Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Red Bull Ring, 2015

Alonso expects “much more competitive” McLaren

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Red Bull Ring, 2015In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says McLaren will make big gains in the second half of 2015.


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Alonso expecting a 'different McLaren' in second half of 2015 (F1)

"I think the second part of the year will show a completely different McLaren, much more competitive."

2015 Hungarian Grand Prix Preview (McLaren)

"Our goal is to end the first half of the season with precise energy management and full use of the ERS to enable the drivers' skills to shine through at this circuit."

F1 to hold minute's silence for Bianchi in Hungary (The Telegraph)

"Formula One is expected to a hold a minute’s silence on the grid before this Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix in memory of Jules Bianchi, the first driver in more than two decades to die from injuries sustained at a race weekend."

Lotus resolves legal issue with key supplier (Motorsport)

"The prospect of the Lotus Formula 1 facing administration after legal action by a supplier has been resolved after the team came to arrangement with gearbox component manufacturer Xtrac."

F1’s Daniel Ricciardo joins motorcycle legend Mick Doohan on Team Australia (Race of Champions)

"Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo will make his Race Of Champions debut in London on November 20-21, partnering motorbike legend Mick Doohan for Team Australia at the Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – the iconic home of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games."

Williams needs rain answers - Bottas (Autosport)

"It is an area we really need to work on because we are so much slower than anyone in the wet."

Kvyat: Hungaroring ‘a little bit too narrow’ for F1 (F1i)

"I really used to enjoy it in Formula Renault 2.0 but it’s probably a little bit too narrow for modern Formula One cars."

NASCAR's increasingly collaborative ways (The Way It Is)

"You have to give NASCAR credit. Without doubt, the organization is way ahead of Formula 1 and IndyCar in how it works with its teams and manufacturers in adjusting and refining its aerodynamic and technical packages to suit different tracks. It's a truly collaborative effort between the sanctioning body and its teams."


Comment of the day

Is retiring number 17 out of respect for Jules Bianchi a fitting tribute to him?

I agree with this decision in a way. It’s done in many other sports.

I also disagree with those that say number 17 wasn’t his first choice so it has little connection to him. Number 27 wasn’t Gilles Villeneuve’s most-used number either, he used 12 many more times and fought for a championship with it. And even his son acknowledges it as Gilles’ number, but the number 27 Ferrari always has Gilles attached to it. And he didn’t choose it either.

For Bianchi, while it wasn’t his preferred number, it was his choice to use 17 after all.

On the other hand, someone using number 17 later on would bring back memories of Bianchi, and that’s what it should happen. Same with number 58 for Marco Simoncelli or number 3 for Dale Earnhardt Snr.

From the forum


BMW Z4 GT3, Spa 24 Hours, 2015

This is the design of the BMW Z4 GT3 which ex-F1 racer Alessandro Zanardi will race in the Spa 24 Hours with Timo Glock and Bruno Spengler this weekend. It pays homage to the Belgian comic strips featuring fictional racing driver Michel Vaillant.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Dirceu!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Alain Prost won the British Grand Prix 30 years ago today ahead of Michele Alboreto and Jacques Laffite. The latter took perhaps the luckiest podium finish in Formula One history. He ran out of fuel on the 66th and final lap, but the organisers had accidentally shown the chequered flag one lap early, so the result was called based on the standings on lap 65. Nelson Piquet, fourth, was unamused.

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  • 37 comments on “Alonso expects “much more competitive” McLaren”

    1. Obviously the number takes on more meaning after Bianchi began to drive with it in F1, regardless of whether it was his fourth choice at the time or whatever.

      Personally, I believe its an appropriate gesture by the FiA, but I understand those with another point of view.

    2. Cotd Jules actually said the picking of 17 was because 7 was taken, so there’s no meaning to 17. I do think retiring the 17 is a way to remember Jules, as you said yourself. Above all I think the FIA didn’t want anyone else to run that number in F1. It keeps the number tied to Bianchi and also a memory alive, also it keeps future drivers from bringing the disaster afloat every time one decides to pick the number in honour of someone they won’t probably make justice to the name.

    3. I wonder how they adapted the car for Alex while keeping the normal controls for Timo and Spengler. Is there a picture or some explanation somewhere? I’d really like to know.

      Thanks for the COTD too :).

