No. 947
May 23, 2018

About The UjianNasional

Author, commentator, influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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By Peter M. De Lorenzo

I found all of the hand-wringing during and after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday (see more about the race in "Horizon" -WG) to be a bit tedious. Why? Because I have little sympathy for the sea of corporate correctness that F1 has become, especially the way Mercedes goes about its racing. And watching as the corporate overlords of the Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 team were having a conniption because Lewis Hamilton didn't run his race the way they thought it should be run was immensely satisfying.

Yes, I get it, it's a racing team and Hamilton was supposed to do as he was told, but I don't believe in team orders, of any kind. If two teammates are strong enough to win, then have at it and let the chips fall where they may. If Rosberg didn't like Hamilton going just fast enough to win, then pass him and move on instead of waiting for the title to be "properly" bestowed upon him just for showing up.

Besides, corporate syncopation in racing is nothing more than unmitigated bullshit, and it stinks. I suppose it's more of a European racing trait than an American racing trait, to be sure. You only have to look as far back as last year's Daytona 24 Hours - when the Corvette Racing Team put on a scintillating show by letting teammates fight it out for the GTLM class win - to understand the fundamental differences in the approach. The staid European racing community was absolutely apoplectic at the thought that Corvette Racing Team operatives would allow their drivers to slug it out for the win, but the level of trust team management bestowed on their drivers was rewarded with great - and clean - racing right to the end.

As for what happened on Sunday, I am so sick of the heavily orchestrated dance that has defined Formula 1 over the last 20 years that I couldn't care less that Hamilton allegedly didn't follow team orders. It's all simply ridiculous - the sanitized tracks, the cookie-cutter pit suites and winner's rostrum - heaven forbid that there's any deviation from the specifications from country to country - we wouldn't want any of the local characteristics to be seen on television, now, would we? Add to that the tediously regimented weekend schedule, which is so predictable and boring that everything up to the start of the race can be ignored and relegated to the highlights package, and the heightened corporate involvement - as exemplified by the corporate trolls associated with the Mercedes-Benz team - and I found it frankly amusing that Hamilton basically gave them a proper finger. Now there are reports that the team is considering reprimanding Hamilton in some fashion, with a suspension or some such nonsense. Really?

What about the ridiculous stuff that went on between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna? What, you're going to discipline either one of them back then? And better yet and for me a far better example, who can forget when George Follmer and Parnelli Jones were racing the factory Mustangs for Bud Moore back in '69-'70, when they knocked each other off of the track on more than one occasion?

Shit happens on a race track, and if you're thinking that having two "No. 1" drivers on the same team isn't going to cause friction, then you're naive and deserve whatever is coming to you. I have no sympathy for the Mercedes-Benz F1 team on this. None. Hamilton was the leader of the race, and he had a right to conduct himself however he saw fit while leading the race. If Nico didn't like it, then pass him on the track and make an emphatic statement that way. Otherwise, hold the whining, please.

And that's the High-Octane Truth for this week.



Editor's Note: Many of you have seen Peter's references over the years to the Hydrogen Electric Racing Federation (HERF), which he launched in 2007. For those of you who weren't following AE at the time, you can read two of HERF's press releases and . And for even more details (including a link to Peter's announcement speech), check out the HERF entry on Wikipedia . -WG


Publisher's Note: As part of our continuing series celebrating the "Glory Days" of racing, we're proud to present another noteworthy image from the Ford Racing Archives. - PMD

(Photo courtesy of the Ford Racing Archives)
Kent, Washington, September 7, 1969.  Parnelli Jones (No. 15 Bud Moore Ford Mustang) and George Follmer (No. 16 Bud Moore Ford Mustang) battle it out during the Trans-Am race there that year. Follmer would DNF and Jones would finish second to Ronnie Bucknum (No. 9 Penske-Hilton Racing Chevrolet Camaro). Chevrolet won the coveted Manufacturers Championship. 
(Photo courtesy of the Ford Racing Archives)
Monterey, California, April 19, 1970. Parnelli Jones (No. 15 Bud Moore Ford Mustang Boss 302) in the Trans-Am race at Laguna Seca that year. Jones would win that day followed by Mark Donohue (No. 6 Penske Racing AMC Javelin) and George Follmer (No. 16 Bud Moore Ford Mustang Boss 302).

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