McLaren and Alonso expect more overtaking

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Fernando Alonso and McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh reckon the adjustable wing will increase overtaking.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Alonso’s verdict on the 2011 changes (Ferrari)

“There will be the return of KERS and the new adjustable rear wing, even if the front wing won’t be adjustable any more. You will need to find the way to adapt and find the right mechanisms for the buttons to avoid losing the correct concentration for driving. The simulator gives us a big hand with that, allowing us to do intensive training on this aspect.”

McLaren: Moveable wing will work (Autosport)

“We’re crossing our fingers but I think that between KERS and the adjustable rear wing there will be enough difference in speed to be able to overtake a car you’re fighting. These changes have been brought in after meticulous work on the part of the Technical Working Group and I believe they will work.”

Bernie Ecclestone stifles Rome Grand Prix hopes (BBC)

“Rome’s hopes of holding a Formula 1 grand prix have been dashed by F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone, who said two races cannot be held in the same country.”

Martin Whitmarsh Q&A: Second won’t do – McLaren must win (F1)

“We won’t marshal all our resources behind just one of our drivers, to quote your phrase. On the contrary, our equal-treatment philosophy has worked for us in the past, it works for us now and it will work for us in the future.”

Fernando Alonso expects Michael Schumacher to be F1 title threat (The Independent)

“There will be five world champions on the track and the most dangerous champion for me is always Michael.”

TLTV Change (YouTube)

Alonso versus Rossi (Joe Saward)

I like the sound of this!

Renault Formula One team ditch France to race under British licence (The Guardian)

“It means that if we win, we will play the British national anthem. And that is important for everybody inside the team. We are rebranding everything inside the company now.”

Virgin doubling CFD capabilities (ITV-F1)

“On the back of an enhanced deal with leading IT services firm CSC, Virgin will now have access to a revised computer suite – to be housed at the Banbury base of the team’s technical partner Wirth Research – which it says will allow it to "make more changes, more quickly, at less cost than any other team" to its cars.”

Missing first test won’t compromise car – McLaren (ESPN)

Paddy Lowe: “It’s always been in our plan to launch it after the first test. One of the reasons was we wanted to make use of the first test to work with the old car, a stable and known platform, whilst we understand the new tyres and get to know those. It also gave us a bit more time in the programme for the new car, so it’s always been planned that way and it’s one that we considered optimal in race preparation overall.”

Brundle calling for Lotus ‘confusion’ to be sorted out (The Norwich Advertiser)

"It’s a bit messy and I’d like them to sort it out, for the sake of Lotus and for the sake of the fans, before they get to the first race.”

Ultimate Motor Racing (Magic of Motor Racing)

“Gone are the days of aesthetic racing cars. Modern Formula 1 cars are ugly, thanks largely to the narrow track (width between the tyres), skinny tyres, raised nose and stepped floor. We need a racing series with prototypes (open wheel as well as other types) that are aesthetically pleasing to watch, as in the early 80s.”

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Comment of the day

I agree with Magnificent Geoffrey on Renault’s new livery (and it looks like quite a lot of you do too):

Because of this stupid controversy that’s still ongoing, I am completely underwhelmed by what should actually be a very exciting sight to see for any long-term F1 fan.
Magnificent Geoffrey

From the forum

We’re keeping an eye on developments in the A10 World Series

Happy birthday!

I didn’t have any F1 Fanatic reader birthdays on the list for today at first. But as I was putting the finishing touches I received an email from Nick “TrueF1Grit” telling me it was his birthday on the 14th.

So happy birthday to you, just in the, ahem, ‘nick’ of time…

Is your birthday coming up? Would you like a shout-out on F1 Fanatic?

Let me know when it is (ideally giving more than half an hour’s notice) by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Happy 34th birthday to F1 returnee Narain Karthikeyan!

Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

Author information

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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81 comments on “McLaren and Alonso expect more overtaking”

  1. More lotus branding ****. Im so fed up of this, i expect to see bahar with Lotus tattood on his forehead! Neither team is the old louts. Wish they would both admit it and deal with it. Last year o was excited to see lotus back in F1. Now i just wish there were renault and 1Malaysia :( sad times

    1. Also im surprised to see alonso expects Schumacher to be his number 1 threat.

      1. ‘There will be five world champions on the track and the most dangerous champion for me is always Michael.”

        Is this a reference to Schumi’s speed or his driving antics?

        1. i think that deserves a lol. :D

    2. Group Lotus have admitted that they’re not the old Lotus and that they’re not trying to be

      1. JPS livery smacks in the face of that comment.

    3. Bahar would never tattoo Lotus on his forehead. Far too permanent an allegiance for someone whose stock in trade is chasing a quick buck.

      Note: this post should not be interpreted that I believe Tony Fernandes is not chasing a quick buck.

      1. You can tell he isn’t as he didn’t just buy out Renault… With the money he is spending on his team, he could have.

  2. Interesting, the Australian V8 Supercar TeamVodafone is also talking about having a mostly black carbon livery. Wasn’t there some talk of McLaren doing the same not long ago?

      1. I would very much like to see a change of livery to McLaren this season. Although @thefithdriver confirmed on twitter that they’re not changing the livery…

  3. Happy Birthday TrueF1Grit.

    1. Happy birthday from me too :)

      1. And me :-D

    2. Happy birthday from me as well!

  4. If i where a engineer i put kers and movable wing under the same button in the steering wheel.. so when the drivers push it both are deployed.. if the driver happens to push in a zone where the movable wing its not usable then in will only activate the kers….

    1. That is a really good idea…..

      On a separate note

      “Sporting a three musketeer-like beard, a swashbuckling Alonso”

      As much as I criticise Alonso… Nobody deserves that…

      1. Hahaha, that’s an early contender for line of the season!

        I hope he starts talking Pirate style- like the Sea Captain off The Simpsons but with a Spanish accent

        1. Makes quite a character. It would be fun to have something extravagant on the grid again.

          Bring it on skipper Red Fred!

    2. Well, joac21, as the KERS is limited, maybe it’s not a good idea to use it at the middle to end of a straight?

      1. If the rear wing provides enough speed then they may want to save kers for other parts of the track

      2. they will press the button at the start or middle of the straight. and the wing will deploy when they enter “the wing zone”..

        same applies if they want to use kers on other parts of the track

  5. Sorry Keith! Thanks though, wasn’t sure if you’d get it being busy at the Autosport International, Hope you enjoy the rest of the show!

    1. Wow, you share your birthday with the “legendary Narain”! Here’s to hoping you got as good a present as he got in landing himself an F1 drive (if they can actually build a car)

      And with Fisi as well (saw on a post below he has his birthday as well, not sure weather he enjoyed his presents as much)

  6. I’m not liking Alonso’s attitude. I read the article on Autosport where he said Schumacher was his main rival. he barely even gave the likes of Button, Hamilton, Vettel and Webber lip service.

    1. that’s because if he must pick only one name and he stated the reasons. you’re so easily get bitter whenever something doesn’t resonate with your liking i see.

      1. I can understand his reasons, but Schumacher had a poor season in 2010. I don’t think anybody expects him to be a World Championship contender in 2011; even Ross Brawn has said that the aim is to win an eighth title in 2012. So by saying that an underperforming driver like Schumacher is his biggest threat, Alonso has basically said “I’m so much better than everybody else that I rate them as worse than an underperforming fomer World Champion”. If I were Alonso, I’d be very cautious of Vettel and Hamilton. Hamilton because he made his presence known to me at McLaren in 2007, and Vettel because most drivers would have given up on the championship after their engine blew up in Korea whereas Vettel consolidated and came from behind with two very solid wins to take the championship. That’s what Alonso should be worried about, but he’s basically saying the rest of the grid is no better than Schumacher and Schumacher is not at his best. Confidence is one thing, but this crosses the line into sheer arrogance.

        In a way, Ferrari and Alonso were amde for one another.

