that the three rookie teams lapped slower than the leading GP2 feeder-series cars at the same circuit earlier in the season, the pace at which they have managed to close the gap has been nothing short of astounding.
At the Canadian Grand Prix last weekend, the Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen qualified just 0.2 seconds slower than the Ferrari-powered Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi. Even the slower Virgin and HRT cars qualified comfortably within 107% of the pole time. At the beginning of the season, these teams merely dreamed of being able to lap within 107% of the pole time…
The gap between the front and the rear of the grid is, frankly, little different to that of five years’ ago – when Minardi and Jordan battled it out for the tail-end honours – and you certainly didn’t hear di Montzemelo carrying on like this back then.
As Italiaracing so aptly puts it: “It should be noted that the only complaints this season about the smaller teams have come from Ferrari.”
How very true!
[Original image via GP Update]