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Michael Herck retires from motor racing


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#1 Mihai

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 09:42

I'm not sure how many of you will miss him, but Romanian-born Belgian former GP2 driver Michael Herck (22 y.o.) decided to quit motor racing altogether to focus on studies.

Michael Herck retires form motorsports (in Romanian)

He's had his bright moments in GP2, like posting the fastest time in qualifying at Spa 2010 before his pole-position time was disallowed by stewards or leading in Abu Dhabi earlier in 2010 until the very last corner of the race before losing the win to Valsecchi.

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#2 Jejking

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 10:07

*raises his hand to substitute for him in whatever the car is.

#3 Disgrace

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 10:15

The one thing I remember about him is the strange way his head/helmet would look like it's rolling around in the cockpit whilst he was cornering, a bit like Kubica.

#4 Jackman

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 10:51

Is it really retirement when no one wants to give you a drive?

#5 LuckyStrike1

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 10:54

Wasn't aware he was from Romania, always thought of him as Austrian.

By the looks of it he seems to have had a fairly expensive career with many years in F3, World Series and GP2.

I wouldn't be surprised to see him turn up at endurance races in GT cars.

#6 Jackman

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 11:08

He was brought up by his Belgian father, but was adopted from Romania, I believe.

#7 PorcupineTroy

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:10

He was a backmarker in GP2 last year, but I have a Romanian frend so I like to see the Romanians do well.

His Wiki page says he's 23/24.

#8 bogi

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:13

Is it really retirement when no one wants to give you a drive?



Rubens :|

#9 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:20

Is it really retirement when no one wants to give you a drive?


:mad:

#10 Mihai

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:34

Wasn't aware he was from Romania, always thought of him as Austrian.


Indeed, his helmet design resembles to Gerhard Berger, with horizontal red-white-red stripes, just like the Austrian flag.

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Michael Herck was a Romanian orphan adopted by a Belgian millionaire at the age of 2. Perhaps not the greatest talent on the GP2 grid, but decent results in 2010 if some of you have a longer memory. I think his dismal 2011 season had a little bit to do with Coloni - they have a long reputation of delivering sub-par performance for some pay-drivers.

#11 Jackman

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:39

Although against that, his teammate Filippi turned up at Coloni mid-season and came second in the championship.

#12 Mihai

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:46

It only proves that Coloni treats some drivers (preferably Italians) better than others. Since son Paolo Coloni took over from founder Enzo Coloni (the man who led the team to Formula 1), things like that happened. Incidentally, two other Romanian drivers (Marinescu and Sechelariu) previously pointed to this unfair treatment during the years when Coloni was renamed Fisichella Motorsports. Also, ask Andy Soucek what he thinks of Coloni.;)

Edited by Mihai, 01 August 2012 - 12:47.


#13 Jackman

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:53

Is that the Soucek who left unpaid bills at most teams for which he drove? And the one who declared that his car at DPR was undriveable until the team got Filippi in for a day during the mid-season test, who promptly went P1, after which Soucek stopped complaining?

#14 Mihai

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 13:20

I suspect that particular Souchek who paid his seat at Coloni in 2008 only to be replaced by Roldan Rodriguez before the start of the season with no refund :)

Anyway, it's unfair to say that Herck is retiring because no team offered him a drive in '12. For a fraction of the yearly GP2 budget he could have went to Formula Two and be successful against less-than-GP2-quality drivers, maybe even earning a Williams F1 test for winning the championship.

#15 Jackman

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 13:35

He could have tried but, let's face it, Herck was never very good. And it would be pretty embarassing if he got beat in F2 too :p

#16 F1ultimate

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 13:48

Is it really retirement when no one wants to give you a drive?


I guess he realized that he will never make it as a successful racing driver and decided to get his feet back on the ground and earn a normal living.

#17 Buckethead

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 14:04

I was just thinking the where he is now. Daddy didn't buy him a seat anymore?

#18 LuckyStrike1

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 14:10

Yet another Autosport thread turned into a "bash the driver while sitting at home with no real motorsport experience ourselved besides watching F1 on TV" thread

#19 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 14:17

No Herck was pretty crap. But that makes him the rule rather than the exception. There's plenty of field-fillers and even most of the good guys are on family money or equivalent. And that's in any series.

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#20 Jackman

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 15:11

And most of them don't get a thread of their own when they run out of cash and/or talent.