        1. You have way too much spare time on your hands. Perhaps a bit more attention on the cost accounting :-)

        2. @PM : well, you are free how to interpret anything from one’s words. And Amen for Ferrari and Alonso are made for one another! (my interpretation)

        3. Alonso said quite a bit about Vettel and he also mentioned McLaren as strong competitors. In saying Schumacher was his most dangerous rival, he might well have reason, whether referring to his on-track tactics or sheer ability in a car that suits him. I don’t see anything at all arrogant in using the 7-time champion as the reference point.

        4. Surely he can have his own opinion just like everyone on here does

        5. Nah, I think he is downgrading his level to underperforming former World Champion.

    2. James Allen reckons it might be a tactical thing to pile more pressure on Schumi. I’m inclined to agree

      1. Ned, whatever it is a tactical things or Alonso just being honest that statement is just a small thing really. take it as a pinch of salt. kinda funny i found people judging one’s attitude for making a simple statement.

      2. Ned totally agree, that is the 1st thing i thought when I read it yesterday.
        But it not just Shumi’ its a dig at the others as well, and is mind games with them, smart talking from Alonso (although I sure it will make no difference in the long run)

      3. I think it’s a tactic to undermine Hamilton, Vettel and the rest by giving someone else more acknowledgement. It’s just pre-season mind games.

    3. Calm down. He wasn’t asked for a rundown of the grid.

      1. I wonder what he thinks of Kamui…

        1. …. or Petrov BTW, :)

    4. I suppose that is him already getting up the psy battle on his competitors by belittling most of them and putting pressure on Mercedes, Schumi and Rosberg to level them feeling comfy of improving over last year.

      1. I think it’s partly mind games to undermine how good the other champ’s are and more to the fact of what Alonso would actually like to happen. Alonso has a gigantic ego and would rather be mixing it with a legend and some one who everyone would rank higher than him than drivers in his mind and most others aren’t as good as him.

    5. Well that doesn’t mean that he thinks he’s a contender for the title…. Lotus’ main rivals are Virgin and HRT. I’m just saying.

  7. I keep my fingers crossed & hope that all the words Alonso & Mclaren told becomes true.

    1. Don’t hold your breath, even if cars would be better for overtaking, F1 needs drivers capable of doing that, at least overtaking evenly matched cars. I can only think of 4 names at this time Kamui, Lewis, Alonso and Kubica (Sutil and Schueey maybe should end up on this list as well) that are capable to overtake an evenly matched car.

      1. What about Roseberg, yes still in 5 years of his career he didn’t have the best car to fight but I do think he too can be on that waiting list.

        1. Right, forgot about him. Thought at the moment he seems better at holding position than gaining. At least to me.

  8. Poor France. No track, no team, no drivers.

    1. Ha! Now they have finally surrendered everything!

      1. See you at the next GRAND PRIX then. They still claim the name!!!

    1. Great! I like her – she did the ITV’s coverage of the Goodwood Revival for the last couple of years.

    2. Doesn’t really matter what she looks like though. Being on radio 5 live and all?

      Any info on her voice being nice to listen to?

      1. no of course not. but still, she’s fit!

  9. Don’t think Schumi is under any pressure, he knows what he can do. He’s old enough not to let comments affect his approach to the season.

  10. I’m sorry, but that UMOR article sounds like something written by a naive, over ambitious and unrealistically idealistic 15 year old.

  11. At least 1 Malaysia or Team Lotus or whoever they are were smart enough to use stickers for the new signs just in case they need to be removed quickly.

  12. Personally, I wish they’d become air Malaysia, or something else. Lotus have a factory team now, and it’s British.. So they’re not gonna roll over and give up the name. They have the best claim.

    1. The Group Lotus originally created to be separate from the racing team? And more British than the Lotus based in Hingham, Norfolk?

    2. Ehm, Group Lotus does not have a factory team. They are a sponsor to the Enstone based, Luxembourg owned ex-French manufacturer team Renault.

