Wolff and Nasr offering differing views on testing clash


Susie Wolff and Felipe Nasr have both suggested that they were not to blame for causing their crash during today’s F1 pre-season test session in Barcelona.

After lunch, a red flag was put out at turn five after Nasr and Wolff collided, with a lengthy stoppage required to recover the cars.

Without TV evidence at the time, only the drivers themselves truly knew what had happened, but Nasr was left with a damaged right-rear tire, whilst Wolff’s front-left wheel was skewed, suggesting heavy contact had been made.

Speaking to the media in Barcelona on Thursday evening, Nasr said that Wolff did not see him coming when he tried to overtake her, thus causing the incident.

“I was on a push lap and could see her leaving the pits,” Nasr said. “She was driving quite slowly in front of me so as I took turn four I caught her and I saw her move to the right. I thought she knew I was coming, as she was on a slow lap.

“Then I committed myself to the braking on the inside of turn five and then I felt a big hit on my rear suspension. I don’t think she ever saw me coming. I asked if she saw me and she said that she did not see me coming.

“I was clearly on the braking zone when I felt the big hit. I committed to the move because I saw she was over to the right, and giving up the room for me.

“I can’t blame her for not seeing my car, but in Formula 1 teams are always giving you information on what cars are around you and what cars that are coming from behind. I think that was something she missed and it could have been avoided.”

However, Wolff was adamant that she was not to blame for the incident, claiming that Nasr moved his car over in an aggressive fashion.

“I stayed completely on my line,” she said. “I didn’t expect him to move across as aggressively as he did, and he hit my front left with his rear. For me, it was an unfortunate incident but not something I could have avoided.

“I went straight over to him and said ‘what the hell went on?’ and he was a bit speechless. To be honest with you I was also a bit speechless because it was one of those things that happens and you wonder how the hell did that happen. It’s stupid.”

In a video shown by Wolff to the media that has been viewed by MotorSportsTalk, the circuit CCTV footage clearly shows the accident. Wolff sticks to her line on the outside of the corner, whilst Nasr cuts across at the last second, causing the contact.

“For me, what’s clear is that I’m staying straight, and he’s coming over too aggressively,” Wolff said. “I don’t know if he expected me to try to optimize the corner entry, but if you know I’m there then you he could have just gone into the corner.”

Nevertheless, Wolff was happy to take the positives out of an otherwise successful day that saw her complete 86 laps behind the wheel of the FW37 car.

“Our day was set up so for the morning I had a race simulation, a soft one, and then in the afternoon I was going to do some performance runs which for me would have been the highlight of the day without a doubt,” Wolff said. “You always have to look at the positives and this morning I learned a lot from doing so many laps.

“We learned a lot as a team getting so many laps in, and for me a lot of positives to take from the FW37 compared to the FW36. We just discussed in our briefing now it’s about looking at the positives because what happened in the afternoon was out of our hands. We still learned a lot.”

Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan after controversial block pass at Detroit


Media and fan attention focused on a controversial run-in between Haiden Deegan and his Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammate Jordon Smith during Round 10 of the Monster Energy Supercross race at Detroit, after which the 250 East points’ Hunter Lawrence defends the young rider in the postrace news conference.

Deegan took the early lead in Heat 1 of the round, but the mood swiftly changed when he became embroiled in a spirited battle with teammate Smith.

On Lap 3, Smith caught Deegan with a fast pass through the whoops. Smith briefly held the lead heading into a bowl turn but Deegan had the inside line and threw a block pass. In the next few turns, the action heated up until Smith eventually ran into the back of Deegan’s Yamaha and crashed.

One of the highlights of the battle seemed to include a moment when Deegan waited on Smith in order to throw a second block pass, adding fuel to the controversy.

After his initial crash, Smith fell to seventh on the next lap. He would crash twice more during the event, ultimately finishing four laps off the pace in 20th.

The topic was inevitably part of the postrace news conference.

“It was good racing; it was fun,” Deegan said at about the 27-minute mark in the video above. “I just had some fun doing it.”

Smith had more trouble in the Last Chance Qualifier. He stalled his bike in heavy traffic, worked his way into a battle for fourth with the checkers in sight, but crashed a few yards shy of the finish line and was credited with seventh. Smith earned zero points and fell to sixth in the standings.

Lawrence defends Deegan
Jordon Smith failed to make the Detroit Supercross Main and fell to sixth in the points. – Feld Motor Sports

“I think he’s like fifth in points,” Deegan said. “He’s a little out of it. Beside that it was good, I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention.”

Deegan jokingly deflected an earlier question with the response that he wasn’t paying attention during the incident.

“He’s my teammate, but he’s a veteran, he’s been in this sport for a while,” Deegan said. “I was up there just battling. I want to win as much as everybody else. It doesn’t matter if it’s a heat race or a main; I just want to win. I was just trying to push that.”

As Deegan and Smith battled, Jeremy Martin took the lead. Deegan finished second in the heat and backed up his performance with a solid third-place showing in the main, which was his second podium finish in a short six-race career. Deegan’s first podium was earned at Daytona, just two rounds ago.

But as Deegan struggled to find something meaningful to say, unsurprisingly for a 17-year-old rider who was not scheduled to run the full 250 schedule this year, it was the championship leader Lawrence who came to his defense.

Lawrence defends Deegan
A block pass by Haiden Deegan led to a series of events that eventually led to Jordon Smith failing to make the Main. – Feld Motor Sports

“I just want to point something out, which kind of amazes me,” Lawrence said during the conference. “So many of the people on social media, where everyone puts their expertise in, are saying the racing back in the ’80s, the early 90s, when me were men. They’re always talking about how gnarly it was and then anytime a block pass or something happens now, everyone cries about it.

“That’s just a little bit interesting. Pick one. You want the gnarly block passes from 10 years ago and then you get it, everyone makes a big song and dance about it.”

Pressed further, Lawrence defended not only the pass but the decision-making process that gets employed lap after lap in a Supercross race.

“It’s easy to point the finger,” Lawrence said. “We’re out there making decisions in a split millisecond. People have all month to pay their phone bill and they still can’t do that on time.

“We’re making decisions at such a fast reaction [time with] adrenaline. … I’m not just saying it for me or Haiden. I speak for all the guys. No one is perfect and we’re under a microscope out there. The media is really quick to point a finger when someone makes a mistake.”

The media is required to hold athletes accountable for their actions. They are also required to tell the complete story.