    4. The France family dictatorship may be in for some tough times in the future. It better play nice with the teams, manufacturers, and tracks.

    5. I am a little surprised people are even debating the number retirement. Does it matter? It’s a tribute to the man, there will be other tributes made. That’s how people grieve and believe or not the FIA is still made up of people who want to grieve one of their colleagues and friends. I wouldn’t presume to judge the validity of it.

      1. maarten.f1 (@)
        21st July 2015, 4:30

        @philipgb Why shouldn’t people be able to discuss it? At this website we discuss a number of things, most of them aren’t things that are really important in life. You may have your opinion about that, just as people may have their opinion (and voice it) about number retiring.

        1. It’s easy to fall in a logic loop here. We’re all free to criticise anything we want, even if it’s me criticising your criticising of my criticising other people’s criticism. And thankfully I’m not grieving a loss so it’s not that insensitive to have a bit of pointless internet debate over something I’ve said.

          1. Thank you for allowing the rest of us to discuss this. I shall sleep easy tonight knowing this.

        2. I think it’s a great gesture by the FIA. Despite what ppl thought it meant to Jules, it was a significant number. Jules number 17 was on the first ever Marussia car to score point, a historical moment for many, a great achievement for team and driver. Why not hounor that along with respecting the loss of someone who gave their heart and soul to end up a victim of unfortunate circumstances.

    6. the organisers had accidentally shown the chequered flag one lap early, so the result was called based on the standings on lap 65. Nelson Piquet, fourth, was unamused.

      Jeez, something like that would never happen nowadays!

      1. and what about the fuel saving and tires degrading, no that never happened back then. 30 years on and now everyone is complaining.

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        21st July 2015, 10:40

        They have certainly learned, and adjusted the rules: when the checkered flag is shown 1 lap early they shorten the race by 2(!) laps ;) @george

        Should for any reason the end-of-race signal be given before the leading car completes the scheduled number of laps, or the prescribed time has been completed, the race will be deemed to have finished when the leading car last crossed the line before the signal was given.

        PS – still unclear to me why they subtract another lap.

        1. @coldfly

          still unclear to me why they subtract another lap.

          It’s probably expected to be applied in situations when there’s a complete mayhem on the lap they stop the race, total chaos and confusion due to weather suddenly deteriorating, some major pileup etc, so it would be difficult just figuring out who’s where and who’s still running.
          Not when some dimwit accidentally ends the race a few laps earlier. :)

    7. Paul (@frankjaeger)
      21st July 2015, 1:56

      Regardless of whether Jules shared a significance with the number 17, is a lovely gesture from the FIA to retire that number for the future in memory of a driver’s life. It’s redundant whether he proffered the number or not, as mentioned above, it’s a posthumous thing.

    8. Yes, FA , next half-year will be Mclaren’s half-year. Turns out that Coulthard disease is extremely long lived and contagious, if it had managed to survive dormant in woking corridors somewhere and infect Alonso, over 10 years after the original vector was kicked out of there

      1. I’ll have a pint of whatever he’s drinking please!

        1. Hear, hear

      2. Lol, well he’s just saying it’ll be less bad, which might be true, let’s hope.

        1. I think what he is saying is “It better had”.

    9. @keithcollantine, can the MarcVDS also get a mention for their car that will donate it’s gain to cancer.

      Can’t go live to the 24H of Spa this year sadly due to work so I guess I’ll stick around for another dissapointing GP.

    10. So Honda has finally sorted out their turbo?

      1. I wonder how many tokens that upgrade used up?

    11. I wonder if Alonso is being paid in McLaren stock.

    12. I suppose that’s the issue with the number 17 – it doesn’t perhaps hold that much significance to Jules but if someone else joined and chose number 17, it would certainly cause a bit of a stir which wouldn’t be right.

      I don’t think it’s much as a tribute (something else needs to be done for that) but I think it’s the right decision to retire the number.