      Sure, they have an intent to buy in in a few months or years, but Mateschitz and Mallya were sponsors for years as well before they bought his own!

  13. When Alonso says Michael is always the most dangerous, i don’t think it’s mind games at all, i think it’s as simple as, looking at Michaels past, how could you ever write him off before a season? He is the most dangerous for as long as he’s there, for sure.

  14. Michael Griffin
    14th January 2011, 10:25

    Bernie says a country cannot have two races? Has he gone completely mad or forgotten that Spain already has two races?

    1. He’s always been mad; mad about money, they can solve everything, can’t they? Maybe he just wants more money from Rome to give Italy two races?

    2. Spain having two races is mentioned in the BBC article, but it also says that the event is to rotate to other countries in the future. I hope it does, especially if it means visiting new tracks or going back to places that have previously held GPs but lost their place on the calendar.

      1. I really like the idea of moving the European GP around Europe, especially among circuits that struggle to get people in the seats every year.

        Similarly, I think it would be cool to have an Asian GP and an American GP (North and South). Really, you’d just need enough circuits to bounce it around to be interesting. It makes things a little fresher and keeps drivers on their toes as they have to learn more circuits and opens up potential for more mistakes.

    3. the roma gp will be the Vatican City GP. a bit like Imola hosting the San Marino gp – it wasn’t even close to being in San Marino.

  15. Bernie Ecclestone stifles Rome Grand Prix hopes (BBC)

    “Rome’s hopes of holding a Formula 1 grand prix have been dashed by F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone, who said two races cannot be held in the same country.”

    What about two races in Spain? I hope that means Valencia will soon be dumped – that track is even more boring to watch than Monaco.

    1. Technically there are already two races in Italy – I’ve wondered for a while why nobody questions why the ‘San Marino’ Grand Prix still exists.

      1. The San Marino GP hasn’t been run for several years, the last one was in 2006.

        1. Slight brain fade there!

  16. Today is Fisichella’s birthday too!

    1. Yeah, it seems the first quarter of the Year is reserved for short people, so they can go along and drive F1 cars :( ….. Damn! Why wasn’t I amongst them? :( :(

  17. Looks like those thinking HRT quitting the teams alliance was a move to break up FOTA and probably supported by Bernie to have easier goings for the Concorde Agreement will feel they are spot on after reading this:

  18. Keith, will you post an article on Wrooom 2011, with all the photos and video of these three days?

  19. Either Martin Whitmarsh gave written answers to’s questions or he is the McLaren rainman – able to recall and summarise McLaren statistics with incredible accuracy off the top of his head:
    “…since our first Grand Prix in 1966 we’ve won 25 percent of the Grands Prix we’ve started, and at least one of our drivers has stood on the podium in more than 50 percent of them…”
    “We’ve won eight constructors’ championships and 12 drivers’ championships”
    “We certainly have two top drivers today – two world champions who between them have won 23 Grands Prix, started from pole position 25 times and taken 67 podium finishes”

  20. I think Withmarsh is very much to the point about what the new engine regulations offer for the engine manufacturers:

    They’ll be every bit as powerful in terms of bhp as the 2.4-litre V8s we currently run, and they’ll be of considerably more interest and value to car manufacturers in terms of the learning opportunities they present for optimising fuel efficiency and performance

  21. Hello, awesome text. Enjoy very much. cheers.

  22. Pastor Maldonado drove a reliveried FW32 in Venezuela, the car looks quite bare in places, but remember Williams have lost a few big sponsors. Venezuela branding on the rear wing of the car as well as on Pastor’s race suit.

  23. I am very disappointed that the “European Grand Prix” means nothing apart from an extra chance to make some change out of another track when it pleases you. What is Bernie on about “no two grand prix in one country”?. Grow some (sporting) testicular fortitude man. The European Grand Prix (and other continental GPs) are an excellent chance to race in the sporting heritage of a place without being tied down to one boring site over many years. I’ve said before that the idea of a European Grand Prix would be better if it wasn’t just an excuse for a poxxy double-run for those who can’t organise themselves.

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