McLaren will rely on FIA to judge Mercedes’ wing

F1 Fanatic round-up

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Melbourne, 2012In the round-up: McLaren say they will “rely on the FIA” to rule on Mercedes’ controversial wing design.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

McLaren trusts FIA on Mercedes wing (Autosport)

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale: “Mercedes were very quick during qualifying and there is enough YouTube footage of Michael [Schumacher] being very defensive about photographs of the car. But I think we have to rely on the FIA [to make the correct ruling].”

BSkyB denies order to pull F1 story undermines Sky News’s independence (The Guardian)

“BSkyB has denied the decision by its chief executive to order a story to be removed from the Sky News website for 40 hours after a complaint from its Formula One production team posed a threat to the channel’s editorial independence. Jeremy Darroch stepped in after the article, posted on the Sky News website at 6pm on Saturday, caused F1 teams in Melbourne to voice concern to BSkyB’s TV production team, who were in the city covering the inaugural race of the 2012 season.”

Key man issue could stall F1 float (FT, registration required)

“The polite fiction is that the private equity group has a ‘controlling’ stake in F1, acquired for an estimated ??1.1bn in 2006. But whatever the shareholders? register shows, only one man yanks the strings of all the other alpha males involved in this testosterone-saturated contest ?ǣ Mr Ecclestone, the long-standing chief executive.”

Mercedes not keen on Formula One budget cap (The Independent)

Ross Brawn: “As you know we’ve been strong supporters of the RRA, which we think is the intelligent budget cap. We’re still very strong supporters and that’s what I’d like to see going forward, and we’re working with the teams and the FIA to see if we can find further solutions to a resource restriction.”

Why the F2012 is braking down (Sky)

“To minimise its tendency to force the tyre to pull sharply sideways when encountering a bump during cornering load, it needs to be set up with negative camber (wheels pointing outwards at the bottom) so that the cornering pulls the wheel upright. That cures the pull-rod geometry’s sensitivity to bumps but introduces a different problem – instability under braking because when travelling in a straight line the tyre does not have its full tread surface in contact with the track.”

Button proves the doubters wrong (The Telegraph)

“Their respective body language afterwards was striking; Lewis looking stony-faced on the podium. He said all the right things, congratulating Jenson on his performance and thanking McLaren for building a winning car, but he looked and sounded devastated.”

Nico Rosberg: “I also thought he was crazy!” (Adam Cooper)

“[Sergio Perez] complained about me? So maybe it?s nobody?s fault, because I also thought he was crazy! Maybe it?s just a racing incident, and we have to see on the video. It?s a very unfortunate incident.”

Red Bull Made Most Of Challenging Opener (Speed)

Christian Horner: “Malaysia is a considerably different prospect to here. Here it?s short turns, it?s bumpy, there are not a lot of high-speed corners here. Malaysia offers that variance. So I think it will be interesting to see. We expect them [McLaren] to be quick in Malaysia, as well, but hopefully we will be in better shape there than we certainly were here in qualifying.”

Tyre Talk – Q&A with Pirelli?s Paul Hembery (F1)

“Last year people thought that with the hard tyres only Red Bull and McLaren got them to work and get them in temperature, whereas this year the hard tyre is softer, like the medium tyres from last year, and the teams are saying that they can get them working within one lap. So when we get to a race like Malaysia this will be a huge challenge for us, with the choice of compounds for a track with up to 50 to 60 degrees Celsius on the tarmac and a very abrasive circuit.”

Comment of the day

DMC thinks Felipe Massa needs a new team, not a new car:

I think I’ve watched f1 long enough to know there is a lot more to this sport than supposedly having the same car as your team mate. Massa’s car on Sunday looked horrendous. Comparing drivers is sometimes very difficult when you don’t know what is going on behind the scenes.

Look at Button at Benetton he clearly wasn’t happy and he was trounced by Fisichella, but look at him now. Don’t write Felipe off, his talent is still there he just needs the environment to prove it. Sadly I don’t think its in the shadow of Alonso.

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On this day in F1

Alain Prost won the Brazilian Grand Prix 30 years ago today in controversial circumstances.

The race, held in very hot conditions at the Jacarepagua circuit, saw Nelson Piquet and Keke Rosberg finish first and second. Piquet collapsed on the podium due to the physical effort of driving the punishing ground effect cars around a high-speed circuit in high temperatures.

