Spares Box presents the weekly Motorsport wrap up!
It was a relatively quiet weekend in the world of motorsport, with the majority of the action happening in the dirt roads dotted around the Mediterranean. Formula 1 has, true to form, been unable to keep quiet amidst drivers switching, swapping and staying throughout respective teams as a fair amount of the paddock begins to look ahead to the 2016 championship.
Championship new boys Haas F1, in a couple of moves that a) have surprised literally no one, and b) show off where good old-fashioned American confidence can get you, have announced that they have both a car and a driver for next season. In what has been an infinitely exciting weekend for the US team, Lotus’ Romain Grosjean was announced as the team’s first driver after months of speculation linking him with the team. Esteban Gutierrez, currently test and reserve driver for Ferrari, has been linked with the second seat.
A few days after, it was announced that they had all but completed development of their 2016 car. Refreshing to have a new team that actually has their stuff together, isn’t it? Manor team president Graeme Lowdon, fresh off the announcement that his own team will be using Mercedes engines next year in a bid to finally become more competitive, has claimed that Haas will be scoring points “pretty much straight away” due to the easier entry process that they’ve been granted in getting into the sport.
From a team where hope is at it’s highest to a team where all hope appears to have combusted in its awful power units, McLaren Honda announced that Jenson Button will actually drive for them for another year, bringing to an end months of retirement rumours. The reaction has polarized the F1 community. Many are happy to see the Brit, seen now as a bit of a warrior to battle through all the hardships he has since his last glory driving for Brawn GP, get the chance to stay competitive until he finally hands up his helmet. In contrast, many are looking at the situation presented by McLaren Honda as disrespectful to not only Button, but also his team-mate. As Reddit user Feumari puts it:
‘I love him, I really really do. But I’m done seeing him in that s**tbox. It’s f**king disrespectful to a great racer and former world champion. And it can’t get that much better next year. I’d honestly rather see him retire than have people forget how good he can be.
‘F**k this car and the situation it’s put everyone in. F**k the MP4-30 (yes, garbage Honda engine is included).We’ve been robbed of seeing two fantastic f**king world champions drive this year. I’m not even a f**king McLaren fan and I’m so done with this s**t. Somehow it wasn’t as bad for me when Williams (the team I support) was in the doldrums. I guess it just wasn’t as drastic and absurd as this. Sergio Perez must be thanking his lucky f**king stars every night that McLaren chose to drop him.’
Away from the glitz and glamour, Volkswagen, whose motorsport division were clearly unfazed by Dieselgate, produced a dominant display to bring home drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen 1st and 3rd in this weekend’s Rally of France. Latvala led home Elfyn Evans, who was impressive in not only finishing 2nd overall, but also leading up until the final evening of action. Championship leader Sebastien Ogier finished 19th overall, almost two and a half minutes down from the leaders after a shocking weekend that involved numerous gearbox and set-up issues. Following his victory in last week’s Australian Rally, however, his title as World Champion for this year is all but secure.
Something equally as secure is this week’s crash of the week, as Vanthoor produces a master-class in how to efficiently destroy a perfectly good Audi R8 in this weekend’s Blancpain Series GT race at Misano.