    13. I don’t object to the FIA honouring Jules or any other driver, but I find the idea of introducing retired numbers to be something I don’t really agree with. To me it just appears to be a cynical marketing strategy and I’m now waiting for the release of official F1 merchandise with Jules #17 branding on it, at typically inflated prices.
      I also worry about where it will lead, are we going to see other numbers retired whenever a noteworthy driver retires, dies or achieves something significant in another field as we see happening in sports such as basketball and hocky ?
      If so, how long will it be before we run out of 1 and 2 digit numbers that are available to new drivers ? Will it end up like Futurama where everyone has to pick fractions or huge numbers in sport as all of the others had been retired ?
      Most sports that retire numbers do so on a team by team basis and the leagues generally only retire a number on a league wide basis for legendary players who have achieved something no other player has before, and few are likely to repeat or beat, such as Wayne Gretzky. With all due respect, Jules wasn’t this kind of legend, he may have been had he not had his accident, but in all honesty his achievements don’t come close to to former champions, let alone legends such as Prost, Senna, Fangio or Schumacher.
      I think this will eventually lead to lots of arguments and accusations of bias in future as teams try to get their driver’s numbers retired in order to retain the marketing value of those numbers.

      1. @beneboy I never understood why they can’t go above 99. In American racing for example we have the Porsche 911 and 912, the 100 Corvette and in the V8Supercars the triple eight (888) of Craig Lowdes.

        1. You forget Ruben Xaus #111

        2. @xtwl
          If you’re going to let drivers pick their own number they should be able to pick any number not currently being used. Personally I like number 23, but I’ve often thought it would be a laugh to pick pi to 5 decimal places. I’d have to drive for McLaren though, they’re the only ones with enough space on the car to fit 3.14159 on the side.

          1. @beneboy And there goes one trillion, six hundred fifty nine billion, five hundred thirty nine million, eight hundred sixty four thousand, five hundred thirty eight into the lead!

      2. @beneboy I think it is more cynical to suggest some out of hand wave of teams trying to get numbers retired for the marketing value to the point of them running out of numbers. Let’s keep in mind it is the FIA, not the teams, that is retiring Jules’ number. And that retiring numbers is rare. And that it begins for an honourable reason, not a marketing one. And if some rampant push for retired numbers was actually allowed to happen, I’m sure there would soon be no marketing impact for yet another transparently retired number only done so for money. I doubt the powers that be would allow the watering down of this act to the point of an actual real reason to retire a number no longer having any meaning. And if there happens to be a monetary ‘gain’ from folks buying merchandise based on an honoured number, it is because people want to honour the number and the athlete. Fair enough.

    14. Okay Fernando, first off I need in the barrel loads whatever you’re drinking, lets look at the upcoming tracks
      Spa, Monza, Suzuka, tracks famed for being good for cars that are a little underpowered…Oh wait a minute, in all honesty, Hungary and Singapore will be better for them but other than that, probably will just be business as usual

    15. I think he have to wait a lot.

    16. It is an area we really need to work on because we are so much slower than anyone in the wet.

      I was able to watch the British GP from the perspective of raecam, and took some screenshots of the cars driving at 300+ km/hr. The results are below. All cars are in 8th gear. Sorry, not exactly sure the time or lap, but they are in sequence.
      Driver, Engine, speed, rpm
      Kvyat, Renault, 306, 10891
      Hamilton, Mercedes, 300, 10578
      Hamilton, Mercedes, 308, 10858
      Bottas, Mercedes, 317, 11205
      Vettel, Ferrari, 306, 10705
      Massa, Mercedes, 305, 10841
      While my sample is not a true representation of the capabilities of each engine, it does suggest there is more similarity between Renault, Mercedes, and Ferrari than differences. I’m sure my ignorance in race engines is obvious, but I’m guessing the lower power of the Renault is shown by the slightly higher RPM required to drive the car in top gear at the same speed as Mercedes or Ferrari. I didn’t see any racecam from McLaren, so I wasn’t able to make a comparison between them and the others.

      1. @drycrust Well, there is Bottas’ problem, if he had less wing, but I’m sure he means the car in general. That might help for assessing driveability, but in top speed order it’s Merc, Fer; Ren, 2014 Fer, Hon so far.

        1. @fastiesty It was interesting watching Hamilton. He never seemed to push the engine up into the 12000 rpm range, unlike some of the other drivers. In fact, that 317 km/hr speed by Bottas was clocked at was something Hamilton never got to. I thought maybe the power output from the Mercedes engine drops off in the 12000 rpm range, so using that part of the power band may not actually contribute to going as fast as possible.
          Nevertheless, Hamilton won despite not having gone as fast as 317 km/hr, while Bottas didn’t, meaning Hamilton’s average speed was higher than Bottas’.

    17. Kyvat’s statement is very very very interesting… :)

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