Binotto: Three power units ‘too few’ for current calendar

In the round-up: Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says that the current limit of three power units for a season are not enough for the current calendar.

In brief

Binotto: Three power units ‘too few’ for current calendar

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says that the current limit of three power units for a season are not enough for the current calendar.

All drivers are limited to three power units for the 22 race season in 2022. Any driver who exceeds their allocation of components during the season is assessed with a grid penalty. This has led to rounds where almost half of the field have served grid penalties for the same race, such as the most recent race at Monza, where Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jnr was one of eight drivers penalised.

“I think the amount of penalties [at Monza] are too many,” said Binotto. “It’s difficult for a fan, I think, to see a car on pole and not starting on pole because he’s got grid penalties or whatever.

“Maybe the three power units for each driver are too little at that stage for what we have achieved. Maybe we need to reconsider as well for the next season’s.”

The 2023 F1 calendar is expected to feature a record-breaking 24 races.

Alguersuari says Tost ‘hung up’ on him after he was dropped from Red Bull

Biography: Jaime Alguersuari

Former Formula 1 driver Jaime Alguersuari described the difficulty he had coming to terms with his ejection from Red Bull’s junior team Toro Rosso in 2011, two-and-a-half years after making his debut for them as a teenager.

Speaking to El Confidencial, Alguersuari said he was stunned to learn he had been dropped the day after attending a sponsor event. “Franz Tost called me the day after the Cepsa event at eight in the morning to tell us that Red Bull couldn’t help us anymore and that he had bad news,” said Alguersuari. “And he hung up on me. Because I guess he didn’t want to talk to me.”

He raised the matter with Red Bull’s motorsport consultant Helmut Marko. “I pick up the phone, and I call directly to Helmut Marko. ‘This is a joke?’. ‘You already found out, right?’ ‘What’s this about, Helmut?’ And he tells me: ‘I couldn’t do anything.’”

Alguersuari said he still feels affected by his experience. “At Red Bull, in Formula 1, you didn’t live in peace, even with great results,” he said. “You did a great job and you never left feeling like the job was done and everyone is happy. Your rivals congratulated you more than the people on your team.

“And you’ve lived that feeling since you were fifteen. Nothing was ever enough. And if you look, it’s Max Verstappen’s pattern with his father. That is the Red Bull school, the one I lived through.”

Post-season Formula 3 test drivers announced

Two FIA Formula 3 teams have confirmed the batch of drivers set to take part for them in this week’s post-season test.

The three-day test will be held between Wednesday 21st and Friday 23rd at the Jerez circuit in Spain. Jenzer Motorsport have announced that Euroformula Open driver Alex Garcia and F4 racers Nikita Bedrin and Taylor Barnard will test for the team. Meanwhile, the Charouz team will run Alessandro Formularo – who raced the final F3 round at Monza with the team – along with Formula Regional drivers Nicola Marinangeli and Matias Zagazeta and F4 driver Emerson Fittipaldi Jnr.

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Comment of the day

Can eligibility for racing in Formula 1 be boiled down to a mathematical formula based on a driver’s results in junior categories? Reader AlanD believes that the current restrictions are too rigid.

I also think it reasonable for F1 to say that drivers must have an appropriate amount of single-seater open-wheel racing experience to qualify but it is how you measure that experience which is the problem. It isn’t as if drivers can pick and choose which series to race in, or which cars to drive, they can’t do extra hours in their spare time to qualify. Herta has a ton of experience driving in Indy, he has learnt all the basic skills needed for the open-wheel format, but not had the car under him to get the superlicense points. People here are saying that he only finished 10th last season, as if that validates the FIA rules. It doesn’t.

F1 drivers who have gone to Indy have not blown the field away. Takumo Sato, seven years in F1, drove for Jordan, BAR, SuperAguri, has spent 13 years in indy, best championship position 7th, most years well ouside the top 10. Jean Alesi, disqualified from the indy 500 for lapping so slowly he was considered a safety hazard. Stefan Johannsen drove for McLaren and Ferrari, went to indycar and never won a race in four seasons. Nelson Piquet, destroyed his indycar in the wall when trying to get into the pit lane. So if Sato etc were considered good enough for F1, how can you possibly block drivers like Herta?

I feel that provided a driver has an appropriate amount of experience and maturity, and is seen to be competitive, it should be up to teams to decide if they want that driver in there car, not for the FIA to decide who has driven the right sort of races according to their algorithm.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Americantifosi, Aus_Steve, Calum, Deadman, Geemac and Saints!

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