McLaren: “We had second-fastest car”

F1 Fanatic round-up

McLaren say the MP4-25 wasn’t the third-quickest car of the year.

Links

View from the factory (McLaren)

“Over the course of the 2010 season, said Tim, our qualifying pace was just 0.001s per lap slower than third-placed Ferrari ?ǣ negligible. On race pace alone, he asserted, the MP4-25 was actually 0.136s per lap quicker than the Ferrari. Overall, then, this means our car was 0.074s per lap faster than the Ferrari.”

The 2010 car performance data – including the question of who really had the second-fastest car in 2010 – will be looked at in detail in an upcoming article on F1 Fanatic.

Alonso buoyed by gap to Massa (Autosport)

“It’s probably the biggest gap that I have ever had to a team-mate and that makes me happy because of the results that I’ve had over the past years. My level of driving is better than ever and I hope I can keep it up next year.”

An F1 revolution simmering in Italy? (Joe Saward)

“[Italian Prime Minister Silvio] Berlusconi?s allies also seem to see Montezemolo as a threat. One of his chief allies Roberto Calderoli called for the Ferrari boss to stand down after the team was blamed for Fernando Alonso?s failure to win the World Championship in Abu Dhabi.”

Race Car Driver Schools “Weirdo” Fan-Boy On Car Forum (Jalopnik)

British Touring Car Champion Jason Plato hits back at a fan who called him “arrogant”. Here’s the original forum thread too.

I had a chance to see Plato at work at close quarters four years ago when I did a “fly-on-the-wall” style article on the Seat BTCC team at Rockingham. Fans get a lot of access to the drivers at BTCC races and he was always happy to sign autographs and chat.

I remember one fan who walked up and, with little in the way of an introduction, began badgering Plato to put a sticker he’d brought on his racing overalls. Plato began explaining politely why he couldn’t – sponsorship in those areas sells for huge sums, after all. The fan paid little attention, shoved a camera in Plato’s face to take a picture, and trotted off without listening to the end of the reply.

When some people – and I’m sure they’re a minority – behave as rudely as this or in the example on the article above, it’s not hard to see why some drivers go to the lengths they do to avoid public engagements.

Total Moon Race

A bit of fun from Renault’s fuel supplier – I can’t see this track passing an FIA inspection. I haven’t embedded the video because it plays automatically.

Comment of the day

Williams’ decision to sign Pastor Maldonado for 2011 prompted arguments over whether the team should be taking a “pay driver”. Here’s Wificats’ view:

Seeing as [Kazuki] Nakajima was effectively a pay driver brought in in order to secure Toyota engines, pay drivers are nothing new for Williams. At least Maldonado is a GP2 champion, so not an utter hack.

Although I don?t like the fact that Williams dumped H???lkenberg, I think that if Maldonado has more talent than Nakajima and is not to far off where H???lkenberg was (or possibly even better) and allows Williams to secure a budget big enough to help them become more competitive, then they will have taken the right decision.

After all, however good H???lkenberg was, the car this year wasn?t fast enough, and wasn?t going to get quicker next year with RBS and Air Asia (and Philips as well?) leaving at the end of the year. That lack of sponsorship really would have been a nail in the coffin of Williams.
Wificats

From the forum

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the “best and worst moments of 2010″ which ran on the site over the last few days:

Remember to post your views on the drivers of the year in time for the annual F1 Fanatic Driver Rankings: Who was the best driver of 2010? F1 Fanatic 2010 driver rankings

Happy birthday!

A very happy birthday to KateDerby!

On this day in F1

Here’s a popular article that was published here two years ago today: What cars do F1 drivers use on the road?

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104 comments on McLaren: “We had second-fastest car”

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  1. Commendatore said on 2nd December 2010, 0:07

    So, Alonso with the third fastest car on the grid – F10, finished in front of the two faster MP4-25 cars of Button & Hamilton and the fastest RB6 car on the grid of Webber!!! :)

    • judo chop said on 2nd December 2010, 0:40

      No. It’s simply a case of one moment the worker blaming his tools and the next moment the toolmaker blaming the worker. If a rookie can drive the 6th best car one second faster the best car in Brazil then why can’t all these ex-champions do likewise? Why can’t a 2x world champ pass a rookie in a slower car? No one wants to be seen as the weak link, drivers, engineers or tacticians.

      • driftin said on 2nd December 2010, 5:08

        Hulkenberg’s pole, while fantastic, wasn’t really much to do with talent or machinery, it was to do with the weather and the tyres.

