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GP Week : Issue 5
Letters email us at firstname.lastname@example.org WITH the present and the late previous Presidents of the FIA currently in the news, it is interesting to reflect on the way that they respectively took control over rallying. Max Mosley came to office full of very necessary ideas to update the sport, and immediately embarked on the changes which he could see were urgently needed – changes which would make the sport acceptable to the growing demand for eco- friendliness and safety, and then changes which would introduce financial constraints in an age where money was becoming less available. It was a quite different scene under his predecessor. Jean- Marie Balestre was essentially a man who created a sense of ‘safe hands' in the sport. He was a man who wanted the sport to leave the worrying to him. A man who would make instant and fearless decisions, especially in 1986 when he steam-rollered the car regulation rules and ended the Group B days! But he was also human. Every time he came to a world championship rally, there would be a speech and our presence, or absence, would be noted – not only journalists but photographers MArtin HoLMes rallies editor o p in io n Jean Marie Balestre was larger than life In Defence of Felipe I read Will Buxton's column on Felipe Massa and I was quite amazed when he stated that Massa is one of those guys who would never ever admit an error. If you have followed closely his career, there's one particular quality of his character that stands out – he's always blaming himself and tries to improve. When JV bumped him into the wall in Monaco '05, Felipe said that he's angry with himself for destroying his tyres and thus falling into JV's clutches. I'm surprised Will failed to take into account that both his errors, the start in Melbourne and the one in Malaysia were not under normal circumstances. You're supposed to get higher revs and spin if you're a gear lower, and you're supposed to have pretty much zero rear downforce when the car bottoms hard. Whereas in Australia the error was fully with Felipe mis- shifting a gear, in Malaysia the error was partly on the data guys and his engineer for not taking correctly into account kerb riding in setting up the car. If my driver hits the kerbs at Ascari in Monza and the car spins by itself into the wall, because it's bottoming, I'm the one to blame! On DC, well, they have a history – strange that no-one comment on this. It all started at Imola '04 I believe, then it developed into a fight the next year again at Imola and since then they crashed again in China '06 I think. All of their battles since 2005 have been at the very limit. I guess the trend will continue with their complete lack for diplomacy on this topic. Ivan Nikolov, Bulgaria email@example.com ED: Your confidence in Felipe would seem to be well-placed, given the events of the weekend. On the face of it, he well and truly had Kimi's measure. Could that be a problem? ... 250 GP Bikes – easy being green Re Roger Clements letter last week asking why 250cc GP bike racing should be switched to a new formula (“if it’s not broken why fix it”), it must be clear that the international categories must follow the primary MotoGP category in switching to more ‘environmentally correct’ equipment. The inescapable fact is that two-stroke engines pump oil (left over after combustion occurs) into the atmosphere. It may not be much, especially with modern bikes, but if 250s (and 125s) don’t switch to four-stroke technology, they will become dinosaurs. The suggestion of production-based engines in prototype racing chassis seems a logical idea and I hope they go that way, which still allows for some creative engineering and expertise with the bikes, and good racing. Yves Hollander, Belgium firstname.lastname@example.org 22