In the round-up: Former Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi defends FIA race director Niels Wittich over his handling of the Australian Grand Prix.
Race director made right calls – Alesi
After three red flags, two standing restarts and a multi-car crash, Wittich’s handling of Sunday’s race in Melbourne drew criticism from those who claimed the spectacle had taken priority over the sport.
However Alesi is not among them. “I understand the impression of having seen a chaotic race but I don’t share the objections,” he told Corriere della Serra. “In my opinion, the race director applied the regulation perfectly.”
While Mercedes said they were “very surprised” by Wittich’s decision to red-flag the race after Alexander Albon crashed at turn six, Alesi felt it was necessary. “On a track like the one in Melbourne, when gravel and other debris encroaches on the track, a red flag is a must,” he said. “As happened after the accidents involving Albon and Magnussen, after the collisions at the end. There are no alternatives and the risks for those who run are high.”
‘Webber’s hindsight is my foresight’ – Piastri
Oscar Piastri admitted he doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with his manager Mark Webber, who eased his path into the sport where he raced for 12 years, winning nine races.
“He’s incredibly good,” Piastri told Channel 4. “Obviously he’s been through my journey before, and especially now that I’m in F1, obviously he’s had an incredible career in F1 himself. He knows a lot of people in the paddock, pretty much everyone.
“His hindsight is my foresight in some ways – he tells me all the time. Sometimes there’s a few decisions that maybe I don’t agree with but I always remember that he’s been here in my shoes before and there’s a very good reason why there’s some things he wants to do certain ways, which I’m incredibly grateful for.”
Penske’s tribute to Lucy Foyt
Roger Penske paid tribute to Lucy Foyt, the late wife of four-times Indianapolis 500 winner AJ Foyt, after she passed away earlier this week.
“I have known AJ and Lucy Foyt nearly as long as I have been involved in racing,” said Penske. “So much of AJ’s racing success was rooted in the solid foundation of the love and support that Lucy provided for him throughout his career.
“Racing can be a tough business, and AJ was not immune to the dangers drivers often face. It was Lucy who was always there to help AJ navigate through the hard times and get him back to his winning ways.
“Most importantly, Lucy’s commitment to the Foyt family is her biggest legacy. Keeping the family connected allowed AJ to focus on being one of the greatest race car drivers of all time. I truly believe that it would have been hard for AJ to achieve all of his on-track success without Lucy. Our prayers and condolences are with AJ and the entire Foyt family.”
Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:
Lewis got to meet some of the awesome kids from @DeadlyScience in Melbourne. 😁
DeadlyScience provide books and STEM resources to remote schools in Australia. 📚🧪
Celebrating Indigenous people in STEM, they hope to inspire the next generation of First nations scientists. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/ACEZFcSGDG
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) April 6, 2023
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