        • Regis said on 2nd December 2010, 6:14

          Exactly ! and Alonso vs Petrov is the track, even if you are 2 seconds faster, a track like that just doesn’t offer you a chance.

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 2nd December 2010, 21:35

            Alonso may have been faster over a lap, but the Renault was faster in the straights, which makes it impossible to overtake. It would have been like a Red Bull trying to pass a McLaren. In fact even the McLaren in the talented hands of Hamilton had trouble behind the other Renault. Renault was simply one of the fastest cars in the speed traps. Alonso’s talent couldn’t make up for that.

        • plushpile (@plushpile) said on 2nd December 2010, 10:20

          Yes, the tyres were managed well – but is that not talent?

          There were two RB6s out there in Q3 that took 15 poles this year, and he was faster than both of them twice.

          • judo chop said on 2nd December 2010, 11:31

            Agree. Though that wasn’t my point. My point is that nearly everyone’s got rose-tinted glasses on when deciding what they think is the critical factors. Tim Goss says the were “0.136s per lap” quicker but how much was driver influence on that? Which McLaren driver? Compared to Alonso or Massa? A Massa pre or post neutering? The MP4-25′s race pace v Q3 pace was initially strong and then, IMHO, fell off during the second half of the season. Isn’t that and set up deficiencies Tim Goss & Co’s fault too? When Alonso finishes ahead of both McLaren’s Commendatore & Co credit the driver, when Alonso qualifies behind Hulkenberg or finishes behind Petrov then track, tires and tactics take the credit. F1 fans debating all these various decisive factors but never mentioning the rosey specs.

      • The rookie wasn’t in a slower car. At least not on the straights where you can overtake.

    • spectator said on 3rd December 2010, 0:59

      mclaren shot them self on the foot ridiculous response after hamilton complaining about the car mclaren simply made it worse

  2. link for what car drivers have doesn’t seem to be working

  3. f1yankee said on 2nd December 2010, 0:13

    mclaren, i’ve got a number for ya:
    2 – the number of championships you didn’t win this year.

    • Dan Newton said on 2nd December 2010, 10:37

      To be fair you can say that to 11 of 12 teams this year. Same applied last year, just fewer teams.

  4. That bit about Plato and the weirdo just defines “owned”.

    Utterly brilliant.

    • f1yankee said on 2nd December 2010, 0:24

      whenever i see celebrities i give them a wide berth. if face t face, i say “hello, keith collantine*” and get on with my business.

      *or whoever

    • JT19 (@jt19) said on 2nd December 2010, 0:30

      That was class by Plato. It absolutely killed the other guy, haha!!

    • I disagree. I personally think the best approach from Plato would have been to say nothing at all, or if he had to respond say something like “hey, I was in rush that day, sorry I seemed cranky, thanks for being a fan though”, and everyone would go away thinking Plato is a great guy.

      But instead by “schooling” the guy Plato has publicly ridiculed the fan, who most likely isn’t a “weirdo”, but was just probably nervous, and made himself seem incredibly arrogant. Plato’s response was basically “a lesson on how to be as awesome and perfect as me”.

      • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 2nd December 2010, 1:49

        I agree. I’ve already explained what I think below, but suffice to say I think Plato is an utter prat to respond like that.

        Clearly the guy must have been nervous- I mean, for all Plato knew, he could’ve been autistic or something

      • Joey-Poey said on 2nd December 2010, 4:45

        I get the feeling it’s a mix of both and that neither party dealt with it perfectly.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 2nd December 2010, 12:01

        Matthews deserved to be publicly ridiculed, for being rude enough to create a whole thread on a public forum just to call Plato a “w*****”.

        It’s called karma.

        • SparkyJ23 said on 2nd December 2010, 14:00

          Indeed, if you messed up a once in a lifetime meeting keep your head down – don’t blame the other party. Especially on a public forum.

          A tip for meeting strangers – be stunningly Beautiful, Very rich or INTERESTING.

          JP shows his humour with the reply

  5. Malcolm Tucker said on 2nd December 2010, 0:25

    hats off to jason plato, his reply was spot on

  6. cheers :) (comment too short)

  7. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 2nd December 2010, 0:35

    Happy birthday KateDerby!

  8. Sush Meerkat said on 2nd December 2010, 0:38

    Come on Bernie, open negotiations with the Moon now, its what the people want!.

