Bradley Downton has hit back at the comments yesterday by FIRST team principal Adam Blocker. The comments were put to him in an interview where he was given fair chance to respond to each one, of which you can read below.
To start with, almost every driver in IndyVirtual was either not good enough to make it to Formula Virtual or was not good enough to stay in Formula Virtual.
"As with FV, you get good drivers and poor drivers, and there are a mix in Indy definitely. But to label almost all of them are poor is just wrong. Ellington, Thunder and Domenicalli are all former FV race winners – the latter finished third in the championship – and yet they’re not running away with the championship or winning every race, they are involved in a number of scraps with various drivers, who are clearly capable enough too. You have the likes of them and Addison, Kidd and Cesar who are great drivers in Indy like Powers, Simon & Ruiz are in FV, compared to the likes of Werner, Brandon and Costa who are poor – similar to Bacon, Harrison and Hutchinson."
This is evidenced by the fact that the Formula Virtual drivers who raced in their first ‘Triple Crown’ race wiped the floor with them.
"Hardly. While a high number of them were right at the sharp end – because they’re incredible drivers – they didn’t leave the Indy drivers for dust, once again they battled with them."
I mean when Dino Palma and Will Taylor are both in the top 10 in the championship, that’s how you know the series is a joke. Both of those guys were average at best in the VWRS and have never even been on the radar of any Formula Virtual team.
"That’s because the way the points system works rewards finishing races. Come the end of the season this will have averaged out, and besides – Taylor was formerly a member of Westwood’s young driver academy, so that's wrong."
Just recently they decided to change points systems during the middle of the season. Doesn’t that make the championship a bit of a farce when the points system can just change whenever the people in power want it to?
"It was explained why it changed, to make the championship even more competitive; and hardly, that happens. There have been a number of changes in FV that I haven’t necessarily agreed with, but I don’t run it and Nic thinks they’ll make the series better, so I support them and him."
Blocker also made a number of comments on a public forum where the Formula Virtual team managers discuss the series, to which Downton provide the below responses:
1) "The driver prices in Indy are equal to those in FV, because the series’ are on the same level. The drivers in Indy could potentially be amazing in an FV car. There’s nothing to say Kidd, Cesar or Addison aren’t as good as Powers or Ruiz (though admittedly unlikely). And the best Indy drivers should stay in Indy – I don’t think the likes of Powers, Dixon or Pagenaud would jump ship to F1 given their success in Indy – but in our series if any FV team really wanted an Indy driver, they have the opportunity but have to pay the price. And if he's such a strong believer that FV should have the best drivers, why did he start this season with Hutchinson and Bacon?"
2) "Saying that Indy isn’t on the level of FV because it doesn’t have the history is ridiculous, everything has to start somewhere. Unfortunately it is not possible to get recorded races yet and the additional time it would take is incredible, an awful lot of my time goes into FV, I could not replicate that for an entire Indy season. I am disappointed there isn’t much chat there, but hopefully it picks up – and for someone not interested, he seems to be keeping up to date?"
3) "I think he's just trying to cause controversy, but nonetheless. If I didn’t have access to the junior stats we’d have FV and nothing else. I try and remain relatively absent in the junior driver bidding to accommodate the fact I know the stats, but then I also don’t see why I should miss out on potentially good juniors because of this. And I’d like to point out I never signed Klaas initially, Team 23 did – and I just took him on once they left and no-one else bid for him, just before he throws that argument out. His point on me having stats of current FV drivers is the first - and only - thing I partially agree with, but then I sign drivers depending on who I like; I won’t just sign great drivers if I don’t like – but that’s his choice to believe it or not. It is something I have discussed with Nic and he is happy enough and believes me, and will know if anything changes - it will be pretty obvious. I have no interest in signing anyone else other than my drivers if I can help it, and have no interest in the likes of Simon or Hoskins, so knowing their stats doesn’t help me at all. And I love how he seems to think I get so much additional information compared to the rest of managers, Nic will confirm that is absolutely not the case."
4) "This has been discussed previously and is a pointless argument. We’ve already tried to employ measures to stop this happening and as yet – it hasn’t, so I'd say they've been successful. I think it would be fairly obvious if this were to happen and I – and I’m sure Nic too – would duly step in. At the end of the day I trust people to play fair, and will continue to do so until someone gives me a reason to not trust them. And with that, I’d like to point out he's the first person to do so, and yes I’m going to make this public. I do no appreciate being accused by private message of something I did not do and in fact do not even have the ability to do (deleting his posts). He needs to get facts straight before he makes such accusatory comments."