But after the race Piquet and Rosberg were thrown out as the FIA decided their cars were underweight. Their teams, Brabham and Williams, had taken advantage of rules allowed the cars to be topped up with water to run them below the minimum weight level.

Here’s a long video of the race with footage from various sources:

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94 comments on McLaren will rely on FIA to judge Mercedes’ wing

  1. Bill (@billza71) said on 21st March 2012, 12:19

    So when camera people and photographers come and stand in front of the McLaren pit and start taking pictures of the McLaren car, they mustn’t push them away or cover over their front wing out view. So Merc AMG F1 was quicker, so what! I forgot to see who was on the front row of the grid and who won the race, can anyone tell me!!!!!! And oh yes, what is that grided up hole into front of the McLaren do?!!!!!!! Maybe McLaren is hiding and F-Duct system or something! or maybe just maybe another team has perfected what McLaren is unable too do.

  2. Paul A (@paul-a) said on 21st March 2012, 12:32

    I’m surprised that nobody has commented on the Guardian article that is mentioned above on Sky News’ “independence.” It also says: “More than a million viewers watched the climax to the first grand prix of the season on Sky’s new dedicated F1 channel on Sunday but its overall audience was down 75% on BBC1’s coverage last year.”

    Down 75% — that’s enormous. So much for pay TV channels. And very bad news for the sport.

    • Rohan said on 21st March 2012, 13:24

      I was thinking the same – I can’t see the teams being happy with that kind of audience! I’m just crossing my fingers the teams kick up a fuss and we get proper BBC (or even itv!) Coverage next year, cause I ain’t paying to watch…

      • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 21st March 2012, 13:51

        It’s all well and good trying to get the footage back on the BBC or ITV but that doesn’t mean that FOM will reduce the price to the broadcasters. They’re in a lot of debt themselves.

        FOM are under an obligation to make money.

        • Rohan said on 22nd March 2012, 15:22

          FOM ARE making money. They could probably cut the fees in half and still make a tidy profit, that’s no argument. It is why I want the teams to get a stake in control of the rights…

  3. Phil said on 21st March 2012, 12:48

    Hmmm. McLaren once relied on the FIA to rule that Ferrari’s bargeboards were illegal, having been shown to be so during scrutineering by FIA stewards after a Grand Prix and the fact having been admitted as such by Ferrari. The FIA ruled for Ferrari, saying that McLaren hadn’t made a good enough case…

  4. Hairs (@hairs) said on 21st March 2012, 12:52

    “Their respective body language afterwards was striking; Lewis looking stony-faced on the podium. He said all the right things, congratulating Jenson on his performance and thanking McLaren for building a winning car, but he looked and sounded devastated.”

    I’ve wondered why Lewis has always seemed so despondent when Jenson beats him. He never seemed to get this down when he was beaten by Alonso, or a driver from another team. Is it all in his head? My feeling is that Lewis knows he’s one of the quickest natural talents behind the wheel – he knows on raw pace everyone rates him higher than Button, and as a result he assumes that the default setting should be “I’m faster, I’ll beat him.”

    To some extent, he’s probably right. But it fails to take into account what Button is supreme at – intelligence. He’s clearly one of the most intelligent men on the grid, and since 2009 he’s also one of the calmest and most deliberate. Both Ross Brawn and Brundle have commented in the past that Button has been able to analyse the race that the guys around him are running – comparing likely fuel or tyre strategies, or expected pitstop times, seeing what tyres a guy three cars up is running and what state they’re in, while evaluating his own race and performance. When he gets out of the car (with the exception of the “no grip and massive front locking” comments after a bad qualifying), he generally seems to understand where he personally has gone wrong, or gone right.

    Lewis on the other hand is a pure driver. I think he’s realised, slowly, that while he has a natural pace advantage, he doesn’t have an answer for what Button’s good at. It’s not a case of finding a few tenths in a corner, or trying a desperate pass where none would dare. It’s about understanding yourself, your car, the track, and what’s going to happen in 20 laps’ time. Button’s taken years to get to that point and he’s reaping the rewards now.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st March 2012, 12:59

      @Hairs I would say it’s because when Alonso beat him it was only his first season, and for the most part Hamilton was still ahead in the points.

