It’s been a rainy afternoon in Budapest, dodging in and out of motorhomes visting drivers at their press briefings.
There has not been a great deal of cheerfulness so far, apart from the two Sauber drivers, who have every reason to smile having confirmed their seats for 2012.
One story hanging over from the Nurburgring was the collision of Paul Di Resta and Nick Heidfeld. There are some drivers who seem to keep finding each other on the race track this season; one thinks of Schumacher and Petrov, and Schumacher and Alguersuari for example, but Heidfeld and Di Resta keep hitting each other and it’s not helping either of their results.
Both are under a little bit of pressure to get results, Heiedfeld probably more than Di Resta because his position is less secure.
Di Resta is a rookie and the key thing for him is that he has shown in his qualifying performances that he has great speed. That is essential for survival in F1. The race craft and keeping out of trouble should come with more experience.
I spoke to both this afternoon and neither of them wants to say sorry. Di Resta doesn’t feel he needs to, while Heidfeld accepts that the stewards penalised him for the collision at the start which wrecked Di Resta’s race – on a day when the other Force India driver was able to finish sixth – but says that he’s not going to apologise.
“I depends where you qualify and they are around our part of the grid,” said Di Resta. “The thing in Canada never cost him anything and then he ran into the back of me and took me out of the race (in Germany).”
Did he apologise?
Has he spoken to you at all?
Does that disappoint you?
“Yes because it was pretty blatant. He was the one who committed the crime.”
Asked if he makes a practice of apologising for causing an incident, he said, “You’ve got to haven’t you? You’ve got to go up to them. Whether they accept it or not is another thing. At least if you make the effort.”
Soon after Heidfeld was answering the same questions.”People thought that he crashed into the back of my car (in Canada) and instead of apologising he blamed me. So why should I go and apologise. It’s just racing, life goes on.”
As for Germany, “I think it was a racing incident. I’m okay with them penalising me.”
There have been more incidents between drivers than in the past, largely because the DRS wing and Pirelli tyres are there to encourage overtaking, so more drivers are trying moves and pro-rata that is bound to lead to lead to more collisions.
It all adds to the spectacle.