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.

Tempers flare as Graham Rahal, Sebastien Bourdais collide at Indy

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INDIANAPOLIS — A multicar crash with just over 20 laps remaining in the Indianapolis 500 had tempers flaring Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Graham Rahal angrily confronted Sebastien Bourdais after the two collided while racing for position entering the third turn. As they spun beside each other, Rahal threw his hands up in the air and continued to gesture wildly at Bourdais as their cars came to a stop.

Rahal scrambled out of his car and went directly to Bourdais’ cockpit to scream at the driver before the safety crew arrived. Rahal then yanked off his gloves and threw them in his car after punching the air a few times.

The crash began after Bourdais’ left rear tire hit Rahal’s right front as they entered the corner and Bourdais seemed to come down on Rahal’s line.

“I’m just very disappointed,” Rahal told NBC Sports after being released from the care center. “It’s just another year to sit and think about it. I respect Sebastien as a driver, but I don’t respect that move.

“At those speeds, that’s how you kill somebody. I’m just not a fan of squeezing and putting people in those positions.”

Bourdais climbed out of his car shortly afterward and seemed unhurt. He was cited for avoidable contact by the IndyCar stewards and seemed somewhat remorseful about the move in an interview with NBC Sports.

“I didn’t think he had as much of the car as he did,” Bourdais said. “It’s always a dynamic thing. He got a run, it stalled there for a while, we made contact, and it sets up the whole thing. At that point. I’m just trying to collect the whole thing. It’s always easy to say I should have given up going into the corner.”

Rahal and Bourdais were former teammates at Newman-Haas Raccing.

“He’s been struggling all day,” Rahal said. “I was lifting a little bit to manage my gap. You can see him squeezing me and turns into me, and there nothing you can do. With 20 to go, you have to go. I think Sebastien knows that, which is probably why he hasn’t said much to me.”

The race was red-flagged at 3:17 p.m. on Lap 180 of 200 to clean up the debris from the multicar pileup.