McLaren hire former Sauber designer Morris

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Sergio Perez, McLaren, Silverstone, 2013In the round-up: Ex-Sauber designer Matt Morris is hired by McLaren


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Under-performing McLaren hire Sauber chief designer (Sauber)

“Sporting director Sam Michael told reporters at the British Grand Prix that [Matt] Morris would work on both next year’s regulation changes and the 2015 switch from Mercedes engines to a new partnership with Honda.”

Sergio Perez Q&A: The gap to the front is still substantial (F1)

“Ride is very important here. It is a lot of high-speed corners and the car has to go very low, so yes, it is one of the issues we are having – the ride – but I think we made a good step forward in that area. But still it is not enough. The system that we wanted to implement made the car worse rather than better. The result is that we are lacking a lot of downforce, especially in the high-speed parts. That makes me believe that the high-speed areas will be the weakest parts for us this weekend.”

British Grand Prix: Paul Di Resta raises his game (The Independent)

“Hamilton… tried a further revised braking system with a new master cylinder and pedal leverage in a bid to enhance the feel he wants under heavy retardation.”

Pirelli: test affair won’t harm F1 plans (Autosport)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: “The promoter is clearly on board, the majority of teams are now; and we are closing in on the final few. If we have got all the teams and promoter happy, then what else can we do?”

‘No one will run away with it’ (Sky)

“I think the race will be quite tight, to be honest I don’t think there’s anyone charging away.”

Silverstone quick to address short-changed fans’ concerns after washout (The Guardian)

“Richard Phillips, Silverstone’s managing director, said after the session: ‘It is time for a rule change, to make the teams go out and put on a display on Friday. Because you’re not going to build a fan base round the world, are you? The British fans come whatever. But it’s not good. They should get a better deal for Friday.'”

It was time to go, says Webber (The Age)

“I could have, but for me to do a multi-year deal somewhere, I think I’m going to struggle to get my head around where I’m going to be in 2015… to go and do another two seasons of that. So it needed to be two seasons. For me to go and do a one-off somewhere is not going to work.”

F1’s ‘proper bloke’ will be sorely missed (BBC)

Sam Michael: “He didn’t grow up on the karting tracks of Europe, pounding around since he was four years old competing against the cutting edge of everyone. You can’t do that in Australia. So to get into sportscars, Formula 3000 and then the bottom rung of F1 and work your way up the grid to win grands prix is a phenomenal effort.”

CVC attracts pledges of ??14bn in six months (FT)

“The group, which is based in Luxembourg and mostly operates from London, distributed ??7.1bn [??4.67bn] to its investors since January 2012. It reaped more than $4bn on its $1bn investment in F1, whose boss Bernie Ecclestone is embroiled in a bribery case. It expects to make as much as $7bn on the holding eventually.”

Rush Featurette (Optimum Releasing via YouTube)


Comment of the day

@AdrianMorse’s thoughts on the competitive order this weekend:

Force India and Toro Rosso in the top eight is definitely a surprise. It will make for an interesting race if they can carry that performance into qualifying. If Alonso does not get a lot closer to the front tomorrow, the battle for the race win will be between Webber and Vettel. Their long runs looked strong, and I think on race pace they are at least half a second faster than Mercedes.

Mercedes therefore did not look as bad as they did in Spain, but based on their long runs I think a podium is going to be difficult, especially with the tyre-kind Force Indias so close on pure pace, as well as the usual suspects of Alonso and Raikkonen who can never be discounted for the race.

Massa was disappointing once again. Seriously, what is up with the guy? He?s broken more cars than any of the rookies so far this season. Speaking of rookies, I think Van der Garde has had a good start to the weekend. He has stayed out of trouble, and was sometimes surprisingly close to the front, even eighth early on with the wet running.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

An engine failure for Kimi Raikkonen cost him a likely victory in the European Grand Prix ten years ago today.

It left Ralf Schumacher to lead a Williams one-two at the Nurburgring. Juan Pablo Montoya took second place after diving past Michael Schumacher at the hairpin, the Ferrari driver spinning off. Rubens Barrichello was third.

