Hamilton first to drive new McLaren

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

I’m interviewing Mika Hakkinen first thing this morning but you’ve got a couple of hours to make any suggestions for questions you might have. Post them in yesterday’s round-up here.

Here’s today’s round-up:


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Alan Baldwin on Twitter

“McLaren say Lewis Hamilton will be first to drive the new MP4-26 in Jerez on February 10th, Jenson Button gets behind the wheel on the 11th. However they add that the programme could change… Gary Paffett will kick off the Valencia test on Feb 1st in the old car.”

New trainer for Lewis (McLaren)

Tom Cary points out this is Hamilton’s third different trainer in three years.

Q & A: Di Grassi on his F1 future (Autosport)

“The sponsorship that I had last year didn’t work out as I expected, so I was looking for a new one to continue with the team. Even by halfway through last season I knew that it would be very difficult. I was not in a position to fight commercially with the other guys who had a budget to close the deal there as it became very clear by the end of the season that they needed someone to pay for the seat.”

McLaren on Twitter

“View from the boulevard at MTC – sunset today.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Chinese GP circuit faces March inspection (Reuters)

“The Shanghai International Circuit has confirmed that all work as requested by the FIA will be carried out and should be completed by the end of February.”

Virgin on Twitter

“Interesting that people think there’s 50 odd days to the start of the season, when we’ve sent sea freight to Bahrain and Malaysia already.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Vijay Mallya says F1 and IPL teams are not a hobby (BBC)

“He says Force India is poised to name its driving team for 2011 “in the next few days. There are some legal loose ends to be tied up.”

Martin Brundle on Twitter

“Jonathan Legard is a lovely bloke, we never had a ‘personality clash’ or a cross word. There’s so much nonsense gets cut and pasted as fact.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Two-seater ride under the hammer for Australian flood victims (F1.com)

“The organisers of this year’s Australian Grand Prix are to auction off a ride in a two-seater Grand Prix car to raise funds to support the victims of the recent floods in Queensland.”

Thanks to Matt for the tip

2011 Ferrari team SF1 (Flickr)

Pictures of the Ferrari drivers’ 2011 helmets.

Manish Pandey on Twitter

“Asif Kapadia is flying out to the Sundance Festival today for the US Senna film premiere. I am in New York and will join tomorrow. Nerves jangling just a little!”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Welcome Quantel! (Virgin)

“Marussia Virgin Racing has agreed a new partnership with Quantel, a world leading developer of content creation systems, for the coming 2011 season.”

Behind the scenes at Lotus Renault GP (Renault)

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Here’s what Joey-Poey had to say about whether Renault should be allowed to run a retro tobacco livery in 2011:

If Marlboro got away with the barcode for so long and it was obviously meant as a signifier for the company, then why would an old livery not meant at all to advertise the brand it did before not be allowed?

And for that matter, what does it matter if it has the same colours as the cigarette package? I?m sure there are other tobacco products with the same colours as other teams.

It?s honestly very silly and over the top. I saw years of tobacco and alcohol products being advertised in racing when I grew up and never had the urge to go out and buy either, even once I was old enough to.

Happy birthday!

Three F1 Fanatic birthdays today so best wishes to Qazuhb, Cathal and Explosiva!

On this day in F1

It’s also Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost’s birthday. Tost is 55 today, so happy birthday to him!

68 comments on “Hamilton first to drive new McLaren”

  1. Fisichella’s helmet design is pure awesomeness. That is all.

    1. the original one was better… the yellow and green one. When he was at Renault, with the Mild Seven bit, it was superb!

    2. All wonderful! But I preferred Bianchi’s from last year.

      1. Bit of a Kimi rip-off, isn’t it?

        1. Yes, that’s what I immediately thought when I saw it (little) in the Wrooom videos.

  2. Vijay talks about “legal loose ends”. To me, this more or less confirms Liuzzi’s departure and paying off.

    1. Exactly what I thought as well. Looks like they found a way to get Luizzi out of his contract.

    2. I thinks so as well. Mallya might still confirm, that they have bought him a space in the HRT car for next year though, with legal details being around Tonio accepting that move.

    3. That’s what I thought when I read that as well…

  3. I see! They’ve sorted out the name despute and their name is going to be Loous! (see video 1.18)

    Hamilton’s third trainer in three years? is that one every year since he’s not won the WDC?

    1. Its only two years since he won the championship, not three.

      1. 2009, 2010, 2011

    2. But last year in the winter he trained with this guy as well. So it seems he is more or less going back to/building on something he knows.

