In the round-up: Jenson Button says McLaren are a second per lap off Mercedes pace ahead of the first qualifying session of the year.
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“We were two seconds off them (Mercedes) in the test, we’re over a second off them in the long runs.”
“We have never done more than ten laps in a row, I believe. There are a lot of unknowns and we cannot be confident. But we can certainly hope for that.”
Vettel: “The biggest difference is we got new parts, not necessarily performance parts but we didn’t have the spares at the testing and you end up with a fix here and there.”
“Sometimes it doesn’t want to recharge and the brake goes all forward and you have no brakes on the rear and you lock the front and just go straight in the gravel.”
“‘It isn’t good for Formula One to have a team which isn’t paying its drivers,’ Ecclestone added, before defending Lotus. ‘Is it better not to pay the driver that isn’t starving?'”
“Ferrari looks more competitive in qualifying – where there’s no 100kg fuel limit to worry about – than in race day trim when it seemingly has to run less power to remain within the instantaneous fuel flow limit of 100kg/hour.”
“Formula One is not short of technical brainpower and within months, perhaps only weeks, Newey and his rivals will have their troublesome new cars running sweetly. Until then there is likely to be a rare chance to enjoy grand prix racing as it used to be before the computers, with their hatred of the unpredictable and inefficient, took control.”
Ron Dennis: “This sport doesn’t take prisoners and it isn’t easy if you’re on the receiving end. It was extremely difficult for Ayrton [Senna], but I’d like to feel that I helped him a great deal.”
“Arguably the most significant performance that day came from one of the support races: a young Scotsman named Jackie Stewart had won the Formula Three race in a Cooper (entered by Ken Tyrrell), after he had pulled a 48-second gap… in three laps’ time.”
— F1 Fanatic (@f1fanatic_co_uk) March 14, 2014
Oh no for #F1. looking slow ugly and that sound …
— jimmy vasser (@jimmyvasser) March 14, 2014
I must say, on television these cars sound remarkably like the old 1980s turbos. That's actually a compliment
— Sean Kelly (@virtualstatman) March 14, 2014
— Craig Scarborough (@ScarbsF1) March 14, 2014
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Comment of the day
@Petebaldwin has misgivings about how much fuel-saving we’re going to see on Sunday:
I don’t care what settings the car is in and whether the engine is turned down – F1 should be about drivers pushing 100%.
If they’re having to coast around for 90% of the race, what’s the point in watching? I could sit outside my house and watch cars cruise around.
I’m really excited about this season but I am also really nervous about Sunday! I know tomorrow is going to be great but I’m worried that Sunday will simply be cars cruising around slowly afraid to race each other.
From the forum
Happy birthday to Franky!
On this day in F1
Alain Prost confirmed he would not be returning to F1 20 years ago today. He announced on French television that despite having tested McLaren’s MP4-9 a few days earlier, he would not be returning to defend his world championship title.
With practice for the first race of the season just ten days away, McLaren quickly announced Martin Brundle would drive for them. This was initially on a race-by-race basis, with Philippe Alliot also on-hand to drive if needed.
Meanwhile JJ Lehto returned to the cockpit to test for Benetton as he continued to recover from neck injuries sustained in January.
Image © McLaren/Hoch Zwei