#21 Mihai

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 17:37

Yet another Autosport thread turned into a "bash the driver while sitting at home with no real motorsport experience ourselved besides watching F1 on TV" thread


Very well put into words. I doubt that many of Herck's bashers actually know how close it is at GP2 level and how many things you need to put in place in order to be successful. All GP2 cars are NOT equal, due to the fact that a good setup requires top engineers that not all teams have. And sometimes only one of the team's race drivers benefits from a highly skilled engineer poached from F1.

Herck earned his place in GP2. One driver can't be just crap when he sets the fastest time in qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, as he did in 2010. Grosjean, Maldonado, Perez, Bianchi, Valsecchi & Co. were all behind him on that particular day. Just read the report on Wiki.

#22 Dino2000

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 17:59

Very well put into words. I doubt that many of Herck's bashers actually know how close it is at GP2 level and how many things you need to put in place in order to be successful. All GP2 cars are NOT equal, due to the fact that a good setup requires top engineers that not all teams have. And sometimes only one of the team's race drivers benefits from a highly skilled engineer poached from F1.

Herck earned his place in GP2. One driver can't be just crap when he sets the fastest time in qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, as he did in 2010. Grosjean, Maldonado, Perez, Bianchi, Valsecchi & Co. were all behind him on that particular day. Just read the report on Wiki.


For one, I'm very happy he retires.
I met Michael Herck and his father during the whole Spanish Formula Renault 1600 Championship season he won long time ago. They had a lawyer and a cameraman filming us inside the garage at any time we were making the scrutineering in the car, or simply reviewing the safety equipment. That was difficult to deal with. We always suspected that they found a way to alter ride height during qualifying, among other tricks. We where respectful with them at any time, and talked to them cordially into english, only to be treated really disrespectefully by his father all time. He could have been a millonaire, but did not have a good education.
Officials and scrutineers worldwide will aplaud him retiring. Good riddance.

#23 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 18:00

But you need more than one result.

#24 Peat

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 18:07

retiring at 22. That's depressing. I'm 28 and my 'career' (read: p!ssing money against a wall) is only in it's infancy!

#25 tifosiMac

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 18:13

retiring at 22. That's depressing. I'm 28 and my 'career' (read: p!ssing money against a wall) is only in it's infancy!

I'm 30 and my career didn't really start until I was 22.

#26 Chubby_Deuce

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 19:14

:mad:


What, the phone stopped ringing? :(

#27 Jackman

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 21:09

Herck earned his place in GP2. One driver can't be just crap when he sets the fastest time in qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, as he did in 2010. Grosjean, Maldonado, Perez, Bianchi, Valsecchi & Co. were all behind him on that particular day. Just read the report on Wiki.

And maybe he should have been slower too, given that he was disqualified for speeding under yellow.

You have gone on a number of times about teams not being equal, and certain drivers being given preference over the other, while conveniently forgetting to mention that his father bought a team for him. And he still couldn't get a win.

So feel free to look for excuses everywhere else, but ultimately he has to take some responsibility for his own lack of a career.

#28 Mihai

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 21:27

For one, I'm very happy he retires.
I met Michael Herck and his father during the whole Spanish Formula Renault 1600 Championship season he won long time ago. They had a lawyer and a cameraman filming us inside the garage at any time we were making the scrutineering in the car, or simply reviewing the safety equipment. That was difficult to deal with. We always suspected that they found a way to alter ride height during qualifying, among other tricks. We where respectful with them at any time, and talked to them cordially into english, only to be treated really disrespectefully by his father all time. He could have been a millonaire, but did not have a good education.
Officials and scrutineers worldwide will aplaud him retiring. Good riddance.


Thank you for sharing this insight. I value an opinion based on a first-hand encounter with the Hercks a lot more than any cheeky remark from armchair pundits.

I honestly believe that things in 2004 happened as you described. Although I might add that when a young driver is chasing the F1 dream, people around him tend to be ruthless. Especially if his career is supervised by an overprotective father. For instance, I wouldn't want to be a scrutineer back in the days when Anthony Hamilton was nursing a teenager named Lewis through karting or in junior formulae.

#29 Jackman

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:05

You probably shouldn't make assumptions that those who disagree with you have no experience of those discussed.

#30 Mihai

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:11

I could use a good laugh now, so tell me about your experience around professional motor racing. :)

#31 Chubby_Deuce

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:14

It's probably better to just accept that people don't care about your driver than it is to start a dick measuring contest.

#32 jjcale

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 22:18

I could use a good laugh now, so tell me about your experience around professional motor racing. :)

:lol:

#33 Dino2000

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 23:39

Thank you for sharing this insight. I value an opinion based on a first-hand encounter with the Hercks a lot more than any cheeky remark from armchair pundits.

