Mallya stresses sustainability in bid to ‘uncrap’ F1


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.”

Michael Schumacher’s son to make F1 practice debut at Nurburgring

F1 Mick Schumacher
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.

Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.

“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”

The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.

Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.

Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.

The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.