    3. miguelF1O (@)
      20th January 2011, 11:44

      no one talked about the fact Ham is going to try out the new car first (cause he is better than button)

      1. Perhaps the car has been designed around Button and they want to see if Hamilton can drive it. :-)

  4. “Human High Performance Programme” typical McLaren naming style

  5. Oh, and Keith, I think this piece on autosport is fairly significant, for Schumacher anyway…


    1. Yes, it might be significant, but it is also pretty speculative – sure some drivers would have liked different tyres, but does that mean that those who were okay with the originals get less happy? Not sure that would be a fair trade off to make for Pirelli.

      Even if they do agree – I guess it will not be so clear if it works; if the balance is worse due to it, it might create other problems.

  6. I hope McLaren will have a championship winning car this season, but I have an incling that Mercedes are going to come up with the goods this season, especially in Nico Rosbergs hands.

  7. Liuzzi is going to be the best-paid driver in DTM this year then…

    1. I think he’ll end up at HRT, paid for by Mallya.

      If Force India don’t give him another spot on the grid, he will just sue them or get an injunction as he has a valid contract. It doesn’t look like he’ll just give up and walk away with a pay-out, so the only other option is for Mallya to place him at HRT.

  8. The Last Pope
    20th January 2011, 1:51

    There is an awful lot of BS in that renault video isn’t there.

    1. Allright as these things go, certainly kinda good before they mention the livery, at which point my filter switched on an it whas white nose punctured with words like “emotion” and “historical” and “blah blah blah blah” till they got back to F1.

  9. I have received a mail from Ferrari (Road car) saying that they will launch a car on 21st January, can anyone confirmed it.

    1. I think it may be the new 612, with all wheel drive. But I guess we will find out in a couple of days

  10. Matters to me when a car looks like a well known fag packet. I do not wish to be reminded of the horrors of cancer or the stench of tobacco smoke when I’m enjoying my Sunday afternoon. Whether it’s effective advertising or even advertising at all is irrelevant, it’s a reminder of an industry I’d rather forget exists.

    1. It killed my grandmother, I hate the smell, don’t understand why people still start and yet I’m able to live with and find nostalgia in the old liveries. In fact, I was sad that Penske left theirs behind last year having watched them race under it since I was all of 6 years old. We can’t avoid everyone’s bad memories because it’s impossible to know what everyone associates with what. I mean, what about alcohol advertising? That’s killed a LARGE number of people or ruined lives either through destroying their livers, having deadly accidents while drunk, destroyed families due to alcoholism or drinking enough to induce alcohol poisoning. Are you averse to the horrors of the alcohol industry, too? Or maybe Santander and Vodaphone should be banned for the number of cell phone related car accidents. I mean, they’re advertising during RACING, that could encourage people to drive while on their phones. I’d hate to see children enticed into such things!

      Is smoking bad for you and stupid to start doing? Yes. Should it be ostracized even to the point of not allowing certain COLORS to go together? No. That, my friend, is stupid.

      1. I agree with you, that banning the Renault for an emotional retro of someone else, without any intentional link to tobacco promoting, after having Marlborough/Ferrari get away with not so subtle branding for years is bogus.

        That said, I think Renault (or rather the Enstone Squad) should have realized that
        1. there is that clear connection to JPS and Lotus in the mind of millions of fans
        2. not hitch onto the legacy of racing of someone else while at the same time blaming Fernandez for doing the same.
        3. the gold stripes are just far to fat to make this livery look good.

        1. Glad I didn’t suggest banning anything then. My personal distaste does not equal a ban or support for a ban. It will equal a lack of support for lotus-renault. Let’s not go over the top here, kids.

      2. fecklessmoron (@)
        20th January 2011, 15:36

        The fact is older color schemes like JPS, Gulf, or Martini are instantly identifiable because they were the major (if not the only) sponsorship shown on the car. Today’s cars are splashed with sponsorship as if Jackson Pollock reached into a bucket of sponsor sticker and started flicking them at the cars.

        Instead of using older schemes, I’d like to see one of today’s teams develop their own livery that is as inspiring as the old ones. Teams like Honda and Toyota had the opportunity and squandered it with terrible ideas like a picture of the earth (Honda 2008) and red paint brush strokes on a white field (Toyota).

        1. The Toyota livery was indeed uniquely Toyota in F1, the colours were Toyota, but indeed, it would have been nice if their yearly changes had actually improved that livery somehow.

