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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

JPM: 'In Formula 1 they want you to be a robot'

Ed. note -- Upon further review, turns out this was lifted by our German friends from an interview in F1 Racing, altering some of the context. Plucky Germans. I've updated with some notes below. What results is an interesting examination of the global motorsports press.

Former F1 star Juan Pablo Montoya says he doesn't regret switching to NASCAR, saying F1 doesn't want strong personalities. This answer pretty much stands, although it is a mash-up of two different questions. He really did say robots.

"In Formula 1 they want you to be a robot," Crash.net reports he told the German newspaper Sport Bild. "If you have a strong personality, you will have problems. I don't regret anything about changing to NASCAR."

The Colombian, back with Chip Ganassi, with whom he had success with in US open-wheel racing before switching to F1, has warm memories of his time with Williams. This question really had more to do with his memories of working with Patrick Head, but he was generally positive of his time at Williams.

"With BMW-Williams I had the most fun, with Patrick Head mostly. Patrick always said what he thinks – as I do," he said. "He always tried with every conversation to be polite, but by the end he could never keep it up; that was funny!"

McLaren, however, was a different story. This answer is kind of a mash-up of several different answers -- the first part on how F1 drivers will adapt to night driving and the differences between NASCAR and F1 drivers. The second more about the differences between McLaren and Williams, and the final part on the differences between Frank Williams and Ron Dennis.

"They complain about everything," he said. "Like in Monaco, they complained about reflections in the rear-view mirrors when they go through the tunnel. Me, I think 'just get on with it and drive!'

Many people in F1 forget that it is a sport. McLaren, for example, take it much too seriously.

With Ron [Dennis], you have a nice dinner with him one evening and then when you say 'hi' the next day, he is a totally different person."

JPM also had an interesting take on his relationship with teammate Kimi Raikkonen. To be fair, JPM also said Kimi was probably a nice guy once you got to know him.

"With Kimi it is not about whether you get along with him or not, because he never says anything – and it's difficult to know someone who doesn't talk, right?" he explained.

Given his experience with McLaren, the 2007 NASCAR Rookie of the Year was not surprised Fernando Alonso left the team after just one season. A little more perspective on this, this answer stemmed out of a question concerning favoritism at McLaren.

"He saw that the future of the team was Lewis Hamilton," he said. "not Fernando Alonso."

F1 needs strong personalities...

Super Aguri assets sold

Any thoughts of someone relaunching a Formula One team out of the ashes of the Super Aguri squad were dashed as Formtech GmbH, which manufactures parts for F1 and the automotive industry, purchased the former F1 team's assets.

The firm plans to use the team's Leafield headquarters for expansion of its business.

"With our plans of company growth and manufacturing expansion, the location at Leafield enables us to establish a presence in an important geographical area for motorsport engineering,” SpeedTV.com quotes Formtech managing director Franz Hilmer. "We shall be employing a number of ex-Super Aguri staff who are experienced in the field of composite design and manufacturing and make full use of the sites spacious facilities and up-to-date machinery. A further goal of Formtech is to attract suitable individuals and companies with aspirations of running their own motorsport team to purchase the F1 race equipment from Formtech."

Mosley still says he will quit at end of term

Max Mosley says he still plans to retire when his current term ends in 2009.

Fresh off his privacy case victory over News of the World, the FIA boss said he has no intention of running for another term.

"There are a large number of people in the FIA who are saying that I must run again in 2009," Mosley told Autosport magazine. "I don't want to, because to be very, very honest, I want to stop going to work every day. It is that thing that every morning you cannot believe how much work there is to do."

Mosley said there is more to the job that what's visible on the surface.

"A lot of people with ambitions think all you do is put on a blazer and an armband and you are president of the FIA. You can do it like that, but then you are not the person in control - it is the secretary general," he said. "So if you want to have any influence, you have to do an awful lot of work."

Asked whether he thought the oft mentioned Jean Todt would succeed him, Mosley had his doubts.

"I think there are a lot of potential successors and if Jean Todt were interested in doing it, and I am not sure he is, he would obviously be very capable," he explained."But someone like Jean Todt could command a huge salary in F1. He could go anywhere he wanted, you know he could go into any of those companies to make it work."
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

JPM rocks! Always did. Love him, love his driving, love what he says, love his Colombian fans :-) Mon-to-ya! Mon-to-ya!

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