Magnussen believed he had 2015 McLaren seat

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Kevin Magnussen says he believed he would drive for McLaren during 2015.


Comment of the day

Some more suggestions for the top ten races outside F1 this year:

I’d certainly put the Bathurst 12 Hours in this. The final laps were insane.

Also throw in there the Blancpain race at Paul Ricard.

I’d also say Petit Le Mans deserves a mention as one of the most memorable races of the season, although it was perhaps too chaotic to be called exciting. But in the final laps before the race was called off, Nick Tandy, in his GT Porsche, was scything through the field in the driving rain, catching and passing the Prototypes as though he were still in his 919 Le Mans car to take a remarkable victory. That was one of the performances of the year, if nothing else.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jsc and John Graham!

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On this day in F1

It’s two years to the day since Michael Schumacher suffered serious head injuries in a skiing accident.

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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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47 comments on “Magnussen believed he had 2015 McLaren seat”

  1. As the saying goes “The graveyards are full of indispensable men.”
    The same goes for teams, countries, empires…

  2. I would love to see this “F1 would be nothing without Ferrari” thing tested.

    Suppose F1 were run as a sport, with a level playing field, no tobacco sponsorship, sincere governance, stuff like that? Perhaps more people would watch.

    Ferrari are behind a lot of the problems in F1, it seems to me. Vetos, massive budgets, expensive engines, politicking and sneaky deals. I’d be happy to see them gone, along with the drinks company and Bernie.

    Come back without the advantages and stand for something I can admire, instead of the fading glory of when a bunch of ex-Benetton chancers popped in and helped themselves to the facilities and money, 20 years ago.

    1. Ferrari surtenly if at all leave f1, should do WEC… Especially Le Mans. Ferrari used to be the #1 brand in the world… My grandma does not know Apple, but she knows Ferrari. I bet for 300M per year they could do a lot of promoting in diferent ways.

      1. @jureo Excuse me? Porsche is… :)

          1. @jureo Oh, you just ment brand, I thought the #1 in motorsport. Apologies.

          2. That being said, you are right… If they want to achieve something in motosport they gotta beat Porsche at Le Mans…

            That or Indy500, but indy is now a small event compared to Le Mans.

            I wonder how many people would watch WEC if Ferrari went there..

    2. @lockup I think your comment is naive. It is the world you are throwing out. You can’t put an end to the human nature. I agree that it would be great to start everything on a level playing field, but even with all the rules and policing in the world, lumps would creep up. At least this time around the veto was used for the good of F1, it would be great to prevent over charging on the Pu’s but it’s better not to encourage manufacturers not to sell, it’s hard enough as it is.

      1. Well after all @peartree Renault want to make a PU with €0 income from customers, and Honda too for now. So Ferrari (and Merc) don’t NEED the high prices, they just want them. To compete with each other. So it’s a classic case for the governance to intervene. The veto was 100% self-interested.

        1. @lockup So that’s why RB has to pay 30m for a PU that’s sold by a company that employs half the engineers that rivals Mer and Fer do. You have to back that 0 statement, unless it is a not a statement

          1. Okay @peartree this year Renault have done some kind of deal to let RBR rebrand and develop the 2015 engine. I haven’t seen any figures, have you seen €30m for that deal? Then afaik the deal ends anyway.

            Ghosn has said Renault are not going to be an engine supplier, so the basic point remains that they’re planning to fund a PU with no earnings from customers. As I said they don’t want customers. Honda likewise clearly don’t need money from PU sales.

            Therefore Ferrari/FIAT don’t rely on PU sales income, they just would like more money rather than less. Naturally because money fuels success. So the veto was not for F1 in any sense, it was used for competitive advantage as one would expect, and it was a perfect example of why they shouldn’t have it, and how having unfair advantages makes Ferrari achievements less admirable than they should be, and how I can wonder if F1 wouldn’t be better off without them rather than worse off.

          2. @lockup, is it really a case that Renault don’t want to supply engines? Or, rather, is it a case that they cannot find anybody to buy their engines and Ghosn is simply trying to put a better gloss on a difficult situation?

            Ghosn has made it clear that, in the past, Renault Sport F1 was expected to act as a commercial entity (although, due to the cost caps imposed on the manufacturers during the V8 era, Renault Sport F1 did have to run at a loss, Ghosn did expect the team to at least partially offset those losses through its fees).

            To that end, the Renault power unit was being sold to its customers at cost, which is why it was reported to be the most expensive engine (I think Caterham intimated that they were paying $26 million for their engines in 2014) – that would seem to suggest that Renault were, in the past, trying to recoup their expenditure.

