And One of them will even race in Formula 1 next
Spent last weekend Gorging Thyself on the USGP
from the Circuit Of The Americas, which it’s hard to believe it was already ten
years ago when I attended it’s Debutante Formula 1 race…
Hadn’t thought I’d get to partake Friday’s
(Free Practice) FP1 session on Thy Telie’, but I returned Home Justin-time’ to
catch the whole Broadcast.
As I was Uber curious how current Chip Ganassi
Racing IndyCar Driver and 2021 IndyCar Champion Alex Palou would do upon His
Formula 1 debut. And I have to say I was suitably impressed.
As it was pretty Funny Hearing Bloody ‘Ol Jense’,
aka Jenson Button bemoaning how Alex was “Dirt Tracking” the McLaren into
Turn-1, saying that’s No way to drive an F1 Car, before Palou summarily put in
a Flyer’ of a lap, only some 1.9 seconds adrift of P1! Which I think was Max
Verstappen at that time?
Whilst I enjoyed listening to Jense’ and Ant’,
aka Anthony Davidson discussing the merits of Power Steering in Formula 1 vs.
Indy Cars lack of it! Along with Button noting how He preferred a “Heavier”
steering feedback. And they even played a brief In-car radio snippet of Palou
sounding very Happy to be fulfilling His Dream of driving a Formula 1 car in
Anger during a Grand Prix weekend!
And then the three Talking Headz’ in the Sky
Sports F1 TV Booth further inquired with McLaren F1 Team CEO Andreas Seidl how
Palou Had Done? To which Seidl gave the typical Non-comittal He Did a very Good
Job PR Speak…
Even better yet, during Saturday’s FP3 Practice
session. Following an enjoyable interview with ‘Ol SuperMario’, nee Mario
Andretti in the Booth alongside Danica Patrick, their next guest was Alex
Palou! For which Palou got a fair bit of interview time!
Whilst I’m not sure if He was mentioned again
during the ridiculous 90mins Sunday morning Preamble, which I skipped in favour
of the Malaysian Grand Prix MotoGP race’s television coverage…
As it was Good to Hear IndyCar getting it’s due
upon the F1 Broadcast! As I’ll try not being too cynical over recalling that
Liberty Media has a tiny Ownership stake in Meyer Shank Racing, Me Thinks, and this
was just smart Cross Promotional work.
Ultimately the four F1 Rookies predictably
Shook Out where I’d have expected them to, with Ferrari’s Robert Shwartzman on
top in 16th, with a time of 1:38.951
As the Russian Shwartzman who was born in Israel,
now races under an Israeli license.
Palou in the McLaren was P17 at 1:39.911.
followed by Alfa Romeo’s Theo Pourchaire at 1:40.175 and Team Willy’s Logan
Sargeant at 1:40.325.
Whilst we’ll skip former F1 Driver Antonio Giovinazzi Blotting
His Copybook in the Haas! Other than the Italian’s FP1 session was a Nightmare!
As Giovinazzi finished last after Clouting the Wall on only lap-3 of the first
practice session, Momma Mia!
As I tend to recall, Shwartzman had Soft
Pirelli rubber on, with Palou and Pourchaire on the Mediums. With Sargeant also
on softs. Thus you’d have to Arse-sume that both Palou and Pourchaire could have
theoretically gone faster, albeit we’ve got Zero Clue what each respective
Rookie Drivers “test” programme was, other than naturally keeping it “Clean”
and Off the Walls!
For comparison’s sake, the (FP1) session’s Fastest
runner was Scuderia Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. with a time of 1:36.857. As the
Spaniard then summarily claimed His second F1 career Pole with a scorching time
Yet as we All know, All of Carlos’s work was
Quickly undone in the first corner of the race’s first lap! Where Sainz got
somewhat out of shape and was summarily Punted by Mercedes George Russell! With
the Ferrari’s radiator being pierced, before Sainz was forced to retire!
As Shwartzman is a former F2 driver and a
member of the Ferrari Academy, along with being a current Ferrari F1
Development Driver. While Pourchaire and Sargeant are both currently FIA Formula
2 championship Drivers. With All three expected to no longer be part of the
series at season’s end, with Pourchaire becoming an Alfa Romeo F1 Reserve
Driver next year.
Interestingly, Williams Racing’s Boss Jost
Capito said the day after, that Logan Had Done exactly what they’d expected
from Him during FP1, and it was enough to convince them to announce the 21yr
Old Yank’ would become the next American to race in F1 during the 2023 Formula 1
With Capito smartly adding provided Sargeant claimed the
necessary points to garner a FIA Super License, presumably in deference to All of
the Noise surrounding IndyCar’s Colton Herta’s Failed attempt…
Yet Sargeant is surely a “lock” for this, since
He’s currently third overall in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with one round
remaining at Abu Dhabi, and only needs to finish fifth Overall. Or Logan can “slide”
down to sixth Overall, since Williams plans to run Him in the Mexico and Abu
Dhabi FP1 sessions, which will garner
Him an extra two Super License points.
As Logan will be pulling Double duty on Yas Isle when running His third FP1 session along with Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar Driver Pato O’Ward…