Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Montezemolo - F1 race no place for GP2 pace // Ferrari's President hits out at slower drivers

Published by Christine

Jarno Trulli keeps Fernando Alonso at bay, when racing for position on the streets of Monaco, May 2010.
Jarno Trulli keeps Fernando Alonso at bay, when racing for position on the streets of Monaco, May 2010.Credit: Lotus Racing

It's been a rumbling subject for as long as I can remember, but every now and then the question of backmarkers springs to the forefront of Formula 1 news. Today, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has been dismissive of the slower cars on the grid, after they hindered Alonso's performance in the race on Sunday.

Alonso finished third and on the podium at the Canadian Grand Prix, but the team believe he could have done better had he not been held up by cars who took their time adhering to the blue flags. Luca is not best pleased.

Cars who perform at GP2-level should not be allowed to participate in F1 races because they are supposed to race on Sunday mornings.

- Luca di Montezemolo

During the live comments, there were several calls for the backmarkers to get out the way, or as Mr C calmly put it: "move you slow people!"

What is the solution though? Are backmarkers simply a part of the challenge? Is it right that the fastest drivers can romp away with a lead only to have to deal with traffic anyway?

The front runners have often said the slower cars are not great at reacting to blue flags, and they quite often cause an overtake or two that seriously affects the race and championships. The drivers of said slower cars have reacted in their own way. It's not their fault they aren't as fast, and they have their own race to run as well. The leaders aren't the only ones to lose places because of the backmarker situation.

I wonder if di Montezemolo has an ulterior motive to his calls for fewer cars. If there was a smaller grid, there would be more weight added to his argument for three-car teams. In his eyes, scrap Virgin and HRT for another Ferrari and McLaren, maybe? That wouldn't go down well with some of the mid-field teams though. The backmarkers don't bother them, but another McLaren would just get in the way.

So, what do you think? Do we want backmarkers to remain in the race as an added variable? Is there more that can be done to move them out the way? Or is di Montezemolo right and they just shouldn't be allowed to race in the first place?