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GP Week : Issue 34
Letters email us at firstname.lastname@example.org It's all in the interpretation In response to Andrew Van Leeuwen’s article about team orders, I agree with his idea that team orders should be allowed in Formula One. Unfortunately at the moment, the rules state that they are not allowed. Someone more cynical than me might argue that while the rules seem pretty straight forward, they do seem to be open to a different interpretation when a Ferrari infringes them, than when a McLaren (or indeed other cars) make the same mistake. Doug Benson email@example.com Fill 'em up and let's go racing Will Buxton has it absolutely right. Refuelling is dangerous and irrelevant in an F1 race. When all motorsports entities ought to be working toward fuel savings, banning refuelling in F1 is absolutely the way to go, together with the introduction of KERS and, maybe, other sensible ideologies. But then, I'm a dreamer. Anne Proffit, Long Beach, Calif firstname.lastname@example.org Afore ye go ... Scotsmen have taken more than their fair share of F1 glory along the way and, this weekend, another successful one says his goodbyes. I refer of course to David Coulthard. Of all the drivers in the F1 mini-world, DC seems to have the most realistic, down-to- earth view on life – at least, since leaving McLaren. Or could it have been after walking away from that fatal light plane crash. Regardless, a fine addition to the long line of Hot Scots ... David R Coulton Aberdeen (of course) ED: You'll enjoy our pre-race chat with DC, then – turn the page ... 20 Rally’s new Youth Group MArtin HoLMes rallies editor THE decisions by the Jurors of the Pirelli European Star Driver Shoot-Out was bound to be controversial, given the importance of the awards at stake, and the lack of understanding about just how the winners were to be decided. One striking factor was apparent when the detailed scoring by the jurors was published – the top places, especially the two drivers who actually gained the awards, were won by drivers with remarkably little rallying experience. Martin Semerad, the second placed contender, was the youngest of all the drivers, and the only driver born in the 1990s. Meanwhile, only seven drivers out of the 18 were younger than the outright winner Jaarko Nikara. These days, when a 17-year- old is registered to compete in a World Championship, 16-year-olds are, in some countries, also allowed – even the 18-year-old Semerad is no spring chicken … None of the drivers in the older half of the entry had a top placing, with the exception of fifth-oldest Franz Wittman Jr, who finished sixth overall. It was like the jurors saw age as a handicap, even though all the drivers fitted the under-27 criteria. It was also interesting that speed on the stages was only partially important. The fastest driver was Herrman Gassner Jr from Germany, but he finished only fourth in the selection, while the fastest driver of a two-wheel-drive car, Britain’s Adam Gould, was fifth in the voting, despite Martin Semerad beating Nikara on the stages. Looking into the decisions, one felt that one of the factors must have been not the current skills of the driver, but the state of the driver’s career in view of the experiences he has had. After all, this was only the third time that Nikara had driven a Fiesta, and the first time he had rallied on asphalt. “I took some lessons on a racetrack in Finland, but it really wasn’t quite the same, he said.” Semerad, in his second season of rallying, had driven only one rally on gravel before, and that was the weekend before the Shoot-Out. Now that some of the uncertainties about the selection process have been cleared up, maybe there will be changes for the future. Like, maybe the Under 27 limit is too high? Only five of the 18 competitors, who had been selected by their federations, were either 27 or 26, while the rest were well under the age limit. The message from Freistadt seems to be the world is getting to be a younger place than we realize … opinion