Super Aguri in, McLaren promoted

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The teams have arrived at Melbourne for the first race of the season – and the McLaren and Super Aguri trailers have already generated a pair of headlines.

Super Aguri’s appearance at the circuit appears to confirm they are indeed racing this year, after months of speculation about their future during the off-season.

And McLaren will occupy garage slot five as was reported last month. According to Autosport:

It is believed that the practical issue of where to place McLaren’s large motorhome in paddocks was one of the reasons for keeping the team away from the bottom end of the pitlane.

It appears to be another softening of the FIA’s punishment at Bernie Ecclestone’s behest. It was Ecclestone who successfully talked Mosley down from throwing Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso out of last year’s championship, and this latest move also falls within Eccletone’s remit.

I suspect Ecclestone thinks McLaren’s punishment was too harsh and he doesn’t want the only team likely to challenge Ferrari for the championship being compromised.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “Super Aguri in, McLaren promoted”

  1. I think that Bernie might not have wanted the great and the good to have to walk so far to meet Lewis Hamilton.

  2. the fact that McLaren are between Williams and Red Bull is quite old news already. I was wondering why Autosport made it sound today like something new. There were several debats all over F1 blogs on this topic weeks ago …

  3. @milos: I think it was because it is now official. Previously, it was just rumour, but now the teams are setting everything up, it is clear what has happened. That’s my take on the McLaren-garage story, anyway.

    Yay for Super Aguri!

  4. The favored position in the garage area is due to the size of Mac’s mobile castle; no room for it at the end of the row. If you cheat and get caught it won’t hurt as long as your hospitality train is too large to fit anywhere else.

    They should have made McLaren fit into whatever space is available. And everyone thinks Bernie only favors Ferrari or Flavio!

  5. George – I think Bernie only favors what’s gonna get him paid. The reason why we saw him fawn over Ferrari so much was because they’re the most recognizable name in F1 [discounting honda and toyota because… well… they’re awful], and they had the most fans (and, therefore, the most sponsorship money) to bring to the sport. You mentioned Flavio – well he was working with Fernando Alonso, who was bringing a massive Spanish audience to the sport. Now, Lewis Hamilton is expanding the British F1 fan base, so Bernie wants to take it easy on him so as not to drive away his supporters (and his supporters’ money). I’m sure if there were a great American driver that was bringing legions of fans to GPs, giving Bernie the opportunity to snag one of the largest audiences in the world, than Bernie would pull strings to try and make things go in his favor, too.

  6. openwheelfan
    9th March 2008, 19:26

    Our last great hope was Scott Speed.  I am hoping that the reason Bobby Rahal had his son in Champ Car and not the IRL was to get him the experiece on road courses.  Graham Rahal, I hope, will be ready if they get a chance next year.  The only other American would be the next Andretti, Marco, Micheals son and Mario’s grandson.  The problem here I see is he has been in the IRL for a couple of years and races ovals.  This year he will race on street circuts.  But with the failure of his father in F1 I am not so sure he will make the leap.

  7. Nico, I understand your points totally and I also agree on Bernie always stepping up for his self interest. I just don’t know how he can circumvent the rules and on his own and move McLaren to whatever location he desires.

    Based on the hosing Ron and McLaren received last year I’m glad somebody is acting somewhat rationally, even if it’s Bernie’s pocket that’s doing the rationalizing.

  8. clipped from openwheelfan:  " But with the failure of his father (Mario Andretti) in F1 I am not so sure he will make the leap.  "FAILURE" of Mario Andretti???????????????
    Care to explain that? This should make good reading.

  9. I think he meant Michael Andretti (not his granddad!)

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