    2. Smokes killed my dad, and I don’t smoke, but still I don’t in any way care for the repressive puritanism that seeks to ban, ban, ban.

      It is people’s free-choice to do as they will, whether that be smoke ciggies or accidentally snowboard into a tree wearing a Red Bull beanie hat; and there should be an inalienable right to free-speech and free-expression for companies to make consenting adults aware of a product they may wish to choose to purchase. Choice and freedom, those are the keywords from that paragraph.

      As a viewer, your free-choice is to choose to watch or not, it shouldn’t look to extend much further than that. If enough people are similarly minded, the economics of racing and advertising will naturally change of their own accord to accomodate.

      Your right to go further, and proscribe or remove the rights of others is not clear. Consumers, vendors or racing teams with blank engine covers. No matter what the EU or the state says and does, it should always remain the choice of the individuals concerned. That is the grown-up way to live and die.

      1. of course advertising works.

        Every time they change cigarette labelling/packaging laws here the cigarette companies fight tooth and nail against them, they pour huge amounts of money into fighting them. Recently they tried a new tack with some new packaging laws and claimed “the new laws won’t do anything, they will have no effect.”
        oh really? If they will have no effect, why were the companies fighting so hard against them?

        You may sit there and say “advertising has no effect”, but time and time again it has been shown to work.

        1. Of course it does, or the companies wouldn’t be queuing up to give team millions of $ to slap logos all over the car!

        2. I didn’t say “advertising has no effect”, that has absolutely nothing to do with anything I just wrote.

          As effective communication about product options availabale in the marketplace, it should probably work.

          Whether it works well enough to somehow coerce rational adults into making purchases they otherwise wouldn’t is much less clear. Maybe, maybe not.

          Either way, it doesn’t matter one bit … I said I was unhappy, very unhappy, about the state (or the superstate) deciding who can or cannot communicate freely, the state prohibiting otherwise legal business transactions between private companies, and the general Talibanistic tone of those that like to stick their nose into the private affairs of other adults.

          Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.

          CS Lewis

          They came for the smokers, they came for the drinkers, who’s gonna be left to speak up when they come for you?

          I appreciate anti-capitalist attack of BigTobacco is achingly fashionable, and I similarly appreciate we live in a post-modern infantilised western civilisation in decline and fall, where we must be treated as children for our own good … but let’s all try and make a conscious effort to try and rise above that, to stand full height, and take personal responsibility for our own actions and for our own mistakes.

          1. anti-capitalist? ***** mate. I’m against tobacco advertising on health grounds, not because someone thinks its anti-capitalist. Anything that takes tobacco advertising out of the public conciousness I support to the fullest. If tobacco advertising is around all the time it becomes accepted, acceptable, and people will have these triggers all the time. Take it out of sight and people no longer have those triggers, its not accepted.

            If smoking is always in sight, more people will smoke. Take it away from sight and less people will smoke. Its very simple, and it works. And thats why the companies pour so much money into fighting it.

          2. The whole principle is wrong; it’s like demanding that grown men live on skimmed milk because the baby can’t eat steak.

            – Robert Heinlein

            Of course all the activities where you exercise your liberty and freely choose to partake, they’re all 100% fine, which is nothing if not convenient I guess.
            But I am quite sure if I found someone that objected to anything that you got up to, at home, or out and about, you’d of course immediately stop it and petition it be banned also. No doubt.

            I must’ve still been asleep, somehow missed the meeting where it was upto you, Ben, to decide for all the other adults, what was allowed to be traded or communicated.

            See, that’s what freedom is, not the freedom to stop others doing what they choose to, and for, themselves, but the freedom to put-up with people doing stuff you don’t really agree with. Free choice would be easy if the only choices allowed were what you want.

            I am pretty sure we could dig up someone that thought women wearing skirts in public triggered all manner of sins, that having that “around all the time it becomes accepted, acceptable, and people will have these triggers all the time. Take it out of sight and people no longer have those triggers, its not accepted.”

            But we don’t much listen to people like that, or we shouldn’t … this whole thing, it’s all part of that same illiberal, anti-enlightenment continuum.

            Ban this, stop that, prohibition the other … as a worldview, so negative and authoritarian, it is genuinely none too appealing I am afraid to say.

            You’re born, you live, you die … how you choose to effect that exit should be of no concern to anyone else. It’s frankly, none of their business.

