The RACER Mailbag, October 5

The RACER Mailbag, October 5

Insights & Analysis

The RACER Mailbag, October 5

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Q: Keeping Andretti out of F1 is bad math. Splitting the purse 11 ways vs 10 ways is a 1% difference. Does no one believe that with next year’s
schedule, the possibility of adding an American team with possibly one or two American drivers will not increase revenue by far more than 1%?

Gary in Dayton

CHRIS MEDLAND: Really sorry to burst your bubble on this one Gary, but splitting the purse 11 ways vs 10 ways is very nearly a 10% drop for each team. I’m not sure you’ll ever be able to directly correlate a percentage increase in revenue to allowing a specific team in anyway, but what the other teams say is, why should they give up their income to another team? Their argument is that if F1 believes it will increase the revenue enough, then the owners should be the ones giving up some of their own profits for long-term gain.

Q: Can you tell me why no one seems interested in Mick Schumacher? He is a proven winner, an F2 and F3 champion and he has done a decent job for Haas. I know that he had a couple of big crashes earlier this season, but he has scored some good points and had other opportunities for points lost by car failures and poor strategy. I have never heard of him being difficult to work with or there being other personality issues. The fact that Haas is looking at Giovinazzi is a surprise. I mean, he didn’t set the world on fire when he was at Alfa and he tended to crash a lot. So tell me, why don’t they like Mick?

Mark Bartholomew

CM: From what I gather, it’s actually the point you make about being difficult to work with, but not necessarily the driver himself. It’s partly the team around him too, with certain relationships and approaches making it challenging for Haas to operate in the way its wants when it comes to Mick. It’s a relatively small thing, but it means Mick needs to be performing consistently at a high level and avoid the expensive mistakes to offset that inconvenience, and over the balance of the year it appears Haas feels he hasn’t done that. I could be proven wrong, but I don’t think Haas is seriously looking at Giovinazzi, but more doing Ferrari a favor by giving him some experience in a 2022 car in return for doing its own thing with its 2023 line-up.

Mick is becoming an awkward fit for Haas. Andy Hone/Motorsport Images

Q: What’s the point of Pirelli producing full wet tires if the FIA won’t let the drivers race with them on? I understand safety is important and some races back in the day were held in ridiculous weather, but for me the pendulum has swung too far the other way, to the point that we are scared to see drivers race in the rain. Why is this?

Jordan, Warwickshire, UK

CM: Firstly, greetings from this side of the pond, Jordan! I agree that the pendulum sometimes goes too far the other way, but the main issue is Pirelli doesn’t produce a particularly good full wet tire, but does make a very good intermediate, so teams always want to use that even when it’s still very wet. And you can use the inter in most conditions F1 races in, because whenever the full wet would definitely be needed, the amount of standing water it now has to clear creates too much spray for the FIA to deem a start safe. When you have all of the cars running together in a pack on the opening lap the lack of visibility can be really dangerous, so they tend to wait that bit longer for it to be possible to do a standing start and just race rather than run around behind the Safety Car.

It’s generally the right approach, in my opinion. I’d rather wait an extra 10 minutes to start the race properly than go a bit earlier behind a Safety Car with a strung out field, but there are some times we could get going earlier. So the full wet basically now exists for practice and qualifying situations, as well as potentially when it rains during a race and reaches a point that the inter isn’t working.

THE FINAL WORD
From Robin Miller’s Mailbag, October 8, 2014

Q: What is the real story of what happened to AJ Foyt IV? He seemed to have talent and some real success in Indy Lights but his IndyCar career just fizzled. He walked away from the sport after a few Indy 500 qualification and race mishaps and never returned. There was never a press release in regard to his retirement. I know he is working for the Colts and good for him, but what happened to racing?

Tony Matracia

ROBIN MILLER: No underlying plot: he and grandpa tangled a lot, the IRL went away and road racing wasn’t AJ IV’s forte. Not sure how dedicated he was, either. But he’s doing just fine, married one of Jim Irsay’s daughters, plays a lot of golf and looks happy flying first class whenever I see him. Good guy, too.

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