“Complain about tires, not F1” urges Whitmarsh

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Martin Whitmarsh believes F1 is better than it has been for decades and should not be excessively criticized over how tires influenced the Chinese Grand Prix.

Pirelli has replaced the soft tire with the medium compound for this weekend’s race in Bahrain after complaints from drivers that they were having to back off too much to protect their tires.

“Please, because I love F1, let’s not write how bad F1 is,” said Whitmarsh, “In F1, we do it for ourselves, we start saying ‘this is terrible’, and actually the show is not bad.”

“I would rather have more durable tires, but the show we have had for the last two or three years has been better than anything I have seen in 25 years of the sport.

“So all I ask is not get into complaining about F1. Complain about the tires if you want, but not F1.”

Whitmarsh has been one of the most vocal supporters of the move towards softer tires to produce closer and more unpredictable racing in Formula One.

He believes the current approach is good for the sport, although it may have gone too far in China:

“We can always make it better, and I hate it when drivers are out there and you know they are driving at nine tenths. That is not how I like F1.

“But the overall fact is that if you had done a straw poll [on who was going to win the race] we would have got six or seven answers. So that is good for the sport.”

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)