Here’s the Montoya-Schumacher battle onboard:

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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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59 comments on “McLaren hire former Sauber designer Morris”

  1. When Horner said today in the friday conference that they weren´t considering Buemi I felt bad for him.

    In my scenary one of the Toro Rosso guys get the seat and Buemi goes back to Toro Rosso. He has helped RBR a lot this pass 2 years he deserves another chance.

    1. If one of the Toro Rosso boys gets the job, they won’t backtrack to Buemi, they’ll give da Costa a shot in the junior team.

      1. Da Costa is not really doing well on Formula Renault

        1. He is not doing as well as expected, but he’s no slouch.

        2. He’s doing terribly for some reason. I think it defeats the purpose of a junior team to re-hire a former driver.

        3. Like Prisioner Monkeys said, he’s not doing as well as expected for various reasons, but he’s not slow and in a ToroRosso car, i’m sure he will manage to show how quick he is.

          As for Buemi, the only way to do a return is to leave RedBull i guess…

    2. Why would Buemi deserve another chance? He had plenty of time. If he had something to show, he should have done it. If either of the current TR drivers joins Red Bull, then I would much rather see a new talent was given the chance.

    3. I still have hope for Scott Speed.

      1. LOL you are kidding right?

        1. I’m sure he meant Christian Klien. ;)

  2. I still remember that Nurburgring GP quite well. If there was one race that had a decisive effect on the outcome of the 2003 championship, that was it. Raikkonen lost 10 points when he was leading easily before his engine failure, while Schumi gained 4 points from being pushed back out of the gravel. The final points gap between Michael and Kimi at the end of the year was a mere 2 points.

    1. Aditya (@adityafakhri)
      29th June 2013, 4:47

      that was engine-gearbox failures and tyre regulation politics that cost Raikkonen his first title.
      btw, he got a lot of mechanical failures in German land, maybe he’s cursed.

  3. Is anyone else trying to enter a prediction and it not going through, as mine isn’t working. I am trying to enter tine: 1:29.087 and Pole: Vettel and Positions Vet, Ros, Ham, Alo, and Webber, but it is not registering my prediction. Kinda bugging me as I have tried numerous times and it isnt registering?

    1. @gnrpoison
      I had the same problem last night, but now it worked fine.

  4. Rush. Looks. Amazing.

    1. I’m finding what I’ve seen of it so far to be a bit on the cheesy side as far as the acting goes but I can’t decide if that’s because it really is cheesy or if I’m just overly critical due to my familiarity with the content.

      Obviously I’ll be going to see it no matter what anybody says about it.

      1. The scenes that I’ve seen so far are all high-intensity parts of the movie, I think. Like most trailers and previews, I think they’re just trying to show off some of the peak moments of the film, but I have high hopes the movie itself will be more natural and have scenes like the ones where Hunt and Lauda are shouting make more sense and with context.

    2. some parts of the racing scenes look too Hollywood to me aka terrible. But other parts look good, so i will wait untill see more to really judge.

    3. Alex (@korbendallas)
      29th June 2013, 5:22

      I think the racing scenes look quite engaging, because they’re so different from the clinical viewpoint we get every few weeks. Watching the onboard footage from decades past in F1 is a totally different experience from watching the onboard today, and I think (with no experience to back up my opinion) that the films looks like it captures quite well what it must have been like to drive those insane cars on those outrageously unsafe circuits in the 70s.

      I also have a lot of faith in Ron Howard’s directing/producing talent.

  5. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
    29th June 2013, 3:56

    “heavy retardation”

    That happens at 5G right?

  6. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
    29th June 2013, 4:06

    It might not be in the round up today but i have to say i think a penalty points system is a terrible idea. If a driver gets up to 12 points and its 3 points for a collision i’d say odds are good at least one driver will be banned from a race most years.

    1. If a driver gets up to 12 points and its 3 points for a collision i’d say odds are good at least one driver will be banned from a race most years.

      Which means there is a very good incentive to avoid crashing.

      1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        29th June 2013, 12:54

        Avoid crashing……. and racing. Not to mention i dont want to see championships decided by race bans. Then there’s the fairness of it all grosjean has had the only ban in ages for nearly killing alonso and taking out a large part of the field. Now if someone takes a few end plates off trying to overtake legitimately the same punishment should apply? It will result in completely disproportionate penaltys.