            As for Honda, I would disagree with the assertion that they don’t want to raise revenue from sales to customers. Honda have indicated that they are interested in selling engines to customers in the future, but at the moment their technical team is stretched to its limits simply trying to solve the issues they have encountered with McLaren – furthermore, Ron Dennis is being extremely politically aggressive with Honda and has blocked attempts by Honda to take on additional customers.

          3. Anybody would rather have €30,000,000 than €0 @anon, I totally agree but that isn’t the question. Renault has a policy of not supplying anybody going forward and Honda can take it or leave it otherwise they wouldn’t have given Ron the veto.

            Therefore it’s not the case that Ferrari exercised the veto for the good of F1 in order for the engine supply business to remain viable. Toto was quite explicit that he wanted the money for development – which is optional, and the opposite of what is good for F1.

          4. @lockup I don’t need to answer back anon said it all. I’ll just end my part of the discussion here by stating, what Toto said. Mercedes (he didn’t speak for Ferrari) were not looking to profit out of F1, the revenue from the PU sales is used for development hence putting it back into F1. Toto also said that the Mercedes team is not profiting from f1, he actually said Merc is taking a controlled loss, as ever every team is F1 spends as much as it can. Toto answered this way after critics pointed out Merc was trying to make a buck.
            Obviously Merc is ready to lose money in F1 if it means correlates in significant exposure which it does. Obviously Ferrari took it to their interests as anyone does, although Ferrari’s interests are a dead giveaway for as much as they threat to leave F1, Ferrari have their hands tied, Ferrari and f1 are synonyms. Ferrari did the best for itself which obviously is the best for f1, at least on that proposed matter there was no better solution.

          5. @peartree the problem is that

            the revenue from the PU sales is used for development hence putting it back into F1

            except it’s not ‘back into F1′ it’s back into Mercedes’ and Ferrari’s performance.

            This can only widen the gap between them and Renault/Honda, and between their teams and customer teams on the older spec power units. So Ferrari’s veto was entirely self-interested, and bad for F1.

    3. I agree entirely. Ferrari have way too power in Formula 1. No team should have that much power

  3. RaceProUK (@)
    29th December 2015, 0:47

    Nobody would be interested in Formula 1 without Ferrari, not even Mercedes.

    That explains why Mercedes aren’t in the DTM, where they secured both the Drivers’ and Teams’ championships this year (although they were third in the Manufacturers’). It also explains why there’s no Mercedes cars in the BTCC, where Adam Morgan won the third race at Thruxton this year in a Mercedes A-Class, and the other Mercedes was piloted to a Knockhill podium by Aiden Moffat.


    1. This sounds like a soundbite from an interview to create an argument much like many Hamilton comments. There are many series that big teams are in without Ferrari but I think they meant manufacturers would not be prepared to put hundreds of millions in without Ferrari but then again VAG group and Porsche spend millions on LMP1 without Ferrari. Whoever made this comment at Ferrari should shut up and not say things like this it just brings a shower of criticism on them and then fans of theirs like me have to bite their bottom lip as they feel they have to go on the defensive with the inevitable criticism which if this comment was made by senior management is deserved.

    2. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      29th December 2015, 13:55

      Yeah but ask a non-F1 fan what do they know about F1 and they will tell you “Schumacher” and Ferrari. It’s time Ferrari stop their egocentric PR.. that doesn’t mean they are right on what they think. @raceprouk

      1. Hmmm, well take that factoid @omarr-pepper and look at it a moment (if I understand your point correctly). They are not fans, right? They don’t watch. They stopped watching or maybe decided not to watch when Schumi and Ferrari were dominant. So… they didn’t like it. If they liked Ferrari they’d have stayed for 2007, surely?

  4. I dunno, I’m not really sad to see Magnussen out of F1. He wasn’t that fast, his defensive moves were dangerous, and in my opinion he kinda came off as an entitled brat.

    1. @pastaman Yes, anyway, perhaps he had more in him than JB, we will never know.

      1. Frankly, I doubt it. Compare his results to what we see from other rookies.

  5. I felt bad for Magnussen as a person when his car failed to make the start at Melbourne, but seeing most of the drivers up close for interviews across the weekend, he was the only one I didn’t like. Granted, that matters not a squint on track, but on track he was ‘just another’ driver. A shame for him, but not for us. I’d rather Button, tbh. But I’d rather Vandoorne than either of those. I really like Button but I’d love to see what Stoffel can do, and I’ve got a feeling we’ll get to see that in 2017. Magnussen…. meh. He’s already gone the way of Kovalainen.

  6. No One Better (@)
    29th December 2015, 1:40

    Ferrari is getting ahead of themselves again. Without Ferrari the fan base would dramatically shrink. A lot of the negativity in F1 stems from the fact Ferrari is not winning. That discontent is then disguised as a beef with Pirelli, the power units or the go to #1 complaint…DRS.

