Issues at Hatena, but not the ones you might be imagining; Epona returning to their roots and more! This Grand Prix was a shocker! Read on and find out why!
Edward Parker, writing for formulaproc.com
Before we start, let’s discuss last week’s GP at Hungary (or rather the lack of it…)
Unless you’re living under a rock, you should by now have heard about Hatena Motor’s new technology. They have announced mass production will begin next year, all very exciting. But for some fans and teams, this new technology represents an unfair advantage and change for which they are not ready.
Fear is the common denominator, and fear can make some people do some very stupid things, like threaten to detonate a bomb in Hungary unless the Chamber of the Unseen declares the use of this technology illegal.
If you watch the news, you may know what happened next, if not… Well, let me tell you that FormulaProc being canceled last week was not because the Chamber was going to bend, but the other way around. No one knows who the members of the Chamber of the Unseen are, but they seem to be very well connected. After the weekend finished, 50 people were captured by Interpol, and their whereabouts are unknown.
This reporter tried to pry some information from high-ranking officials, but every single time I asked, I was met with stern looks and the same advice “Don’t look into it. Justice was served”.
Usually, I wouldn’t listen. Journalism ethics and all that. But I like my job and not looking behind my back, so I won’t ask any more questions and neither will you.
With that bitter business out of the way, let’s talk about the qualifying session!
As expected, Jochen and Biskup were hard at trying to beat each other’s time. This time it played in favor of Queenscape, netting them a pole position again at long last, and a third spot in the grid.
Gekinho showed us once more his natural talent using the PSAA (Plug Suite Aioros Alpha) technology and ate the other driver’s time with each corner, managing to almost snatching the pole, less than a second under the best time of the session.
His teammate, Denzi, managed to score a very good fourth place in the starting grid. An outstanding outcome especially taking into account how close we are to his last accident; it was just like in the episode “Shining soul” of his anime (“Black lines”, if you haven’t watched it, you should). His body may not be in the best shape right now, but his soul is that of a racer. It should also be noted that Hatena deployed all of their technology for this miracle to happen, installing a complete simulator at the hospital and letting him practice with his plug suit.
No wonder the cancelation of the Magyar Nagydíj also played in his favor, but you gotta be prepared and strong to take on the chances you are given.
Interestingly for Epona, Kisielewicz didn’t manage to score a quicker lap than Wichman, proving us there is still some potential on the Swedish driver (if only he managed to keep a cool head in the races themselves!).
Majeyaux had a terrible qualifiers session, with Simernino failing to master Eau Rouge and crashing (fortunately he didn’t suffer any injury), and Casalini barely managing to track 11 seconds after the pole.
Grand Prix at Spa
On to the main dish! Tensions were high. Even I was nervous but I have to admit Belgian chocolate helped.
The race had just started and already Wichman was doing what he does best: being reckless. Near La Source he understeer and allowed Zapata to get out of tenth place, while Casalini and Simernino got ahead, but not by much. Is Majeyaux resting on their laurels? Since France, we haven’t seen much action from the French team, and even if they are ahead by a lot, they shouldn’t rest easy. FormulaProc can be unpredictable and situations can change just as fast as the cars. Let’s hope this doesn’t become a trend.
Remember what I said about Jochen and Biskup fighting not being good for Queenscape? Well… Jochen was leading the race, and Biskup started to bump him from behind. Come Les Combes and Jochen decelerated before Biskup could predict it and lo and behold, Biskup may be trying to become an airplane pilot because of the way his car flew. He crashed spectacularly. Look… maybe I shouldn’t be making fun of a crash, but he’s ok, and let’s be honest… He deserved it.
With him out of the way, now the battle for the lead was between Jochen and Geckinho, with Kisielewicz and Denzi closely behind.
Fourth lap, near Pouhon! Yes, that was Jochen spinning! It wasn’t for a long time, but it was all the advantage Gekinho needed, and he took it alright! Kiselewicz fought for the rest of the race but didn’t manage to catch up with the leaders.
This Grand Prix was great for Hatena. Not only did Geckinho earn his first victory since his return to races, but Denzi managed to keep a good place on the grid despite his multiple lesions. This, dear readers is why I love FormulaProc. It’s not just about new technologies, or the best cars or who is the favorite; it’s about spirit and the constant fight for improvement, the constant fight to be the best, and Denzi embodies all those ideals.
And would you believe it… For Kisielewicz it was a great race too, even if he was behind the leaders by a lot, or at least he seemed to think it was a good race if we are to believe the huge smile he had. After the race he got out of the car as if he had springs instead of underpants and walked directly to Epona’s trailer, Wichman was denied entry until Kisielewicz left, again with a smile to visit other teams HQs.
What is happening inside Epona?
We need to talk of course about the strange happenings we are witnessing in the Italian team; there are for instance rumors that Kisielewicz is related to a member of the Chamber of the Unseen… would that somehow be related to the fact that we saw him smiling at Wichman before the race and that hasn’t happened for weeks?
It’s only rumors of course, but the word is Wichman may not have a place in racing for long, and Kisielewicz is supposedly making sure of that. Let’s remember Kisielewicz’s words have a lot of weight, not only because of his connections and abilities but because of his family’s history. Epona is a very traditional team, most of the top people there were pilots at some point and they took a chance when hiring Wichman, thinking that Epona needed some new fresh names, but clearly, it hasn’t worked out.
Just look at the standings and you’ll see Wichman failing almost every single time, and that for a new name… Well, they are not good news.
Finally, although it’s not official info, sources close to Wichman told us he has been complaining about his engine underperforming constantly, no matter what he does.
Hatena continues climbing
Now let’s talk about the Japanese team; with his victory, Geckinho’s standing in the tournament went up BY A LOT. He’s now behind Jochen by less than 10 points, and if he keeps it up as he has for the last two races, we think he might climb more than one place.
His victory also brought glory to Hatena, boosting their points by a lot. The Netherlands is our next stop next Sunday, I’m sure we’ll see more surprises from Hatena and I’m betting all my money on them taking Epona’s place. Italy’s horses should take care because Team White is biting their heels.
Slashware failing to make a splash
Let’s now talk about SLARA, they are in a weird position… it’s a new team composed of a completely new racer who happens to own the team and an ex-Epona racer who is turning out to be… a one-hit-wonder? Gaburi got her spotlight at Monaco when she earned third place, but how did she earn it? Some people are starting to think it was luck, a fluke, a glitch in the matrix. After all, she hasn’t been able to replicate it. She did come close at France earning fourth place, but comparing her to other racers… Well, only Wichman and Zapata are worse off.
And Zapata… well, at least he can be sure he’ll maintain ownership of his team when the season ends, but to be honest with you, I think he should be a manager, not a racer. He has earned points only two times this season, and not many. Maybe a change in SLARA is in order.
Providing there are no more cancelations, I will see you next weekend for the Dutch Grand Prix!