    At least sign off Codemasters to give us Moon Track DLC for F1 2010.

    • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 2nd December 2010, 2:02

      Haha… well, who knows what developments the future will bring. Here’s what I think the first few races of the calendar could be like by 2021:

      Race 1- Somalian GP
      Race 2- North Korean GP
      Race 3- Moon GP
      Race 4- Alaskan GP
      Race 5- Atlantis GP

      And, assuming Belgium splits into its two seperate regions in the near future and Zolder regains its event…

      Race 6- Flanders GP

  9. It’s totally irrelevent to any of the links (although maybe relevent to the best driver of the season) but I’ve just had a thought about the Webber/Hamilton incident in Singapore.

    If you look at the incident again, along with Hamilton/Massa incident in Monza you will see that they were very Similar. In both, the guy on the inside was slightly behind the guy on the outside, and in both, the guy on the inside braked slightly later and stuck his nose on the inside. Then comes the only difference, when the cars make contact, in Singapore the car on the outside gets damaged whereas in Monza the car on the inside gets damaged.

    Bearing this in mind, with everyone, including myself, concluding that the guy on the inside was to blame at Monza (Hamilton), how can it be the guy on the outside’s (Hamilton) fault at Singapore?

    • DeadManWoking said on 2nd December 2010, 1:12

      You left out the major difference between the two incidents. At Monza the driver attempting the pass was on the inside and at Singapore he was on the outside. Personally, I think they were both racing incidents and find all the attempts to assign blame and the whining about the lack of penalties against one driver or another rather silly.

      • Harv's said on 2nd December 2010, 3:14

        doesnt matter who was trying to pass, paint the cars white and the helmets white and treat them the same, look at the cars possition,

        hamilton was infront of webber so wouldnt that mean webber was trying to pass hamilton, coz at the time directly before the incdient hamilton was p3 webber p4

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 2nd December 2010, 7:53

        As Deadmanwoking said, that they were both overtaking moves that went wrong. In Monza, I really thought it was a stupid move, as there was no way Lewis could make that move stick by putting his car in on the inside and get on the throttle quickly enough to overtake. Lewis just put his car on the inside and hoped for the best.. and I would call that a driver error more than a racing incident. In Singapore however, it was a legitimate attempt to try and overtake on the outside but a very hard and risky one to make.. and Webber wasn’t left with enough space to avoid contact. Singapore was more of a racing incident.

        • judo chop said on 2nd December 2010, 11:37

          In Singapore Hamilton was ahead, not totally I’ll admit but clearly, and Webber was trying to overtake.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 2nd December 2010, 15:59

            I think you got that wrong… Webber was ahead but caught up with a back marker, and Lewis tried to overtake him from the outside. Being half a car length in front at a turn doesn’t mean you are ahead.

          • so does being half a car length AHEAD mean being behind. My point is that if you look at the incidents themselves, not how they were arrived at, they are virtually identicle

    • JT19 (@jt19) said on 2nd December 2010, 3:13

      i agree with what u r thinkin jake. Monza, he was a very silly boy n he made me swear alot that day (yes, i am a LH fan judgin by the avatar), took my anger out on me dad as well!! haha onli messin peeps, joke. At Singapore, it was Mar-Quebba’s fault (in my eyes) as when he is in a side-by-side situation, he never yields. Your all thinkin, has any driver yield, yes they have, u need to now n then because that moment has passed, but he doesn’t. Just take a look back in Australia, the first coming together, LH car fully past n havin momentum but on outside, Mark thinks, “am havin none of that” and late brakes himself n goes off. In Singapore, LH half a car in front, on right line but outside from Webber, Webber thinks again, “am havin none of that”, this time he wins n the McLaren is made out of paper. But i’m sure everyone is going to disagree with me, because i tell u this now, i am very biased, sorry.

  10. Mark Hitchcock said on 2nd December 2010, 1:05

    I feel a bit sorry for the guy who met Plato.
    Completely understand why he wouldn’t want to stand around and chat (I wouldn’t want to talk to a random person who came up to me in the street either), and why he’d be annoyed by the way the “fan” laid into him on the internet even after he took time out of his day to have a quick word. But it’s pretty obvious that “jabbering and looking at the floor” are signs of nervousness, not being a weirdo.

    Plato isn’t an arrogant w****r for wanting to get on with his day, he’s one for the arrogant….w****r-ish reply on that forum thread.

    • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 2nd December 2010, 1:45

      Exactly, well said. Plato’s gone right down in my estimations for that. That was very cruel of him, even if the fan was a prat for criticising him over the internet like that.

      Two wrongs don’t make a right. In my opinion, they’re as bad as each other

    • Feynman said on 2nd December 2010, 2:12

      Hanging around in the cold for 20minutes to stalk someone dropping off their dry-cleaning just cause you saw them on the telly once … you are incorrect my friend, that’s definitely a weirdo. Textbook.

      Even in the abstract, fans are ridiculous enough creatures to begin with, miserable pathetic looking things, standing in the rain looking for someone to scribble on their tatty pieces of paper, mistaking that for validation … but when they launch these sort of mangled aspergers trainwrecks in the street, and then try to publicly blame the victim of their shambolic antics, they really should have a sit-down and have a proper word with themselves, try and figure out that whole self-respect thing.

      Turnabout is fair play … Plato gave him a well-deserved messageboard boot in the jacobs for his trouble. Bravo. We need more of this of thing, much, much more.
      Perhaps tomorrow is the first day of a new, self-actualised, George Matthews. Plato did him a favour.

      • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 2nd December 2010, 2:23

        Couldn’t disagree more with almost everything you said there. I’d love to go into more detail, but I’m not allowed to swear or make insults, so I’d better leave it at that

        • Feynman said on 2nd December 2010, 13:00

          Hmmm, yes but it really shouldn’t be a question of ‘not allowed’, should it Ned? We are having a civil discourse, even if permitted, why would your preferred response be swearing and insults?
          That’s how rude old George Mattews started, and look how that ended-up for him.

          Fortuately for me, how much you disagree, doesn’t actually affect the veracity of my argument, so since you appear temporarily enraged into incoherence, let me perhaps continue my rejoinder, if I may.

          Only small children put posters on walls, still looking to construct and establish self-image, but childish things are supposed to be left behind.
          There really is nothing more pathetic than our current vacuously celebrity-addled culture, like something out of Greek mythology, snivelling wrecks, a poor half-human, half-cameraphone hybrid, clamouring and squawking to touch the hem of a celebrity, any celebrity, garment.

          It’s all very demeaning stuff, and the offenders should be ashamed, and if not, then they should be shamed, cheers Mr Plato.

          And especially in sport of all things, representing the complete antithesis of all the values and attributes that drove any individual athletes success and accomplishment. It’s represents and ironic and perverse mockery of the object of these fans devotion.

          This is why drivers must be contractually obliged to turn up at signing sessions … the clinging desperation and absence of any shred of self-respect, blinkered fans herded-in in flocks, for any succesful driver to have to witness that up-close, it’s a travesty of a mockery of a sham for all they stand for and believe in, it surely must turn their stomachs.

          So in reply, yes, Plato’s behaviour does impress people, it is in fact long overdue, someone needs to tell these weirdos and snivelling miscreants to wake-up to themselves, have a proper look at their deranged antics, sort themselves out.
          A scribbled autograph on a piece of overpriced merchandised tat is no redemption, that won’t cure them. They really should grow up, dontcha think?

          • Maciek said on 2nd December 2010, 13:58

            It always amazes me when people feel that wording something well excuses its lack of of moral perspective. There’s so much to pick at, it’s too much, really. For one thing, how do you know the guy isn’t some lost, lonely kid who’s had a miserable time in life and his little personal joy is that he adulates racing drivers? How do you know what or who he is and what his motivations are and how he actually acted with Plato?

            Another one:”these weirdos and snivelling miscreants”? Wow. Way to disregard basic logic and construct a completely undefined category that you then put into one pejorative bag, there. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about what that resembles. Being detached and analytical shouldn’t mean devoid of empathy.

            And besides everything else – all that you decry about celebrity adulation is what makes celebrities their fortunes, so your rant seems awfully one-sided, dontcha think?

          • Feynman said on 2nd December 2010, 15:10

            You gave it your best shot there, but it didn’t quite land as well you were hoping, kinda got out from under you there didn’t it, hey don’t worry about it.

            So, as to you entirely missing the point:
            Those celebrity fortunes, the unnecessarily crass commercialisation and the logotyped debasement they represent, the PR, the self-serving media fluff, it’s called the cancer that kills sport and fairplay … and that ugly tumor is fed by whom, by the celeb-addled fans that you hand-wringingly seek to defend, try to make us feel sorry for. They are not victims here, they are toxic enablers.