    The face of F1 hasn’t been Ferrari for over a decade and the sport has done much better. Post Ferrari F1 has been some the greatest years in F1. You’ve got the Red Bull success story, McLaren’s bold and successful move of bringing Hamilton into F1, The Brawn story, the influx of young talent from across the globe. Has F1 ever been this diverse? And of course Mercedes’s resurgence after decades of absence from F1. But most fans miss all of that because unless the boys in red are winning, F1 is broken in their eyes. Its up to prove they can win without special treatment from the FIA or special tires like they had in the Bridgestone days.

    1. Ferrari needs F1 more than F1 does.

    2. @noonebetter
      The greatest years in Formula 1 were those from 2006 until 2010. 5 different world champions in 5 different teams across 5 seasons, there was never really a dominant team. Ferrari was not the sole face of Formula 1 in these five years, but on average were more competitive than any other team, and were contenders in every season apart from 09.

      During this period, you never knew who would win ahead of time (this anticipation ahead of a weekend made up for the limited wheel to wheel racing) and there was no artificial no sense like DRS and Pirelll tyres. Everything this sport has done since 2011 has been a step backwards, and the enormous drop in viewing support this.

      1. @kingshark – yes, I loved this period too. I actually started watching in 2006, was pretty lucky then. I remember feeling tension even when my favourites dominated as mechanical failures were much more common. That spiced up the races too, even if we saw less changes of positions than now. Also in four of those five years the WDC’s have gone down to the wire, in one other occasion was decided in the penultimate round (and that looked unlikely a day earlier).

        I disagree though that Pirelli have had a negative impact on racing in 2011-2012. I was actually the opposite, a view shared by most people. IMO only in the last three years they are unable to make proper tyres. The fact they are not up to stratch up does not mean they have always been terrible. But I share your view on DRS. This is actually another thing that changed for the worse in 2013. No wonder that people stop watching.

        However the most important thing is to have a competitive field and championship between at least two teams.

  7. People watch F1 because it is the premier open wheel motor racing series … people don’t watch F1 because they have to pay to watch it … people watch F1 because of Ferrari … people don’t watch F1 because it isn’t loud enough … people watch F1 because of a particular driver … people don’t watch F1 because Mercedes keep winning.

  8. Keep fighting Mike. We miss you.

  9. It’s been two years, isn’t it? Still Fighting, still Wheel to Wheel with his most formidable opponent of his life…life itself.

    Whatever happens to Schumi, i hope that, at least, he won’t suffer as Bianchi did in his coma period. Whatever comes next, i hope to see him rested, at last… one way, or another.

  10. 2014 Button/Magnussen
    2015 Button/Magnussen
    2016 Magnussen/Vandoorne

    The best path to me always seemed above; Then they didn’t have to waste a good 20milj on Alonso and from 2014 onwards they could ‘drop’ Button if he didn’t agree to a serious cut in payment. It’s not like Alonso or Button can help that much with this size zero failure of Honda anyway. That extra cash they would save could cover the loss from their poor seasons too. I’m telling you 2016 is going to be worse and they are on a downwards spiral not only on performance but also financial.

    1. @xtwl, on the other hand, cutting out Alonso would probably have cut out much of Honda’s financial support for the team (he is very much their preferred driver, which has lead them to invest more capital into McLaren than they would have received if Magnussen was driving for them).

    2. Interesting statement, but I highly doubt it. The McLaren side of things was ok, not great, but not a disaster. Only the Honda side was a disaster. McLaren doesn’t need the sponsors. Honda is pouring money in and every other part of the business is profitable, event he road-car division much lamented by people here. I can’t see performance getting worse, considering they were making gains already during the season with restrictions, and learning what to do once restrictions were lifted end season. Unlike most other teams locked into a design that can only be improved, McLaren has room to move. Maintaining size 0 is risky, and not necessary in my opinion, but with Podromou able to fully flex his design muscles all year on the 2016 chassis, I’m looking forward to the testing, and more-so the first race.

      1. @selbbin, that applies up until a point – although other sectors of the company are running at a profit, because the F1 team has seen its revenues decline very markedly over the past few years, the overall group hasn’t been in the greatest financial shape – they were running at a slight loss as recently as 2013 (making a net loss of £2.5 million that year). They really do need Honda pouring money in, because otherwise I suspect that the losses the team has been making for the past few years would act as a bit of a drag on the wider group.

      2. McLaren should build their own engine.

  11. So what if Ferrari quit? Sure, the initial shock would be significant, and no doubt a sizeable chunk of F1 viewers would quit also, but nothing lasts forever in this world and F1 would move on. Within a year I think most people would have forgotten all about Ferrari, perhaps even less if the racing in the year immediate after their departure was particularly entertaining.

