Mallya stresses sustainability in bid to ‘uncrap’ F1

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Force India team owner Vijay Mallya has called on Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone to work with teams to ‘uncrap’ the sport.

In a lively FIA press conference on Friday ahead of the British Grand Prix, representatives from six teams were asked about the changes proposed by the F1 Strategy Group earlier this week.

Lotus CEO Matthew Carter suggested that some of the onus should lie with the media to present the sport positively and remove the negativity surrounding its current state.

In response, it was suggested that this should extend to Ecclestone, who was has been a leading critic of the V6 turbo power units that were introduced to F1 in 2014.

A misquote from Ecclestone, as explained in this article from Autosport, led to the panel members being asked what they would do if their chief executive called their product “crap”.

In Mallya’s eyes, the best way to solve any negativity within F1 would be by fixing the issues – namely the sustainability of the sport for the smaller teams.

“He shouldn’t be selling the product if he thought it was crap,” Mallya said.

“But considering that he sells the product – that he calls crap and makes billions out of it – he needs to work with the participants to un-crap it!”

Mallya has long encouraged the prioritizing of sustainability when discussing the future of the sport, and he believes that if this were addressed, much of the uncertainty and subsequent negativity would disappear.

“I believe that all the positives of Formula 1 as a sport will be given more prominence if the fundamental issue, which everybody is speculating about – I’m sure many of us get asked these questions all the time – about ‘are you going to be around next year?'” Mallya said.

“This is a burning issue which teams themselves discuss at every possible opportunity and in every possible meeting, whether inside the strategy group or outside.

“So, as I said before, at this very press conference. If the stability of all participants in Formula 1 is addressed as a matter of priority, we will have more exciting racing and we will get a lot more positive media.”

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.