          3. where have I said its up to me? I said I support the ban on cigarette advertising. I wasn’t the person who suggested it, I wasn’t the person who made it law, but I support the law because of the beneficial effects it has on the population’s health and as a bonus result, the beneficial effects it has on the health service and expenditure.

            Are you saying that I’m not allowed to support the ban in the same way that people are allowed to disagree with the ban?

            I’m not saying we should ban cigarettes – people can smoke if they want to. I just support a ban on the advertising of cigarettes. Having said that, the black and gold colour scheme is extremely far removed from advertising cigarettes, and I have no problem whatsoever with it.

    3. With all disrespect to those that oppose smoking advertising, a person isn’t forced to put a cigarette in their mouth and light it.

      Its like a gun manufacturer being charged with murder after someone gets shot….

      1. All respect…..apologies

        1. naaah, you were right the first time ;)

        2. Yup, you were right the first time :D

      2. No, they are being “charged” with advertising (ie pushing) an addictive and harmful product.

        1. As I said, no one is made to put a cigarette in their mouth and smoke it. Its human instinct when you screw up to look around to see who can be blamed before yourself. Reality is, all those people who suffer some sort of ill-effect from their smoking – they only have one person to blame.

          Coffee is addictive, gambling is addictive, alcohol is addictive. I think some people just need to learn some self control.

    4. Don’t be so melodramatic, Scalextric. It’s a little bit silly, to say the least.

      Well, Renault car is no closer to a tobacco advert than Ferrari. Do we hear voices wanting to ban that? There is no JPS branding anywhere, and there is no connection between the team and a tobacco company. Plus the livery clearly is different, alignment of the gold stripes differs, even the shade of gold doesn’t match exactly. Oh, and there is “Total”, which in my opinion, and opinion of many others ruins the original concept.

      1. I don’t think it’s melodramatic to say I don’t like something. I wasn’t suggesting a ban, Ben, just expressing personal distaste.

    5. Oh well, good point Scalextric! I agree with you and just started typing a message to Bernie to ban F1, because I do not wish to be reminded of the horrors of dying in a car accident when I’m enjoying my Sunday afternoon.

  11. wow! My first COTD! Must have been a slow day for comments ;D

  12. Talking of Cigarette Branding…… Does the new Scuderia Ferrari Logo and the Ducati motoGP logo which look almost identical, not look just like a Malborough logo (either half of one or a full one slightly modified at about 45 degree tilt), who coincidently sponsor both teams?

    1. I am sure thats only coincidence!

  13. There’s one very big difference between Marlboro “logos” on the Ferrari and the JPS inspired design of Lotus-Renault.

    Marlboro paid for the design on the Ferrari, and JPS are not paying Lotus. That makes it an entirely different scenario.

    And as the comment of the day says, its a colour scheme, not a logo or identifier. I don’t smoke but I would be surprised if there wasn’t a yellow and black packet of smokes (Benson and Hedges maybe?), Silver (West?), blue and white, red and black, dark blue, white and green or orange etc.

    Anyone trying to link the Lotus situation to Marlboro and Ferrari are just trying to be difficult.

    1. Thing is, you can never know weather JPS is or is not involved. For all we know, they might be channelling funds to Genii or Group Lotus or Proton through some trusts, interest groups or whatever.
      If you have ever looked at instances where interest groups were arguing against smoking restrictions, there were always ties to funding from Tobacco companies.
      Recent examples – small cafe owners fighting smoking ban in the Netherlands and lobbyist organisation in the Czech republic both had secretive ties and flows of money for their activities.

      I think both the JPS livery and the Ducati/Ferrari logos should be banished and Marlborough finally stopped from paying them. It is illegal and breaches contracts (oher companies did quit advertising)

      1. Joe Saward showed a picture of JPS running a motorracing based campain in Austria.

        It seems JPS is now moving on the opportunity offered, or it might even be involved in supporting the Genii owned team (no obvious money flows, but from past tobacco experience, you never know).

        Adam Cooper found had a look at imperial Tobacco, who have been very active promoting their main brand JPS in the past year (and having a yellow/black special series done in july last year. Hm, Renault anyone?)

  14. Happy Birthday to Qazuhb, Cathal and Explosiva, as well as Franz Tost!

  15. Dany Bahar’s plan for Lotus cars is brilliant, and I really hope for the sake of the brand that they pull it off and lift Lotus Cars to where it belongs, alongside Aston Martin and Lamborghini.

    As for the sponsorship with Renault, I think it’s good how Lotus are improving the communications of the team, much like Vodafone have done with Mclaren – they have began using twitter, facebook etc. and allowed the humble F1 fan get to see interesting items from day to day running of a Formula 1 team.