    2. …and your point is?

      1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        29th June 2013, 12:55

        Pretty obviously that i don’t want to see a penalty points system?

    3. Yeah, I dont really like how they’re taking the human factor out of it, I think a race ban is the kind of penalty where you need to take a lot of factors into account.

      But hey, at least we might get to see some reserve drivers on track.

  7. Silverstone quick to address short-changed fans’ concerns after washout (The Guardian)

    While I understand the frustration of going to Silverstone and waiting 90 minutes on a Friday for nothing (specially after last year’s debacle), I don’t think this should be fixed… what do they want? who really prefers friday running to watching a race, anyway? practice is just a plus to the weekend, it’s not what you buy the tickets for…

    If it’s raining, the teams don’t run that much. That’s how it is. Tough luck… if the race or qualy was suspended (or if teams didn’t want to go out on a dry track), then I’d agree it’s something that needs to be looked at. But you cannot put a roof over Silverstone, can you?

    Afterall, it doesn’t matter if the crowd was enormous or not. It’s still frustrating to have 90 minutes of practise session and a completely empty track. But those are the rules of the game…

    You can’t fight british weather anyway. People should understand: when it rains, you bright your umbrella, and you might not see F1 cars going around.

    British fans (or should I say, british media? they raise the subject every year) should be glad they still have GP2 and GP3 at the same weekend… something fans from other parts of the world miss, and they suffer from rain too.

    1. Silverstone I believe has become a stomping ground of negative feedback since it’s re-investment. Last year was nothing but disappointing from fans accounts due to lack of access to the track and facilties, this year it’s pricing and entertainment. Formula 1 as a business charges huge amounts of money to run a race, putting pressure on the circuits and city’s themselves. By the sounds of it, Silverstone has missed the bus on where their money was allocated. Upgrades to the track and stands obviously needed to be spread across the rest of the infrustructure in order to make the idea of attending an event there more luring. I spent all 4 days at the Australian GP this year and despite my previous dissapointments and the average weather, the event and organization did miss a beat, the same can be said for the Chinese GP.

    2. True, qualifying and the race itself are the main event your coming to the circuit for. But for €500 or whatever, you want to have cars on the track in free practise as well. Doesn’t mather if the cars go slow in the rain, at least you can see them, and hope for a small crash just for expitement near were you’re sitting :)

      1. @me4me I imagine that if someone is willing to pay 500 euros or whatever on a friday ticket, he’s a massive F1 fan. So a massive F1 fan should know the risks… specially considering rain in the UK happens quite often…

        I don’t think watching Vettel, Hamilton and the lot struggling to keep it on track in a practice session really makes up for it anyway…

    3. the Rules for next year give those extra tyres to get cars on track in the first half of FP1 next year, so they are working on it as well. But off course in the rain there was never much running (apart from when we had those 3rd cars).

      I think its a good PR move from Silverstone to “make up for it” to get over some of the negative feelings from the rain struck weekend last year.

    4. I agree with @fer-no65 , what he’s basically saying is drivers should be risking injury going out on a wet track for no reason, I dont think that’s what people want to see. In any case, if teams were forced to go out they’d probably just find a loophole and trundle around at 10mph.

      In terms of Britain specifically, considering we’re the home of cricket and to some extent tennis, I think we should be used to rain delaying play by now.

  8. Cannot wait for Rush! May time a date at a time around its release on purpose for certain reasons ;)

  9. Great article by the BBC on Webber.
    Particularly liked the line regarding Vettel vs. Webber’s pace: “In the fast corners, Webber usually has the edge.”

    Translated as: “Mark generally has bigger ba**s than Seb.

    1. @nackavich Or maybe, Mark wastes his energy tackling faster corners, whereas Vettel reserves his energy for slow corners, which are much more crucial in getting right, because there’s much more time to be found (and vice versa, more time to be lost), under heavy braking.

      Anyway I don’t agree with this so-called ‘fact’ that Vettel is worse in faster corners. He rapes Webber every year at Spa and Suzuka.

