Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Abu Dhabi, 2010

McLaren: “We had second-fastest car”

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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


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.

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?