            So I refuse to have it, they should not be pitied, their shame is of their own manufacture. They should be ridiculed at every opportunity, and to that end, Plato makes a great start. More should follow his lead.
            It is the dirty secret, that shouldn’t be a secret, the fully-justifiable contempt and derision that those in sport (or music, or film) have for the pathetic gaggle of rain-soaked, snottery beaked, mini-Mark Chapmans waiting outside.

            Maybe then, these poor unfortunates will catch a glimpse of themselves in a shop window or a wing mirror, standing in the cold at a stagedoor, a paddock-exit or a dry-cleaners, waiting, stalking, someone they do not know, only ‘cos they saw them on the telly.
            Just maybe the penny will start to drop, and they’ll get-up off their knees and try to behave a little more like proper self-valuing adults. That would be healthy, dontcha think?

          • Maciek said on 2nd December 2010, 21:46

            @Feynamn
            That may well be your eloquent and maybe even true, though unnecessarily crass, opinion, but I’ll ask again since you conveniently omitted it – how do you know that this guy even fits into your totally stereotyped scheme of things?

            And just some Plato-esque advice on manners: goading the people you debate with just because they disagree with you ain’t got too much class. It’s aggressive for no good reason and churlish, too. Why you so harsh to people you don’t know, man? Peace be with you now, my son.

    • Richard M said on 2nd December 2010, 7:58

      I think Plato responded brilliantly and with good humour (have you read the whole thread?) The other forum contributers were the ones giving the ‘fan’ a hard time. Plato comes back and tries to call them off by the end to give the fan a break. Too many keyboard warriers slagging people off knowing there will be no comeback. It was refreshing to see the other side of the story!

      • LewisC said on 2nd December 2010, 10:39

        Hear hear. I was on that website at the time, and thought Plato’s reply was well measured, and purely a bit of banter.

        The more amusing thing is, I wonder how he found the thread… self-Googling?

      • Mark Hitchcock said on 2nd December 2010, 15:01

        Yeah I read the rest of the thread and to be honest I think he did deserve the reaction he got from the rest of the users. If he’s such a huge Plato fan he should be grateful for the few minutes he had with the guy.
        My point is that Plato’s reply may have seemed humorous to some people, but he still worded it in an incredibly arrogant way.

  11. Prisoner Monkeys said on 2nd December 2010, 1:06

    Why is it that animated videos of Formula 1 always show intense, super-close racing?

    Also, how do Total propose to get around the problem of there being no air on the moon? Without air, the engine cannot ignite their fuel.

    • DeadManWoking said on 2nd December 2010, 1:24

      Not to mention that the cars would suffer from an extreme lack of mechanical grip at only 1/6 gravity and even worse, without an atmosphere to work against, the wings would generate Zero downforce.

    • That’s the whole point of the movie, don’t you get it? Their newest fuels are so awesome, it doesn’t need oxygen anymore to burn. Also, because it doesn’t actually burn, it doesn’t cause heat, which means next year’s Renault won’t need any cooling vents and ducts anymore, drastically reducing drag. Mark my words, Renault will be about 3s a lap faster than the nearest car next year and it will all be down to Total! ;)

  12. sato113 (@sato113) said on 2nd December 2010, 1:14

    if that moon race was what f1 is like in 100 years, I’d be very entertained!

  13. Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 2nd December 2010, 2:17

    The more I read Plato’s response, and especially some peoples reaction to it, the more it gets to me. Is that the sort of behaviour that impresses people nowadays?

    • Sush Meerkat said on 2nd December 2010, 7:52

      Sorry to say Ned but yes, the current Laptop generation pretty much feed on insults via social media websites.

      I moderate a website, and to some its perfectly normal to reply to someone with a beat down remark, even if its just about what are better “Mac’s or PC’s”.

      Its Pathetic.

    • Maciek said on 2nd December 2010, 8:10

      I have to agree. Especially since the fan completely apologised afterwards in words that don’t in the least say “weirdo” (whatever that means, anyways). I haven’t seen the original forum, but do we know if Plato ever acknowledged the apology?

      Anyhoo, not everyone has the personality to be cool, calm and detached all the time.

  14. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 2nd December 2010, 2:18

    Not a bad track at all, who knows 50 years from now Bernie may want to organize a race on Moon & then we may have that track pass the FIA inspection.

  15. inc0mmunicado said on 2nd December 2010, 2:49

    The first car to crash out of the moon race is the Honda Earth Car haha!

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