      When someone from another team beats him, Hamilton can explain it away due to the differences between cars.

      But being beaten by a guy who has the same equipment as you is a lot for any professional racing driver to take. Case in point, Alonso in 2007.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 21st March 2012, 13:54

        Great comments, both of you.

        • I think his mood was more to do with him throwing the win away by messing up his own start. (and in the back of his mind, knows the media where going to jump all over Button ‘beating him’)

          Losing 2nd to Vettel under the SC wouldn’t have botherd him so much in that it was completly out of his own hands, but getting a good start was down to him and he didnt get it right.

      • Ivano (@) said on 21st March 2012, 14:30

        Okay, let’s not be biased here towards Lewis. He is a great driver. However there are certain obvious strategies of 2007 ignored.

        Firstly, the 2007 McLaren was undoubtedly designed for Lewis Hamilton. He was already at the team for years, and Ron years before already pitched him to the next British world champion at McLaren. Lewis was his most prideful creation if you want to call it that.

        Secondly, Alonso was brought into McLaren for commercial purposes, and to guarantee wins in case the Hamilton ambition didn’t happen. Otherwise Alonso would have never agreed to go to McLaren if he was driving at eqaul ground.

        And let’s not bash Alonso there. Every top driver once established, wants to be treated as a number one from there on. Senna wasn’t much different after Prost left, then Berger, and afterwards when he agreed to join Williams. Nor was Prost when signing for Williams. Nor Schumacher.

        And when Hamilton met expectations so early in his career, the British team that he was racing for, did show more heart and desire to have British driver as world champion than rather a Spaniard. Yes, Alonso got emotional, anybody would in that situation. He came into the team with an agreement that he was number one. But patriotism in the team walked around that.

        My most diehard McLaren friends, also British, were already only for Lewis after his first race and ditching Alonso. And you think Alonso wasn’t feeling that in the McLaren garage, that is British? Things like that play mind games on a driver, and it reflects on the track.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st March 2012, 15:11

          @ivano Just when I thought I’d read every nonsense conspiracy theory there is about McLaren in 2007, you manage to surprise me. The ‘the McLaren was designed for Hamilton’ bit was especially amusing.

          I’m not going to waste time asking if you have any proof for this imaginative work of fiction because there obviously isn’t any. Conjecture, speculation and having some friends who are McLaren fans does not count as an alternative.

          Let’s cut to the chase: I’m not going to waste any more time on people who think one silly quote from Ron Dennis proves every piece of nonsense they can imagine about what happened at McLaren in 2007.

          • Ivano (@) said on 21st March 2012, 15:44

            LOL. Not conspiracy. That is typical of one minded people to label things they refuse as a conspiracy. Very disappointed in your response, was a loyal British or McLaren nerved touched there?

            It’s obvious fact a British team would want a British driver as a world champion. Like Ferrari would want an Italian as world champion, if there was an Italian driver to the standard. They tried with Alboreto for years, and always favoured him even when Berger was trouncing him.

            Proof… ??? Hamilton was already test driving the 2007 car way before Alonso, and was at the team before the Spaniard, meaning Ron ALREADY KNEW OF HAMILTON’S POTENTAIL, and had input from Lewis for the 2007 car. Oh wait, so saying Ron just signs people without the potential to win? Lewis was already ultra fast when testing for McLaren in the previous years. Only drawback he was a rookie, and McLaren needed a proven champion to lead the team until Lewis came of age. Which he did, just much earlier than expected. So what is nonsense there?

            It’s clear and out obvious that Alonso was never going to sign for McLaren if he knew Hamilton was fast, and if the team were going to give them eqaul cars and rules.

            So you as a Brit are saying that in a British car you wouldn’t want a British driver winning the title? LOL

          • Hairs (@hairs) said on 22nd March 2012, 0:56

            @ivano there’s a huge difference between “hoping your rookie driver does well” and “potentially sabotaging your season to favour the unproven rookie when you’ve got the best driver on the grid arriving into the team”

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 22nd March 2012, 7:08

            @Ivano, I would say that at McLaren they rather would have liked to win the championship with any of their drivers in 2007.

            Why on earth would they do the coup of luring over Alonso from Renault after his first championship (a year before he actually went to work with them, and he got his second WDC at Renault), and paying him a royal salary, only for some quick rookie?

