Fortec fly­ing FOL­LOW MN FOR THE LAT­EST UP­DATES

Com­pre­hen­sive motorsport in­sur­ance prod­ucts to keep you on track;

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

Fortec Mo­tor­sports made a strong de­but kart­ing ap­pear­ance in the first round of For­mula Kart Stars at Buck­more Park last week­end, with its driv­ers win­ning both the Su­per FKS and FKS Ju­nior fi­nals. Dean Mac­don­ald won the Su­per FKS fi­nal from Bradley Lieben­berg, while Jack Mccarthy made it two Fortec driv­ers on the podium. Oliver Clarke was dom­i­nant in FKS Ju­nior, beat­ing Jonny Edgar in the fi­nal.

OK, so I will lay it on the line: I am a fan of Jac­ques Vil­leneuve. It is im­pos­si­ble for me not to be. My first proper motorsport hero was his dad, Gilles, and there­fore it was nat­u­ral that I would sup­port his off­spring as he made his way up the motorsport lad­der.

But this week, he is mas­sively off the mark with his com­ment about mod­ern For­mula 1 driv­ers.

The driv­ers, un­der the uni­fied ban­ner of the Grand Prix Driv­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, re­cently is­sued a state­ment say­ing that they were con­cerned about the fu­ture of the sport. They have asked for a re­struc­tur­ing of the governance of F1, fear­ing for its long-term fu­ture un­der the cur­rent sys­tem. The state­ment was signed by Jen­son But­ton, Se­bas­tian Vet­tel and chair­man Alex Wurz on be­half of all of the driv­ers.

Vil­leneuve, the 1997 For­mula 1 world cham­pion, has ef­fec­tively, told the driv­ers to shut up and just get on with driv­ing the cars and leave the rulers to de­ter­mine the di­rec­tion of the sport. He is wrong. Every­one who has an in­flu­ence on the fu­ture of the sport (I refuse to use the dreaded word ‘stake­hold­ers’) has an in­put, it seems, apart from the driv­ers – and they are the ones who prob­a­bly have the most ef­fec­tive in­put.

The end­less tech­ni­cal work­ing groups try to de­fine a set of rules that will make the sport more com­pet­i­tive. But, as was the case with Brawn back in 2008, as soon as they spot a dou­ble dif­fuser­sized loop­hole, they will keep that in­for­ma­tion to them­selves and then use it to com­pletely undo all the good work they were sup­posed to be do­ing.

You can’t blame them for that. F1 is a com­pet­i­tive sport, and these are com­pet­i­tive peo­ple.

The driv­ers are com­pet­i­tive too, but such is the tran­sient na­ture of their em­ploy­ment that they aren’t re­stricted to such parochial in­ten­tions as the team bosses and tech­ni­cal di­rec­tors are.

Bernie Ec­cle­stone’s re­sponse to the driv­ers’ state­ment was typ­i­cal Bernie. Ef­fec­tively, he said ‘I agree, but what are the so­lu­tions...?’ That’s not re­ally a re­sponse at all.

The driv­ers should have a voice, and they should be taken se­ri­ously. It is not merely a rab­ble clam­our­ing to be heard. The GPDA pro­vides them with a se­ri­ous plat­form where they unify their thoughts be­fore go­ing on the at­tack, and that is a very sen­si­ble way of do­ing things. Very sen­si­ble, un­like Jac­ques Vil­leneuve’s ram­blings.

Top GPDA light Se­bas­tian Vet­tel talks sense

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