Vettel: McLaren “look strong” in testing

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Jerez, 2012

In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel is impressed by McLaren’s long-run pace in testing.

F1 links

Vettel impressed by McLaren pace (Autosport)

“I think McLaren looked very strong today. For the rest it is too early. I haven’t seen all the lap times yet, I have only had a couple of looks on the long runs that Lewis did today – they seemed to be quite interesting.”

Bahrain Grand Prix should go ahead, says independent commissioner (The Guardian)

“[Cherif] Bassiouni – who was appointed by the Bahrain royal family but has been critical of the authorities after last year’s disturbances – has written to the chairman of the Bahrain GP, Zayed Alzayani, and also to the Formula One principal rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone, giving his support for the race to go ahead, despite the ongoing protests from pro-democracy groups.”

Analysis – McLaren MP4-27 sidepods (F1)

“The sidepods are very high off the ground, with a much wider, more dramatic undercut, an arrangement similar to the double floor solution seen on Toro Rosso’s 2011 car.”

Rates for many hotels skyrocket on F1 weekend (Austin-American Statesman)

“Hotel operators’ decision to dramatically increase room rates during the F1 race is not a violation of the state’s price-gouging laws. Those laws go into effect only when a state of emergency or disaster is declared by the governor, according to the Texas attorney general’s office.”

American F1 Sponsorship: An Interview with SunCore Solar (F1 in America)

“Our involvement was limited to five races due to budgetary restrictions although we had hoped for a much longer involvement. We found [Lotus] to be of the highest caliber in every aspect and we had a great experience with them before, during and after the races.”

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Comment of the day

Bendanarama’s l33t verdict on Mercedes’ new F1 car:

Hopefully its performance won’t be W03ful.

From the forum

Site updates

The last Jerez testing gallery has been updated with pictures of Lewis Hamilton driving for McLaren:

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On this day in F1

Happy birthday to thrice-champion Niki Lauda, who is 63 today.

Image © McLaren

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Keith Collantine
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36 comments on “Vettel: McLaren “look strong” in testing”

  1. Argh, all these little interviews and bits of news from testing are making it really difficult to choose my fantasy F1 team, was thinking of putting at least one lotus in there until today, oh well

  2. “Hotel operators’ decision to dramatically increase room rates during the F1 race is not a violation of the state’s price-gouging laws.”

    That’s just standard operating procedures for every hotel in the world. Or at least it is in melbourne

    1. I agree, same in Montreal.

    2. Or any other place in the world where a big event takes place. In Poland during Euro 2012 prices went six times higher.

      1. Are you from the future?!?! Who won the competition?

    3. yeah, isn’t that the standard? I mean, higher demand, higher prices… isn’t that the way to go?

      1. Ditto Airlines.

  3. Haha! Love the COTD!

    The hotels thing isn’t surprising. Does it not happen everywhere? Whenever I’ve been going to the Melbourne Grand Prix and booking accommodation online, I’ve always been amused by the fact rates appear to go up by $100 or more for four days and then go back to normal prices on the Monday after the Grand Prix! I thought that was common everywhere though.

    1. Maybe I should rent out the spare rooms for the weekend and get in on the $$’s flying about!

      1. Why not, being with a fellow F1 fan and still a few hundred dollar cheaper? Sounds like good deal!

  4. The more I see of it, the better it looks. That McLaren is a thing of beauty.

    Could it go down as a classic, or is it just the best of a bad bunch?

    1. I don’t think it’s beautiful, but it is striking and looks incredibly purposeful to me. It is also the best of a bad bunch, but I don’t think that should take too much away from it.

    2. Personally I think its the best looking McLaren since the MP4-20.

    3. It would be cool if they manage to win WDC or WCC (or both). That would be one against the world (of Lego-noses) story.

  5. damn hotels, right in the plums :(

    1. That’s what happens when a city is about to host a major event. I don’t think it’s different from Superbowl. I’ve experienced similar situation in Germany during World Cup, same in South Africa and you should expect 100% price hikes in Rio de Janeiro during carnival.

  6. It`s got to be Geoff
    22nd February 2012, 8:10

    The Barain kings mate says everything is ok, so what the problem?.

    It`s enough to make you sick.

  7. Didn’t Vettel say something similar last year about Ferrari?

    1. I hope so.

  8. Loving the COTD @bendana Well done!

    Fortunately I haven’t yet been stung by rising hotel prices. I camped at Silverstone and found a hostel in Bergamo for the Italian GP. Looks like I’ll be camping in the Ardennes this year.

    I think Vettel is looking at competitors times as best he can, this is a game of consistency so hopefully for McLaren testing reliability will pay off for them.

