Red Bull’s Mark Webber has poured cold water on Bernie Ecclestone’s suggestion that grands prix could be livened up by using sprinklers to make “fake rain.”
“No and no,” the Australian told the BBC on Thursday when asked whether the sport needed such measures proposed by the commercial supremo and whether he would like them.
“It can be more exciting when we have some different weather conditions, that does happen, but you just try and think of Jimmy Clark and Jackie Stewart and [Ayrton] Senna and those guys, masters in the wet,” Webber said.
“Jackie’s still here, but the other two would be turning in their graves if they thought we’d have sprinklers and hoses lined up around the track ... it wouldn’t be the most sophisticated way to make the show more entertaining,” he added.
Mercedes GP chief executive Nick Fry was also unconvinced.
“I think Bernie’s putting forward some entertaining ideas but ... Formula One is about contending with the conditions that prevail at the time,” he said.
“The beauty of Formula One is that there is now huge variety ... we have races in the evening and during the day and halfway between the two and I don’t think anyone could say that last year was boring. It was tremendous and I’m sure that this year will be better still,” he added.
Ecclestone raised the “fake rain” idea earlier last week, although cynics suspected his words may have had more to do with a desire to keep Formula One in the news after the March 13 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix was called off.
He suggested making tracks artificially wet during a race.
“I’m happy to make it happen,” he told the BBC again on Thursday. “My idea is that we should make a program that nobody knows exactly which program is going to be used and it would start at some time during the race. It would be raining effectively. It would maybe stop and maybe rain again later. Or maybe not. So nobody would know.”
Ecclestone did find some support from Paul Hembery, motorsport director of Formula One’s new tire supplier Pirelli.
“I thought Bernie Ecclestone’s comments were quite interesting,” he told autosport.com. “Straight after our recent successful [wet-weather] Abu Dhabi test I saw him and said, ‘Why don’t we do an artificial wet race?’ The technology is such that you can wet a circuit with a sprinkler system, so the idea is not as daft as it sounds.”
As they celebrated Naomi Osaka’s victory in the final of the US Open in New York City’s Flushing Meadows on Saturday, Tokyoites were eager to embrace their heroines’ stand against racial injustice. Osaka, who won her third Grand Slam title with a victory over Victoria Azarenka, has used her platform to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, wearing a mask bearing the name of a different African American before each of her seven matches in the championship. She had donned masks bearing the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd and Philando Castile. On Saturday, she walked
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
THOROUGH THRASHING: Hualien City beat Taichung Blue Whale 2-1, ending their three-year winning streak with one round of matches left and eight points to spare Hualien City on Saturday clinched this year’s Taiwan Mulan Football League title with one game to spare, by beating Taichung Blue Whale 2-1 at Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City. Hualien City have scored 38 points this season. Blue Whale are second on the scoreboard with 30 points, while Taipei Bravo are third with 23 points. One final round of matches is to be played on Saturday. It is the fourth league trophy for Hualien City, and ends Blue Whale’s three-year winning streak. Hualien had won the title from 2014 to 2016. Both teams defended well, leaving few chances in front
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7