    In some ways it might actually be a positive move: it could help shake things up a bit, allow the ‘closed shop’ of Formula One to open up a bit and let new brands emerge. How else are the Ferraris of tomorrow going to come about? Some people (such as one B.C. Ecclestone) forget that even Enzo Ferrari had to start somewhere. It took a long, long time for Ferrari to establish themselves: I wonder if Enzo was starting up today what sort of chance he would be given? Most likely he would he would have been dismissed in a similar fashion to how Manor/Marussia, Catherham etc were. It must be extremely galling for people like John Booth and Graeme Lowdon (formerly of Manor/Marussia) to slog their guts out trying to build something out of nothing and then watch while the likes of Arrivabene slot themselves in to an organisation that was already there thanks to the efforts of a man who died almost 30 years before and enjoy all the benefits that come with it. Really, it is Enzo who deserves the extra payments that Ferrari receives: since he passed on I don’t think his successors should any special treatment whatsoever, because in essence there are all just employees, no connection to the roots of Ferrari at all. That may be harsh I know, but it does bring me back to my original point that Ferrari is just a brand, and that brands come and go all the time and, in the long run, the world keeps turning and nobody will really care. Except Ferrari, of course, who I suspect would find it fairly cold in the world outside F1 and within a short time would be back knocking on the door wanting to come back in (and milk the PR opportunities of the ‘Big Comeback’ story that would come with a return).

    1. JSC, I think you underestimate the initial upheaval that might occur in the unlikely event that Ferrari did quit.

      In the short term at least, such a decision would leave their customer engine teams – Toro Rosso, Sauber and Haas – in deep trouble. In the longer term, such a move would potentially result in a further shift in the balance of power within the sport towards Mercedes – in effect, you might effectively just replace one powerful interest group (Ferrari) with another (Mercedes), so I am not sure that it would necessarily make things better in the longer term.

      1. Ferrari are not going to leave. The possibility is very small same as the world exploding before the manufacturers sign up again. This appears to be public pressure on Bernie who recently said Ferrari and Merc are to blame for a number if things. In some ways it appears they are saying that engine builders should all have the same rules and not be forced to supply others which is fair, you want an engine then build one the same as you have to with a chassis. A customer engine must be to the same rules not a different concept but it cannot be too basic as must show technology. To make such a customer engine appealing the FOM need to sort it. That was the main point not the hypothetical circumstances brought up in which they would look elsewhere which would have a 0.01% chance of happening.

  12. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    29th December 2015, 17:46

    Come on Michael you can do it, you can win in your battle. Never give up.

  13. F1 would absolutely lose even more prestige without Ferrari. Frankly considering how tenuous it’s grasp is currently, I’m not sure it would survive the loss of Ferrari. No other team is even close to being as synonymous with F1 as the Scuderia. Like it or hate it, that’s the objective view.

    That said, KMag’s naïveté is his own fault. No seasoned driver or fan believes a thing Ron Dennis has said in 15 years.

    As for Rossi, I hope he gets a 3rd driver role for Renault or Haas since they both have drivers likely to be injured during the season. I hope he doesn’t waste any time or effort on Manor and flashes his superlicense around. That has to be a major edge that his competition can’t buy.

  14. No one team is bigger than a ‘sport’ itself. Not even Ferrari. F1 would do just fine without them in the long term.

  15. Ferrari won’t quit. Imagine the response from the public. They can’t quit, as much as they beat their chests about it. Sure, they could promote the brand in other ways, but nothing as effective as being the heritage race team with the most success. Sportscar buyers may as well buy other, and better, brands if Ferrari isn’t tied to racing anymore. And besides, Italy would be in chaos.

  16. Magnussen deserves better place in F1.

  17. Look at the grandstands, Ferrari are right. Do they hold too much power, hell yeah but that is waning. Just look at RBR and Mercedes. As someone stated even my grandma knows about Ferrari.

  18. Get over it people. Marchionne is right. Ferrari, McLaren and Williams make F1. All the others are just satellites, meteors. And out of the 3 I mentioned, Ferrari, for a reason or the other, has the biggest number of fans, the most victories, the biggest legacy and the brand is, together with CocaCola and Marlboro, the most recognised brand on the planet (stats at disposal on internet)
    It’s true, no-one is irreplaceable but some are, but to say it in statistic terms, some are “smaller numbers”, less easy to replace or entities that are recognised as the core of a business. See, when RB threatened (hmm so scary) to leave F1, I thought it wasn’t a big deal, apart from losing 4 cars on the grid, which is a big problem, a much bigger problem. I have to reckon that not in many there sports there is a brand as important as Ferrari in its specific field. Tiger Woods will be missed when he stops, Federer will be greatly missed but the show will continue because we are used to the fact that elder age will make champions and icons fade naturally. Well, that was my opinion. If Ferrari leaves, F1 is in real trouble

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