    1. Renault started communicating after Genii bought in, that is not something brought with Lotus Cars.

      Personally I do not like the Bahars gamble, as he is in effect taking the Lotus name and putting it on cars that are very far away from what the have always been the selling points of lotus cars.
      And I think it is risky in that he has to put a great amount of money and effort in racing, development, plant infrastructure and marketing channels. A full roll out like that can be done with less expensive products but with super cars?

      Just compare Ron Dennis approach, who is also getting into the same market. OK, he already has racing, and now only adds to that with GT racing. But he developed one car and promises others. After bringing it to market, he will introduce other models.
      I think that approach shows Ron is betting his own money and Bahar is playing with someone else’s.

      1. That last sentence is, to me, the difference between the two, and what makes the whole lotus renault stuff so annoying – if the money is gone, it is taxpayers money, Bahar would probably end up getting a big pay-off and go to another high profile job.

  16. When it comes to the Renault JPS livery issue I believe a precedent has already been set. Marlborough no longer sponsor Penske in Indy cars but they still run the old Marlborough white and red (like McLaren used to before 1997). They haven’t had to change it when indy cars have a race outside of the US (including Canada). Therefore logic dictates that Canada should allow Renault to race the JPS livery because vit is not being used for sponsorship reasons.

    1. If you check pictures of Penske Indycar in 2010 you will see they changed their car to black and white (with some red trim). There is a very nice picture of Helio Castroneves standing in his winning car at Motegi.

      1. Yeah, but when did Malbolo stop sponsoring Penske? Definitely not in the last 5 Id say but only in 2010 did the livery change, and they wernt forced to change livery while at Edmonton or Toronto.

        1. In 2010 Penske had no more sponsorship from Marlboro. In the transition period from about 2005 when the US tobacco regulations kicked in, Marlboro advertising stopped appearing on the cars, but Philip Morris/Marlboro remained a sponsor. Much like the Marlboro sponsorship of Ferrari right now, an arrangement which finishes at the end of 2011.

          1. …an arrangement which is expected to be extended to 2014, according to reports today …

    2. I would laugh if the team came out and said ‘In Canada we will race BRG just to be good and comply with rules for positive PR, and they release the livery that will race – TF would be fuming over at Team Lotus!!

  17. Hey guys,

    I saw a comment from Pirelli saying they are going to colour code the tyres so that we know if they are on super-soft, soft, medium and hard. I would like to know your thought on this as I think this is a step too far in terms of dulling down races, maybe not for the neutral but for us. In recent years we have seen colour coding and use of the same tyres for the race as qualifing. Now that we know the lifespan of the tyres thanks to colour coding surely we can predict the ideal pit-stop lap. This I feel takes some suspence out of the viewing experience as there used to be far more guess work and surprises.

    I fear that the artifical overtaking that we will see next year teamed with this will lead to more boring races from our pov but is a ploy to bring in casual fans.

    Maybe this is a bit harsh, let me know your thoughts.

  18. I found two things very interesting in the Behind the Scenes at Lotus Renault GP clip.

    In speaking about the new livery, Jon Woods, head of graphics, said that with black paint they could use much thinner coats and much fewer coats, giving them a weight advantage. I didn’t know the amount of paint could depend on your choice of colour. (OK, there is the story of McLaren’s silver/chrome car due to skipping the paint step altogether…)

    Also, Patrick Louis, the COO, said that because of in-house efficiencies they would re-insource some outsourced jobs and use the savings for R+D. That’s pretty good management!

    1. I think because the car is carbon, they essentially have a very dark base to start from. Lighter colors would require more coats before they become opaque over a dark base, just like darker colors require more coats to become opaque over a light base. It probably means they only needed a very thin coat of a base primer. That’s my guess anyhow.

  19. I don’t think there is a problem with choosing team colours of black and gold. The problem is with sponsor Lotus Group deliberately wanting to evoke the glory days of Lotus in F1 when John Player Special sponsored the Lotus team.

    The Lotus Renault GP livery is obviously inspired by the legendary, elegant JPS livery designed to sell certain cigarettes, which it did so very successfully. Articles today about Lotus Renault GP inevitably recall the original incarnation of JPS-sponsored Lotus and often show the livery of both. I think it is that connection which can cause Lotus Renault GP to run afoul of the tobacco advertising laws, especially in those countries which put a ban on indirect advertising as well as direct advertising of tobacco.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.