    1. Thanks @AndrewTanner. Clearly bad puns are my route to comment of the day!

  9. Happy birthday Rich and Niki Lauda!

  10. Vettel is just deflecting attention from Red Bull, did the same last year with Ferrari. Sadly i don’t think the McLaren is that fast but it is the only car on the grid anyone would want a picture of on their wall. History suggests the best looking car isn’t always the quickest though.

    1. What makes you think that the McLaren won’t be fast?

  11. There were some serious Macca detractors at the beginning of last years season, including myself. They did create a different car as weird as some of the stepped noses that we are looking at now, but it did produce some wins and was relatively competitive next to the RB. Actually when I think about it the Williams with the tight rear was one of the best looking cars on the grid. So your point is well made, but I’d hate to be a designer when it comes down to thousands of a second a lap. But F1 needs a competitive Macca… I hope they are there this season as well well as Ferrari and RB.

    1. Wasn’t Mac noticeably off in testing last year though? And didn’t they start off the season struggling? Exhaust issues? I thought the competitiveness only came with time, and may have depended on the venue as well. Just saying perhaps they will start off this year on a better footing than how they started last year, which hopefully will translate to them giving SV a fun for his money early on.

      1. vettel was right when he said the ferrari was best of the rest last year

        Macca’s testing was obismal however between last test and first race they changed the overheating exhaust and lewis came second. he then went on to win malaysia

        so really they were strong from the first race

  12. These folks buying Austin hotel rooms are braver than I. I’m still waiting for prices on tickets to the actual GP.

    1. Most hotels allow you to book it and then cancel a few days or so in advance, so unfortunately, people are booking them out. BUT, this means that there will be people that end up not going and the rooms may open up closer to the event…..

  13. hi all, is there anyway of finding out the seating plan at silverstone. i can get hold of stowe a p92 but i dont know how good that particular seat is. anybody have an reference to roughly where i should be sitting for a good view. thanks all.

  14. Yeah I have to admit that I think Vettel is playing mind games. He knows McLaren are going to be strong, but you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to assume that. McLaren, as are Ferrari, one of the teams that are always tipped for the title pre-season. Last year all the hype in testing was on how strong the Ferrari was, yet the chassis only won a grands prix in 2011 whilst the Red Bull cleaned up! Three or four grands prix into the season will give us a greater perspective on which team is hot and the ones that are luke warm.

  15. Just finished reading the post about hotel prices in Austin for this year’s grand prix. Here we are on this site, often debating about F1’s preceived image in America and the many pitfalls the sport faces there, and then you read articles like that. Obviously these hotel chains and owners expect the crowds to turn up, but at what cost to the sport over the long run? They may make money out of it a couple of times, but I can see these prices turning fans off just like it has for other F1 venues.
    I am full of respect for you ‘fanatics’ out there who find bargains such as hostels and hollow logs in Belgium forests inwhich to spend the night, but this frankly is taking the ****!

    1. On one hand, yes it’s a bit cynical, but on the other hand it’s not like it doesn’t happen at every other Grand Prix venue.

      1. Not to mention when the Olympics come to your city, etc etc. It’s monopoly type economics. As everyone knows, normally all the hotels and motels in an area need to be competitive amongst each other, so they have to set their rates such that they aren’t too high vs. their competition, and yet can still make money. Unfortunately when all the hotels in an area know they are going to be booked solid, the consumer takes the hit with gun-to-your-head type economics…you want to come see the event, here’s what you’re going to pay. That’s why monopolies aren’t good…unless you are one. I hate that in situations like this the hotels aren’t just happy to have the joint full…they have to take advantage of the situation. Guess it’s part human nature, part greed, and part understanding on the consumers end (or else hotels would never get away with such artificially high rates for what are normally only average rooms and service in average hotel chains).

        At least the market will ultimately determine how this gouging will affect attendance at the race. The hotels will change their rates quickly if they find it is no longer a given that they are going to be booked solid. Attendance at an F1 race is not necessary for people’s survival like hydro, gasoline, oil, and food are, so ulimately the hotels only have a temporary monopoly and one that is determined by the consumer, unlike other monopolies that are true and permanent ones that truly leave the consumer no choice.

    2. Judging by past experience most Americans will absolutely lap up the Austin race. (No pun intended). The inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix (Indycar) I attended last year was a massive sell out and probably only 30% were your average race goers. The hoteliers know this and capitalize on it.

      It’s called supply + demand and it happens in every type of business. Just ask Sony how much Whitney Houston CDs cost :D

  16. Well I’m a long suffering McLaren fan (Long suffering in terms of constructor’s championships) and I contrary to the past few seasons I don’t see that shoulders slumped bad vibe that’s usually in and around the team during pre-season.

    I suspect they may be a couple of tenth off the RB8 but only a couple of tenths. This for me is like winning the lottery because I’ve got every confidence they can claw back + overtake something small like that.

    I’m gonna stick my neck out + go for a down-to-the-wire last race decider between HAM + VET + BUT.

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