      1. He doesn’t “rape” Webber at those Gp’s. In fact Webber beat him to pole at Spa in 2010 and finished second while Vettel was busy spearing Button, and he also set the fastest lap and finished second there in 2011 in a car that suited Vettel more with the EBD.
        And if it wasn’t for bad starts he would’ve had better results.
        Silverstone has been well documented as one of Webber’s best tracks as its one of the “true driver” circuits at which he’s excelled.

        Plus I was merely quoting Andrew Benson’s article, so take it up with him.

        Still, in terms of guts, Vettel has nothing on Webber.

        1. So let’s count that:
          Spa – Webber beat in qualification, in the race Vettel was in front of webber that had a 5 place grip penalty
          Suzuka – Vettel took pole, webber was 2nd , in the race Vettel won , Webber was 9th

          Spa – Vettel took pole, Webber was 3rd, Vettel won, Webber was 2nd
          Suzuka – Vettel had the pole Webber was 6th, in the race Vettel was 3rd Webber4th

          Spa – Webber had the pole, Vettel was 4th, in the end Webber was 2nd Vettel 15th
          Suzuka – Vettel had the Pole Webber was 2nd, in the race same places.

          Spa – Vettel was 8th, Webber 9th, in the race Vettel was 3rd Webber 9th
          Suzuka – Vettel had pole Webber had no time, in the race Vettel won, Webber was 19th

          So adding qualifying and race in these two races:

          Vettel out qualified Webber for 6 times in 8 possible
          Vettel out raced Webber for 7 times in 8….

          Take your judgement out of it know…

          1. If you read my comment properly you’d notice I didn’t mention anything about Suzuka.
            The point I was trying to make is that if you compare practise/quali/race times, the performance of Webber vs Vettel at circuits like Spa and Silverstone isn’t enough to warrant Vettel as having “raped” Mark.
            That would imply utter domination.

            If you look at Silverstone in the past four years, Vettel scored his first hat trick in 09, Webber beat him fair and square in 2010.
            Vettel only just finished ahead of Webber in 2011, and in 2012 Mark qualified ahead of Vettel and went on to win the race.
            So qualifying it was:
            Webber 2
            Vettel 2

            And during the race:
            Webber 2
            Vettel 2

            All pretty square, doesn’t really indicated anyone’s doing any “raping”…

        2. @nackavich – Vettel beat Webber at Spa 2009, 2011 and 2012, and was ahead in 2010 when he made an error. Vettel beat Webber at Suzuka every single time.

          I agree with @wsrgo , that Webber certainly doesn’t have any extra guts than his teammate that whips him on pure pace the majority of the time. Any “edge” MW has is swallowed by just about everything important.

        3. @nackavich

          Still, in terms of guts, Vettel has nothing on Webber.

          Well if the lack of those guts gives a man 3 titles, I’d rather trade guts for titles anyday…

        4. Let’s not forget that Webber suddenly lost any edge he had over Vettel since the “Not bad for a number 2 driver” remark. After that race he pretty much stopped beating Vettel in qualifying and in races when before that race they would compete on track almost all the time.

          It’s safe to assume that the same thing happened to Webber which happened to Schumacher’s team mates (reduced access to telemetry, less team support, no say in car development etc etc)

          1. @patrickl – Webber’s record against Vettel wasn’t even that good before Silverstone 2010. In the 26 races prior, Webber qualified ahead just 6 times. Plus Webber’s leading of the championship was heavily influenced by Vettel’s mechanical failures from leading positions in the first 2 races of 2010.

          2. Well he was ahead 6 times in single season before and about 0 times in all seasons after.

            Besides, the margin between them was negligible before Silverstone 2010 and went up to several tenths thereafter.

            Vettel scored more points in those 2 races than Webber. The way they ruined Webber’s race in Melbourne favoring Vettel over Webber was a clear example why Webber got so riled up about he whole thing to begin with. Webber could easily have won that race hadn’t the team been so focussed just on Vettel. Weber was faster than vettel, but not allowed to pass nor to pit. Then they finally call in Vettel late and let Webber struggle for yet another lap.

            Bit odd to go for “mechanical” problems for Vettel when Webber had his fair share of those. Perhaps not as visible, but his KERS pretty much never worked in any of the races, poor clutch setups at the start and also complete retirements. There wasn’t much between them in that department either.

