Royal Racing Night in the Arabian Peninsula
The 74th season of Formula 1 is gaining momentum. But the royal races would not be themselves if an aura of scandals, loud (and sometimes stupid) statements did not constantly hover around them. The history of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is not as long as that of Monza or Spa, but it has already managed to contain itself and a brilliant fight on the track (bye to Max and Lewis), and epic crashes (bye to Mick Schumacher) and rocket attacks (hello from the Houthis of neighboring Yemen), demonstrating the weakness of the American Patriot. This year’s race in Jeddah (which, like the previous one in Bahrain, is also night-time) is the second on the calendar.
Leclerc will lose ten positions at the start
The season did not have time to start, the new leader at Ferrari did not have time to get used to his position, as the problems announced themselves. Even before the race in Bahrain, Charles Leclerc’s car was replaced with an energy storage unit and an electronic control unit. He was given the second powerhouse elements of the two allowed for the season. Indeed, those failed in the running, like the first ones. Thus, in one phase, the Monegasque car used up its entire seasonal stock. And at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix he will start with a penalty for losing ten places on the grid. True, the Jeddah track is high-speed and there is where to overtake. Thus, “Ferrari” will be able to fully compete for good places at the finish line. Another thing is that this fine is clearly not the last for Leclerc. And the Monegasque’s mood, which is already not rosy from the knowledge that he will go another season without fighting for the title, will not improve from this.
Mercedes wants a new car, Aston Martin wants a title
The alignment in the championship can never be judged from the first race. Last year, Red Bull left Bahrain with one wheel and Ferrari with a double. How the year ended – everyone remembers. This year Red Bull got off to a one-two finish and Ferrari lost a car in one race. But what is stable in both years is the shape of the Mercedes, which “doesn’t drive as it should”. Hamilton in his heart he even said that he was not heard during the project w14 and here is the result on the face. The seven-time champion was annoyed and team boss Toto Wolf said that he has modernized profoundly w14 with a new concept. Changing it during the season is a risky move, but better than looking at the affected company’s image.
The paddock has always been full of entries. And according to one of them, it follows that in Brixworth, where the Mercedes engine division is based, they generally said that they would give Aston Martin better engines, and not the factory team, if it did not pull up the results.
Aston Martin has confirmed the saying that appetite comes with eating. Alonso, who enjoyed overtaking Hamilton and Sainz, said he was ready and would like to fight for the world title. How objectively the Spaniard assessed his abilities is an open question. One thing is clear that Aston Martin, if not with Red Bull, then with Ferrari and Mercedes, will certainly compete.
Is Formula 1 racing in the US at risk of being cancelled? It’s no different
And stupid statements. The holding of the stage in Saudi Arabia has been mercilessly criticized by various Western human rights activists, who view human rights violations very selectively and record them even more selectively. In the case of Saudi Arabia, they have seen. And the more disagreements there were between the United States and Saudi Arabia on various issues, the more clearly human rights activists saw human rights violations and the louder the criticisms. The FIA, having said “this is different”, did not cancel the race. But then, against the backdrop of an emotional struggle with the Federation, the general director of Formula 1, Stefano Domenicali, entered the controversy, completely forgetting the consolidating role of sport and doing the exact opposite: inflating the conflict. However, in the West, many sports officials have forgotten about this role, so Domenicali is not the only one of his kind. And every time another official of any international federation makes a statement that surprises him with hypocrisy, we can safely assume that soon there will be someone else who, as they say, will break the bottom even further.
Last summer, Domenicali was already marked by a categorical statement that Formula 1 would never return to Russia, completely forgetting that he himself was only a temporary figure.
Already before the start of the season, releasing an interview to the British media, Domenicali threatened that Formula 1 could cancel the rounds in countries where there are problems with human rights. Only the lazy do not know how the collective West uses the horror story about human rights violations in relation to questionable countries. China, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Brazil, Canada, Azerbaijan have been accused of violating various rights at different times, even Hungary has been accused, especially recently, of defending its opinion in European politics. Russia is out of competition on this list. And if you go this way, there will be scraps left from the calendar. And the calendar itself turns into a convenient means of putting pressure on objectionable people.
“We are very concerned about this issue. The contracts clearly state that if something goes wrong, we can end the relationship immediately. This is monitored by independent auditors. Does it mean the cancellation of the Grand Prix in case of dissatisfaction with the human rights situation? The answer is very simple: yes,” Domenicali said.
It is worth noting that the former FIA president Jean Todt explicitly and more than once stated that Formula 1 should go where there are problems with human rights, noting the important role of sport, which Domenicali forgot about.
Who are those auditing firms that Domenicali did not mention. Since no one asked the question, what about human rights violations in the US, Canada and the UK? Meanwhile, in the US this year there will be three stages at once. Will they be canceled, given the numerous violations of these same rights in the United States?
“We have been coming for a long time. “Formula 1” will be constantly present in Las Vegas” – said Domenicali himself during the presentation of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
So you know, it’s different. And there isn’t yet another Formula 1 guide. But that’s just for now.