            McLaren only took the risk of trying out rookie Hamilton in the car next to Alonso, because they expected Alonso to be able to do good enough for the team even if Hamilton would not live up to their hopes. Not to mention they decided on him only at the end of the year, before that they were pondering other drivers with more experience in F1 cars.

          • Ivano (@) said on 22nd March 2012, 14:38

            @Hairs. Spygate mainly sabotaged their season. As I said, Alonso was a guarantee. If McLaren really wanted Fernando to win the title, they would have told Hamilton to play second drive from Monaco and onwards. But they didn’t, they let Lewis race freely. More evidence than that? And unspoken team orders were apparent with Coultard once Hakkinen established himself. Though not here with Alonso and Lewis, which cost them the title.

            @Bascb. If that was the case then McLaren would have backed one of the drivers from the half way point, and had a better chance at the title. Which is the more logical choice for any team manager.

            Again as I said, Alonso was sure to win races for them and that’s the reason to have gotten him onboard, and he came with the Santandar deal as well. He was the perfect backup in case the rookie they were grooming for years didn’t happen. And it was also about money, even Ferrari accepted to drape it’s car for Santandar money while also having a driver that promised good results.

            McLaren and Ron are a clever combination. They like to have their odds balanced when taking risks. Example, when they brought in Kimi, they still kept Coultard, but already then Ron was pitching Kimi from day one as the team’s future. It’s just that with Lewis it happened earlier than expected. And to not be clearly non-sportsman, nor to disappoint the British fans, and not to make it obvious against a major sponsor like Santandar that favoured Alonso, there most likely was pressure to have a British driver become world champion in a British car after Lewis matured so soon. If McLaren really objectively cared about the title regardless with which driver, then before the half way point of the season they would have backed one of the two drivers, obviously they could have never had said to Alonso, and nor to Lewis which would have upset the British support and the fate that Ron already saw in him since 1998.

            For me that’s the most logical explanation why McLaren didn’t win the title. Their car was equal to Ferrari’s then, that was a risk to not backing one of the drivers from Monaco, and it made no sense having two drivers denying each other points if it wasn’t about sponsor and patriotic politics.

            And again, would Alonso have signed with them if he was told that Hamilton was as fast, and they would have eqaul chance for the title from the start? Never would have happened, like Prost would have never accepted Williams in 1993 if he was paired with a experienced driver like Senna or Mansel then.

            Again, I feel both Lewis and Fernando are great drivers. Just saying that in 2007 Lewis instantly won a lot support from the British public, media and the team, which aided him a great deal, but also got Alonso emotionally involved. It’s a normal thing in any competition of sports, as deep down inside we choose the flag of our parents. Just as Ron already did when he gave Lewis his first F1 drive.

            It’s no conspiracy, it’s just the obvious when accumulating all the factors together instead of religiously following a single press conference or a biased article.

      • Hairs (@hairs) said on 21st March 2012, 15:08

        @keithcollantine Very true, Mark Webber is a case in point. He behaves like a different man to the one who ridiculed the younger Seb now that he’s been trounced.

  5. maxthecat said on 21st March 2012, 13:03

    Didn’t take long for Sky to become mired in it did it? Bernie must’ve know Sky would look for any story to make their coverage more ‘appealing’

    We don’t get many F1 scandals about drivers and their private lives, i expect that to change now Sky is involved.

  6. il Leone said on 21st March 2012, 17:09

    Has anybody been told of the rumours that Ferrari will inevitably sign Jarno Trulli to take Massa’s place before the end of the season?

    • Ivano (@) said on 21st March 2012, 17:18

      At the moment I’ve only read fans’ opinions speculating on every non world champion driver to take his seat.

      Still think it’s too early to read into that, and mostly likely if Ferrari does that it would be a confirmed youth already racing?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st March 2012, 17:46

      Because Giancarlo Fisichella did so well for them?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 22nd March 2012, 7:11

      There was just the Italian paper provocatively “advising” Ferrari, that they would not have to look too far for a suitable replacement. Certainly in part taking a dig at Ferrari for saying how they are so much interested in getting an Italian into F1

    • Ivano (@) said on 22nd March 2012, 14:41

      Again the pressured support of patriotism. ;)

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