It is no doubt been a tough week for the motorsport community. After F1’s own tragedy over the weekend when it was announced by the Bianchi family that Jules lost his fight to the injuries he sustained in last October’s Japanese Grand Prix, we suffered another loss on Sunday during a World Superbike race at Leguna Seca in which two bikers; Daniel Rivas and Bernat Martinez were killed in an incident at the start.
Reminds me a lot of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix weekend back in 2011, which of course happened off the back of Dan Wheldon’s death in IndyCar and Marco Simoncelli’s in MotoGP. Thankfully the motorsport community is made up of strong, like-minded people, who have the courage to compartmentalise the risks with compassion.
The images that emerged of the drivers on Tuesday last week were heartbreaking, so for the drivers to take to the circuit this weekend in light of their fallen comrade is very admirable. They do so of course with a number of tributes on their helmets, and as I understand it a minutes silence before the Grand Prix start on the grid.
In other pieces of news, not a lot has emerged in the three weeks since the British GP. The driver merry go round is ripe with speculation, with Sauber today confirming their future in 2016 with Ericsson and Nasr. Bottas is rumoured to be replacing Raikkonen according to Italian media, although they also said Nasr would be going to Williams to replace the departing Bottas. There has been some talk of 2014 GP3 title winner Alex Lynn replacing the Fin and pairing with Massa, who said today in the drivers press conference that he hopes to be with the team in the future.
Elsewhere Williams are said to have brought a Mercedes-style front wing to this weekend, although only one driver will test it during Practice according to German media since they only have one available. It will be interesting to see how much faster the car is since they showed some good pace in Silverstone, particularly at the start which is set to get a small overhaul in time for the Belgian GP.
Mercedes also have updates to their monkey seat, which takes on a similar ‘lent back’ slanted construction as opposed to the straighter, more ‘seated’ version. McLaren also plan on using their get out of jail free card this weekend with both Alonso and Button, who will each get a new Honda Power Unit without incurring any ridiculous 25-place penalties.