In one of Tuesday’s segments on NASCAR AMERICA, Jeff Burton and former crew chief Frank Stoddard talk about fans enjoying when racers show emotion, including the Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears altercation after this past Saturday’s Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway.
McLaren CEO Ron Dennis would not tolerate Lewis Hamilton’s behavior if he was still racing for the team, saying that he looks at his former driver with “mixed emotions”.
Hamilton was first signed by McLaren at the age of 13, and would go on to make his Formula 1 debut with the team in 2007 before winning his first world championship the following year.
The Briton walked away from McLaren at the end of 2012 to join Mercedes in a move that former team principal Martin Whitmarsh called “a mistake” at the time.
However, Hamilton has since gone on to enjoy unprecedented success with Mercedes, winning the world championship in 2014 and 2015 to firmly establish himself as one of F1’s all-time greats.
Hamilton has also enjoyed a celebrity status he lacked before, gracing red carpets all over the world and enjoying a party lifestyle that recently left him feeling a bit “run down”.
Speaking to British newspaper The Guardian, Dennis said that Hamilton’s currently lifestyle and behavior would not be tolerated if he were still with McLaren.
“If he was at McLaren he wouldn’t be behaving the way he is because he wouldn’t be allowed to,” Dennis said. “He’s shaking off some chains he didn’t want to have.
“I look at him with mixed emotions. I don’t approve of everything he does or says, but nevertheless, great athletes are great because of the sacrifices they have to make.
“And sometimes sacrifices are in a very formative part of their childhood. They don’t always emerge with the all the right social process or behaviour or tendencies that you like.”
In contrast to Hamilton and Mercedes’ recent success, McLaren has entered a period of decline that will hit a new low this weekend in Abu Dhabi as it prepares to end the year last-but-one in the constructors’ championship.
McLaren has not won a race since Hamilton left, justifying his decision to walk away at the time. Not only did it allow him to shake off the chains he didn’t want, but it also paved the way for a success that he most likely would not have attained had he remained with at Woking.
FIA Formula E has today announced the launch of ‘Roborace’, a driverless support series that is set to join the electric-powered championship’s roster for the 2016-2017 season.
In partnership with Kinetik, Formula E plans for Roborace to become a competitive platform for autonomous driving solutions and technologies.
“Roborace is aimed to take place prior to each Formula E race, using the same circuits in major cities across the world,” a statement reads.
“Ten teams, each with two driverless cars, will compete in one-hour races over the full championship season. All the teams will have the same cars however will compete using real-time computing algorithms and AI technologies.
“The mission of Roborace is to demonstrate that the future of automotive and information technology is already here and can even work in extreme conditions.
“Roborace believes that there is a lot of independent talents in the world that might contribute to this initiative. That is why one of the race teams will be organised as a crowd-sourced community team open for enthusiastic software and technology experts all over the world.”
Founder of Kinetik and Roborace Denis Sverdlov believes that the championship will be the perfect platform to showcase the advancements in autonomous driving and AI technologies.
“We passionately believe that, in the future, all of the world’s vehicles will be assisted by AI and powered by electricity, thus improving the environment and road safety,” Sverdlov said.
“Roborace is a celebration of revolutionary technology and innovation that humanity has achieved in that area so far. It’s a global platform to show that robotic technologies and AI can co-exist with us in real life.
“Thus, anyone who is at the edge of this transformation now has a platform to show the advantages of their driverless solutions and this shall push the development of the technology.”
Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag added: “We are very excited to be partnering with Kinetik on what is surely one of the most cutting-edge sporting events in history.
“Roborace is an open challenge to the most innovative scientific and technology-focused companies in the world. It is very exciting to create a platform for them to showcase what they are capable of and I believe there is great potential for us to unearth the next big idea through the unique crowd-sourced contest.”
Sauber has confirmed that Adderly Fong will take part in next week’s Pirelli tire test following the conclusion of the 2015 Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi.
Fong, 25, first tested for the team in October 2014 before taking part in practice for last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Fong has since been racing in the GP3 Series and in the GT Asia series while also working with Lotus F1 Team as part of its development programme.
On Friday, Sauber announced that Fong would be returning to one of its cars for next week’s tire test in Abu Dhabi at the Yas Marina Circuit.
“I am very pleased and thankful to have another opportunity to drive for the Sauber F1 Team,” Fong said. “I will do my best to give valuable feedback. I am looking forward to it, as well as the aim of extending my superlicence after completing 300 kilometers.
“Last year it was great to have the chance to drive the Sauber C33-Ferrari during FP1 here at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Now I am curious about testing the current car.”
Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn added: “We are pleased to have Adderly in the car again and to give him the opportunity to drive a current Formula One car.
“He immediately put in a solid performance in his last opportunities for us. We are confident Adderly will again put in every effort in this tire test.”
Nico Rosberg responded to the early pace shown by Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi by edging out the Briton for P1 in second practice on Friday evening.
Hamilton beat Rosberg by less than two-tenths of a second to finish at the top of the timesheets in the opening practice session at Yas Marina, but the German bounced back in FP2 to finish 0.138 seconds clear of his teammate.
Starting at dusk and finishing under floodlights, second practice offered the drivers far more representative conditions of what to expect on Saturday and Sunday than FP1 had, prompting the teams to complete a usual practice programme featuring qualifying simulations and heavy fuel race runs.
Once again, it was Mercedes who set the pace as Rosberg posted the fastest lap of 1:41.983, heading up a one-two finish for the German marque.
Sergio Perez produced a fine lap to finish less than half a second off Hamilton in third place for Force India, narrowly beating Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Sebastian Vettel showed few signs of a possible challenge to Mercedes from Ferrari in Abu Dhabi as he finished three-quarters of a second behind Rosberg, ending FP2 in fifth place. Daniil Kvyat and Kimi Raikkonen followed in sixth and seventh place respectively.
Nico Hulkenberg finished eighth in the second Force India, while Fernando Alonso enjoyed an improved, trouble-free session to end the day ninth for McLaren, giving the team hope of points at the end of a tough season.
Pastor Maldonado finished tenth for Lotus ahead of the Williams pair of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, who in turn were followed by Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. Sainz’s session came to an early end after a technical issue on his car forced him to park up at the side of the track with 30 minutes to go.
Romain Grosjean and Jenson Button finished 15th and 16th respectively, leading home Sauber drivers Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson. Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi propped up the order for Manor in P19 and P20.