F1 Fanatic round-up
In the round-up: Jenson Button says McLaren don’t underestimate how much needs to be done to fix the MP4-28.
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“There have been non-stop meetings and discussions – there is an understanding that it is not OK. We know there are fundamental things that we have to change. We are doing everything we can to improve.”
“The most concerning line from Whitmarsh was his admission that thoughts of a switch back to the old car had crossed the team’s mind. ‘It’s not a serious option for Malaysia – no. I think at the moment we’ve got to work hard on this car and we know it’s got some areas of high potential and we know it has potentially more downforce than last year’s car.’”
“We take a lot out of here; and in the next race we will be even stronger. I’m really happy with that result.”
“I was very lucky to have the chance to decide which tyres I will start with. And we decided to start on the medium ones. This choice was the right one and I could even have stayed out for some more laps on them. The car felt fantastic and so I was even able to take the lead as all the others ahead of me had to pit earlier to take new tyres.”
“Honda Motor Co. is looking to return to Formula One motor racing as an engine supplier around 2015, a source said Monday.”
“The Lotus driver said he hadn’t used the full potential of his E21 chassis on his way to victory in yesterday’s F1 season-opener.”
“A sceptical, or new fan of Formula One watching Thursday’s live press conference would’ve been forgiven for turning off from the sport in disappointment. On the eve of one of the most hotly anticipated championships for some time, a selection of it’s premier stars sat in front of the cameras and looked uninterested and bored.”
Giancarlo Fisichella: “I’m especially happy about the fact that here we will have the chance to do a real, full lap (the track will be 2.4km long – Ed) instead of the usual straight-line run, which often takes place on occasions like this. I’m sure that it will be a great success: the public will have a lot of fun.”
Jean Todt: “All the discussions we have agreed, and we are in the situation where we need to finalise it in writing. I am confident it should happen in the coming weeks.”
“Formula One is an increasingly soulless ritual, a business meeting which requires industrial-strength earplugs. It deserves role models such as Lewis Hamilton. The Briton, who approaches the new season as a Mercedes driver, summarises the smugness and self-importance of a virtual sport.”
The engineers and aero boys of @WilliamsF1Team have been working hard to solve our issues in the car, i'm confident we'll be stronger in KL!
— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) March 18, 2013
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Comment of the day
If – and it is a big if – Raikkonen is to mount a serious title challenge then I think he needs to maximise his points and race winning opportunities early in the year, a la Button in 2009, as Ferrari and Red Bull will catch up.
I am particularly interested as to how Alonso will perform in a Ferrari which clearly has a much stronger base package to work from than last year. However, unlike McLaren who have had multiple cars capable of winning championships in the last 15-20 years and have a very poor number of world titles to show for it, whenever ‘team Enstone’ have produced a decent car they have made the most of it and won the championship. And Raikkonen is an excellent driver who has been there and done it before.
I really think it is too early to say at the moment though. Yesterday was pretty unrepresentative in terms of the ambient and track temperature, and if Horner is correct and that is what caused Vettel’s high tyre degradation then Vettel is still probably favourite with Alonso. I’m sure Raikkonen and Lotus won’t mind being the outsiders though, and if he can consistently have strong results then who knows.
From the forum
No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.
On this day in F1
Keke Rosberg won the non-championship BRDC International Trophy at Silverstone on this day 35 years ago driving a Theodore.
Emerson Fittipaldi was second in his own car followed by Tony Trimmer in a McLaren.
Image © McLaren/Hoch Zwei