Whiting happy to ‘forget and move on’ after Vettel’s Mexico radio rant

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Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting says he wants to “move on” from Sebastian Vettel’s expletive-laden radio rant in Mexico two weeks ago, having accepted the German’s apology.

Vettel sent a number of sweary radio messages to his Ferrari pit wall in the closing stages of the Mexican Grand Prix after getting frustrated during a battle with Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo on-track.

In one of his messages, Vettel targeted Whiting after a stewards’ call failed to go his way, telling the race director to “f**k off” twice.

Vettel apologized to Whiting and FIA president Jean Todt after the race, meaning he escaped without sanction, but the FIA confirmed it would clamp down on repeat incidents in the future.

Speaking in Thursday’s FIA press conference, Whiting said that while the incident was regrettable, he has since moved on.

“It’s not the first time that bad language has been used, of course, and the fact that it was directed at me was unfortunate and I think there are a number of mitigating circumstances that led up to Sebastian’s obvious frustration,” Whiting said.

“But the fact that he sought me out very shortly after the race to apologize, for me that was enough and I’m prepared to just forget it and move on.

“I think that’s really what we should do. Things happen in the heat of the moment. I think you’ve seen what the FIA’s position on this is, and I personally feel that’s enough.”

“I’m sorry for what I said,” Vettel added.

“Obviously when we are racing, when we are fighting… I think you can understand why I wasn’t so happy at that point but yeah, for sure I regret what I said and certainly didn’t mean it but yeah, it was very clear for me to look for Charlie right after.

“I wrote a letter as well. I’m happy that Charlie accepted the apology and happy to, as he said, move on.”

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.