I honestly believe that things in 2004 happened as you described. Although I might add that when a young driver is chasing the F1 dream, people around him tend to be ruthless. Especially if his career is supervised by an overprotective father. For instance, I wouldn't want to be a scrutineer back in the days when Anthony Hamilton was nursing a teenager named Lewis through karting or in junior formulae.


Sure! We used to say in karting, that the real problem was to deal with the fathers...!

Said that, Michael the driver had never a bad word with us. It is a pity that too many youngsters are pushed up the racing ladder by their parents that way.

Kind regards,

Dino

#34 gio66

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 11:05

For one, I'm very happy he retires.
I met Michael Herck and his father during the whole Spanish Formula Renault 1600 Championship season he won long time ago. They had a lawyer and a cameraman filming us inside the garage at any time we were making the scrutineering in the car, or simply reviewing the safety equipment. That was difficult to deal with. We always suspected that they found a way to alter ride height during qualifying, among other tricks. We where respectful with them at any time, and talked to them cordially into english, only to be treated really disrespectefully by his father all time. He could have been a millonaire, but did not have a good education.
Officials and scrutineers worldwide will aplaud him retiring. Good riddance.

This.

Herck is not exactly the prototype of a good driver/guy that every team would have and has created more of a problem to the Italian team. Coloni has thus decided to get rid of him.

In response, the powerful Romanian/Belgian/Monegasque (the adoptive father has recently won a millionaire lawsuit against the Belgian Government) has confessed to FIA that the team had achieved (snatched?) from Mecachrome all telemetry from the other teams. Hence the decision to exclude the team from GP2.

Excellent for GP2. Two problems less.

Edited by gio66, 05 August 2012 - 11:07.


#35 Viryfan

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 11:45

Interesting, it would explain why Fillipi has dominated second part of season last year in GP2?

#36 gio66

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 11:48

I don't know. It's not fair for sure.

#37 Disgrace

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 12:29

This.

Herck is not exactly the prototype of a good driver/guy that every team would have and has created more of a problem to the Italian team. Coloni has thus decided to get rid of him.

In response, the powerful Romanian/Belgian/Monegasque (the adoptive father has recently won a millionaire lawsuit against the Belgian Government) has confessed to FIA that the team had achieved (snatched?) from Mecachrome all telemetry from the other teams. Hence the decision to exclude the team from GP2.

Excellent for GP2. Two problems less.


I have not heard this story. Source?

#38 gio66

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 12:33

I have not heard this story. Source?

I have my sources... (not journos)

Edited by gio66, 05 August 2012 - 12:35.


#39 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 12:47

It's accurate.

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#40 gio66

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 12:50

It's accurate.

Not my problem

#41 Disgrace

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 13:03

Surprised that the internet would miss a scoop like that.

Edited by Disgrace, 05 August 2012 - 13:03.


#42 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 13:30

Where would the internet get it? And it's GP2 so the amount of people gossiping about it and then rushing to post it on a website is...two?

#43 gio66

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 13:45

Guys, I have lifted my ass from the chair and went to inquire directly at the source.
If you like to wait for news on your couch is not my problem. The controversy is all yours.
Nobody forces you to speak in the debate or to confirm what I write.

Edited by gio66, 05 August 2012 - 13:49.


#44 Disgrace

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 14:45

No controversy here, I was merely interested although it's not really all that interesting. :)

Edited by Disgrace, 05 August 2012 - 14:46.


#45 Peat

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 08:33

Yeah, steady on Gio. No-one is rubbishing your claim.

There's loads that goes on in m'sport that doesn't make it to press, because, frankly, no-one would care.

#46 ensign14

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 08:38

Where would the internet get it? And it's GP2 so the amount of people gossiping about it and then rushing to post it on a website is...two?

It might have made a good "and finally" story. "Crap driver remains crap despite cheating."

#47 William Hunt

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 13:06

Herck was very fast in karting though

#48 Chubby_Deuce

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 18:10

A lot of people are fast in karting.

#49 ensign14

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 19:32

Susie Stoddart for example.

#50 William Hunt

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 21:43

A lot of people are fast in karting.


Herck won about half of the races he participated in including 2 French titles, a Belgian title and the Monaco cup and when he started racing cars he immediately won 3 championships (Italian F. Renault 1.6, Spanish F. Junior & Austrian F3), not very higly rated championships but still, as a result he seemed very promissing at a young age. It's true that his dad bought him competitive seats during his carreer but that can be said about many drivers. I'm surprised that he didn't opt for a carreer in sportscars, he could have still been succesful in that for sure.