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GP Week : Issue 60
letters email us at firstname.lastname@example.org The curse of KERS There have been a lot of arguments for and against KERS since the start of the season. I don't have a particular view either way on the benefits to F1 of this particular technical innovation but I have one concern that has become apparent in the last few races. My concern is that the level of danger at the first corner has been unnecessarily increased due to the KERS cars leaping 5 or 6 grid positions and hurling themselves at the corner in a rush to gain positions while they can. It's a recipe for disaster. But it's not only the danger. I would rather not see two or three of the top cars get taken out of a GP on the first corner thus robbing the race of value. To me KERS makes a mockery of the whole qualifying system. I think until the entire field has KERS, the use of the KERS button off the line should be banned. Drivers could be allowed to use it, say, after the first sector of lap one to gain those crucial early positions. I'd be interested to hear other views. Pete Johnson, Scarborough, QLD, Australia. Premature planning? I enjoy reading GPWeek, but on one subject I hope you are wrong – Casey Stoner. It seems terrible that Ducati is out there looking for someone else to lead the team when the rider who won them a championship is simply ill. If his problem is fatigue syndrome-related, it will with time get better, and he ought to be fine for the start of next season if not the end of this one. I know motor sport can be ruthless, but to be offering Jorge Lorenzo a mega-deal to get him across, this early, seems to be premature. And if, as I would expect, Stoner returns, is that curtains for Nicky Hayden as a Ducati rider – or will he get shoved off to the other team? Roger Ratcliffe Sheffield, UK Sons of famous fathers While it is sad to see Nelson Piquet Jnr being dumped mid-season, I suspect there will be little sympathy for the young man. Sons of successful, famous fathers have some advantages, also big disadvantages, in professional sport. The name can only buy you so much! The only really successful sons I can think of (in F1) are Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve – and both did it, long after the father had passed away. Matthias G Fiedler Germering, Germany 0 Learning from holMES rallies Editor MartIn SO often it is only after they have gone do we realise why they were important. Marcus Chambers, a team manager in the days of BMC and Rootes died in July at the age of 98 and a door to another chapter in the history of sport closed behind him. Happily he left the legacy of some books in which he told us a lot about the roots of our sport. Only in the last few days have I taken the trouble to read what he said – these are truly insights into bygone times! The book I have been enjoying reading is Works Wonders (manufacturers’ team cars were always called ’works’ cars) which was first written in 1962 as Seven year Twitch and reissued in 1995. I read things which are absolutely foreign to what happens nowadays – yet had they never happened and been learned from, we would never have our sport as it is today. An example: ‘‘The object of (an international rally) is to test both the car and the driver to the limit and to demonstrate their performance against other competing cars’’. Rallies were tests to show the relative excellence of standard cars – nothing to do with performance-enhancing tuning! Jorge and a horse of a MIchaEl Scott MotoGP Editor BARCELONA – Wednesday, August 19: Senior executives of Marlboro brand owners Phillip Morris meet with Jorge Lorenzo’s big Brazilian manager, Marcos Hirsch. Cards on the table. And a great deal of money. Plus a career opportunity that is challenging, exciting, beguiling and terrifying, in about equal measure. We should know Lorenzo’s decision in time for the next issue: an announcement is expected some time during the Indianapolis weekend. Until then, we all hold our breath. Especially Jorge. On the one hand is Yamaha: the perfect spot. Here he can challenge racing’s dominant force head on. He knows he must play second fiddle to Nero. He also knows that at Yamaha, other things remaining equal, sooner or later the balance of power must shift in his favour. On the other hand, a true adventure at Ducati, What (as Rossi entitled his own autobiography) if he had never tried it? The Desmosedici is a bike of the utmost aesthetic beauty that alternately goes like a rocket or flummoxes around like a donkey, depending on who is riding it. And here is a team, the richest in the paddock thanks to those seemingly everlasting Marlboro millions, where he can be top dog. Or maybe not top dog. Racing has been quick to write off Stoner, and as quick to forget his electrifying speed straight out of the box – the practice and qualifying time-screens just don’t look the same when he’s not there, shooting straight to the top, often by a margin of a second or more. Jorge hasn’t forgotten. But given the uncertainty over Stoner, and Ducati’s urgent need to please Marlboro, this might be open to negotiation. Even if opinion opinion