In the round-up: McLaren chairman Ron Dennis says he would be happy to have Fernando Alonso back at the team.
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“Whatever obstacles sit between a team wanting to win and winning, be it engineering, fiscal or human issues, you resolve them. You never say never.”
“I’m convinced that we will have a successful time – and I’m looking very much forward to my first podium! Sauber have had some podiums in the past and that is exactly what I want.”
Toto Wolff: “Our car almost had a Lotus phenomenon afterwards – it was too gentle on the tyres, we could not switch them on, we could not warm them up in the appropriate way.”
“Antonio Spagnolo… next season will [be Kimi Raikkonen’s] race engineer.”
“There are a lot of new regulations next year, but you have to learn as quickly as possible and I don’t think it is going to be a big problem.”
James Allison – End of term report http://t.co/jO1IA3qXjD
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) December 17, 2013
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Comment of the day
Lucas Wilson says Marussia deserve greater appreciation.
They are true plucky survivors, they are the modern day Minardi or Super Aguri. I think they should deserve massive credit for what they have done. They are a rare type of team, truly old fashioned.
Don’t be fooled by the corporate names (Virgin, Marussia) they are running under, the team is largely the result of one man, John Booth and his company Manor Motorsport. Unlike Caterham (mainly created to advertise Mr Fernandes’s products) they are a proper independent race team like the former teams of Minardi and Jordan.
If they have beat Caterham on so much less money, they have my maximum respect.
Lucas Wilson (@Full-throttle-f1)
From the forum
Happy birthday to Julio Mv!
On this day in F1
Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost faced each other for the final time on a race track 20 years ago today.
The pair were among a host of Formula One drivers who competed in the first Elf Master Karting Indoor in Bercy, Paris. The event was organised by former F1 driver Philippe Streiff who suffered paralysis after a crash during pre-season testing in 1989.
The event ran across three days, though Senna only arrived late on Saturday, the second day. Driving a plain white kart due to a sponsorship conflict, Senna managed a few practice laps before crashing on one of the quicker parts of the circuit.
The pair were upstaged in qualifying by Johnny Herbert, whose lap of 29.25s was the quickest of the F1 drivers, 0.04s ahead of Prost with Senna a further 0.08s behind. However the outright quickest time of the event was a 28.86s lap set by French kart racer Sebastien Enjolras.
Prost and Senna only faced each other on track briefly in the final, Senna holding off a challenge from his great rival before Olivier Panis separated the pair by passing the four-times champion.
But Senna retired soon after and another technical problem for race leader Andrea de Cesaris handed Prost a popular victory in front of his home crowd.
Also racing that weekend were Olivier Grouillard, Eric Bernard, Jean-Marc Gounon, Bertrand Gachot, Yannick Dalmas, Pierluigi Martini, Eric van de Poele and Damon Hill. The latter, who had not been a kart racer in his youth, pulled out after Saturday with sore ribs.
Here’s footage from the race:
Image © McLaren