  10. Richard Phillips, Silverstone’s managing director, said after the session: “It is time for a rule change, to make the teams go out and put on a display on Friday. Because you’re not going to build a fan base round the world, are you? The British fans come whatever. But it’s not good. They should get a better deal for Friday.”

    (the team principals during yesterday’s press conference made similar claims)

    This is pretty much the problem that I have with Formula 1 in general: there is a complete misunderstanding of what the fans want. The crowd that was being soaked during FP1, they are not stupid, they know that if it rains, there’s very little chance they will see track action. The reason they kept on standing there was because at the end of the session, surely a few of them would come out – and they did.

    Furthermore, tweaking the rules in such a way that it is actually beneficial for the teams to go out during FP1 (like for instance saying a driver has to set a time in every FP, or giving the drivers an extra set for the first 30 minutes of FP1) will have consequences that have not been thought through. We have seen on multiple occasions in the last few years that rules that were supposed to do one thing actually affected something else in a negative way.

    I’d say: stop tweaking the sport and adding rules. At the moment, the fans understand why no-one’s going out during a rainy practice sessions, so adding rules will only make things more confusing!

    1. Agreed. I hardly think people would enjoy their favorite driver going around in the rain for the regulated amount of laps at a snail’s pace, wasting resources (wasn’t F1 trying to be greener?) and risk damages.

      If they want to give a little to the trackside fans, there’s a lot that can be done without changing F1’s regulations..

  11. @keith prediction not working… pls fix. no msg prediction saved. tried wrong time format… no msg nor response… just refreshed the screen… no response from show prediction either… tnx

    1. @mel If it’s still not working you can send your predictions manually, look in the rules on the prediction page for instructions.

  12. my prediction 1:19.210
    pole Vet

    1. ur pole lap would be some lap!

  13. The hunt movie looks more ” hollywoodish “…. F1 Cars jumping over crests ? ….pleaaaaasee don’t kid

    1. if i remember correctly, there was a thread on the forum about this, and i think they said it did happen, nevertheless the movie does look a bit hollywood, but it’s a trailer…

    2. @hamilfan But they did leave the ground at certain parts of certain tracks. Look at old footage of the Nurburgring and you might see a bit.

  14. Cars not going out much in Friday practice is nothing new, Only reason its suddenly become more of an issue is because now more people are able to watch Practice around the world nowadays.

    Friday practice has always been more of a test day for teams with teams running there own specific programs, If your running new updates you need to make sure its working as expected before committing to a flat out run else your just wasting time getting data thats completely irrelevant to what you’ll be doing for the rest of the weekend.

    They have an extra set of tyres for the 1st half hour of FP1 next year, I actually doubt that will make much of a difference because the 1st half hour of FP1 is when teams will run there install laps & then check the cars over for any problems before going out & doing there programs.

  15. Morris’ appointment to McLaren is an interesting one. I get the feeling that it’s going to be either disasterously brilliant, or a brilliant disaster. I think a big part of McLaren’s woes this year has been their inability to think laterally in their car design, so when they decided to do something different for what seemed like a sound idea – the MP4-27 was at the end of its development cycle – they shot themselves in the foot. Morris, however, has that creative spark that has been missing; he drew inspiration for the Sauber C32’s slim sidepods from Sergio Perez’s Monaco smash. So the lateral thinking is there, but the Sauber C32 has been as disappointing as the McLaren MP4-28. Taking him on is a huge risk for McLaren, but I think it’s a calculated one. They’ve got Tim Goss to anchor themselves in the kind of practical, conservative design philosophy that has defined the team, and now they have Matt Morris to try and inject the missing x-factor into their approach. The challenge is in balancing out the relationship and the input – there’s a risk that one will smother the other.

    1. That Monaco crash inspiration statement was only ever a joke.
      I know nothing about aero, but I’m pretty sure they were driven by that, and nothing to do with Morris.

  16. So McLaren hires the designer of another under performing car of 2013 to fix their own under performing car….. Speak about comradery…….. “Birds of Same Feather Flock together !!!!”

  17. Is Checo making a team of his own?
    Love does German commentators getting all pumped out at Michel’s exit :)))

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