Here’s a strange little news item from F1 Racing-live: Honda’s Nick Fry has apparently criticized BMW Sauber for the way they intend to use their third driver, Sebastian Vettel, in 2007. He thinks that having Vettel drive the cars during practice will annoy both contracted race drivers as they lose valuable time on the circuit.
He may have a point. But why would he bother to say so? If a close competitor is making a tactical error, surely it would be best to grin and keep quiet? Admittedly, Nick “expressed delight” that BMW should make such an error but it makes no sense that he should announce it to the world, thereby giving his rivals the opportunity to realize and fix their mistake, if that’s what it is.
It reminds me of Flavio Briatore’s outburst against McLaren earlier this year. That made no sense at the time unless it was viewed purely as a chance to grab some attention during a quiet week for F1. Perhaps Nick Fry has subscribed to the Briatore school of public relations and the belief that any publicity is good publicity.
It seems a waste of words to me, however. In view of the fact that I have suggested Honda as a good bet for the championship next year, I find it slightly worrying that their team manager should indulge in such pointless statements. Shouldn’t he be far too busy preparing for next season to be worrying about what BMW Sauber are up to?
Maybe I’m just old fashioned but I like the quieter style of Ron Dennis. You don’t see him courting publicity or criticizing the way others run their teams – he lets them make their mistakes and gets on with his own business. Did you see any response from him to Flavio’s critique of his motorhome, for instance?
Of course, Nick Fry’s words were probably spoken in an unguarded moment and some journalist, desperate for some news in the off season, has run with them. And yes, I’m getting a post out of them too. But at least I didn’t headline it “Honda Slams BMW!”