Webber hits out at tire-focused single seater series

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Former Formula 1 driver Mark Webber has lashed out at the focus which single seater championships are currently placing on tire management, saying that drivers should be able to push more.

Webber last raced in F1 back in 2013 before stepping away from the sport and entering the FIA World Endurance Championship with Porsche.

F1 has become increasingly focused on tire management and conservation since the ban on refuelling back in 2010, meaning that drivers are unable to push throughout the race and must instead focus on limiting pit stops and time lost.

This trend has become apparent in other championship, with today’s GP2 feature race seeing a number of drivers lose out as a result of pushing their tires too hard early in the race.

Webber took to Twitter to make his thoughts clear, prompting widespread agreement from the racing community.

“Blood’s boiling watching most single seater categories including F1 become completely dependant on extreme tyre management,” Webber said just after the GP2 race finished. “Let drivers push.”

Ex-F1 driver Karun Chandhok agreed with the Australian’s summation, saying that the five second difference in pace between drivers on different strategies in the GP2 race was too complicated for fans watching to understand.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).