The practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.
In a sensational and wholly unexpected turn of events, a guy who runs a Formula 1 team has a new driver, and claims his new driver is already as quick as his old driver.
This is despite the old driver (or Driver A as we’ll call him) being touted by many as being a future F1 world champion, and Driver B (as decent a driver as he might have become) being in Formula 1 as a result of money bandied about by his eye-wateringly rich dad.
Oh, and Driver B has driven the car twice. Driver A has two years experience with the same team.
If that itself isn’t startling enough, said guy is principal of a team whose owner is none other than the dad of his new driver, which means the aforementioned guy is paid by the driver’s dad to do and say what he wants him to.
Of course we’re talking about Otmar Szafnauer’s comments about Lance Stroll’s arrival at (Lawrence Stroll owned) Force India/Racing Point Force India/Racing Point.
On the subject of pay drivers…
Some might say that Szafnauer’s comments are an attempt to reinforce his team’s legitimacy in light of what appears to be the ousting of a very good driver in favour of a less than very good driver because of money.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not against what some people might term ‘pay drivers’.
Formula 1 is an expensive business, and sometimes teams need to prioritise their financial health over their sporting greatness.
But let’s not pretend that Lance Stroll is Ayrton Senna. Let’s not even pretend that he’s Esteban Ocon.
Because he is neither.
So while I can understand that Szafnauer has a responsibility to big up his team and that he would probably get the elbow if he were to publicly say anything negative about his driver line-up in advance of a new Formula 1 season.
So I think we might be best taking his comments with a pinch of salt.