Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

‘I had to stay behind Button’ – Alonso

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says he was told to stay behind team mate Jenson Button during the Spanish Grand Prix.

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What will Max Verstappen’s breakthrough F1 victory mean for his home country?

This will have huge consequences for motorsports in the Netherlands.

For a start, in two weeks’ time Verstappen will be giving a demo at Zandvoort and the event is promoted by the Holland’s largest supermarket – Zandvoort will be absolutely packed. Tickets for Spa will be sold out. The TV rights currently lie with Sport 1 (pay TV), but I can imagine how it will become free-to-air in 2017. More kids could take up karting, Zandvoort may get that long-overdue revamp. Maybe the plans for a grade-one circuit in Flevoland will be taken out of the freezer again, who knows?

I’m so excited to see where this will go!
@Andae23

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On this day in F1

Niki Lauda stretched his points lead over James Hunt on this day 40 years ago by winning the Belgian Grand Prix. He led a Ferrari one-two ahead of team mate Clay Regazzoni while Hunt retired with a gearbox problem.

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  • 36 comments on “‘I had to stay behind Button’ – Alonso”

    1. Ironic how, despite completely backing out of F1, the BBC are still producing articles on it. Further irony is found upon realisation they are using interviews that were broadcast on Channel 4.

      On a more relevant note, while it was an incredible race, there was one thing that ruined it.

      The effect on the aero, combined with DRS dictating when drivers can pass. It was really a desperate situation that needs to be sorted out, and not by making it worse. It was painful watching the cars just slide around behind other cars. It ruined every battle to the point where I was actually glad to see them have the DRS just so they could at least try something. Dire situation.

      1. Sorry, should say “the effect on the aero in corners”

        1. @strontium, the BBC hasn’t completely backed out of covering F1 – whilst Channel 4 took up the BBC’s TV coverage rights, the BBC signed an extension of their radio coverage rights through into the early 2020’s. You have to dig a bit deeper, but the BBC does still produce written articles for series that they lost the TV rights to even longer ago, such as MotoGP.

      2. @strontium I thought I was the only one noting the sliding cars, and I think it needs to be completely spot on. The racing was very close but it would have been more close of the noses weren’t low like they are now. I know that they want to reduce downforce beneath the car but that issue is really hurting the racing. Now it depends on whether you have better tyres/a faster compound and DRS than the pace of your car.
        The worst thing is that the 2017 changes won’t ditch the lower noses and will increase downforce….

        1. TheApexPredator
          16th May 2016, 3:49

          The reduction in nose height was enforced more due to safety standards issues than downforce reduction. While the designers realized that raising the nose allowed more air under the car to create downforce, the side effect was that the FIA quickly realized that the higher noses were a potential danger to another driver in the event of a car v car crash. This is the ultimate reason for the regs regarding max height.
          On a personal note, call me nostalgic, but I frankly found the high nose cars ugly compared to the sleek, low bullet nosed cars of yesteryear. Of course back then they didn’t quite comprehend the fact that the higher noses helped more to create downforce than the more aerodynamic shape of the nose itself, or I’m sure I’d be waxing nostalgic about high nosed cars instead ;)

        2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
          16th May 2016, 11:04

          The problem isn’t really low noses, they only got so high to compensate for the the ever-increasing restrictions on the diffuser and exhaust blowing.

        3. High noses did not come about till the 90’s, low noses were fine in other eras so I doubt the nose hight is the issue. More like nose height within the restrictions of the current rules governing other areas of the car?

          1. If memory serves, the high noses were introduced on safety grounds after some cars in a collision went underneath the car they hit sending the other car upwards.
            And now are being lowered again because the higher nose risked puncturing the cockpit of the car they hit.
            Maybe they should be on hydraulic rams so can be raised or lowered depending on the current safety thought of the day?

            1. No, high noses were pure performance related and driven by individual team preferences, not for safety.

    2. I wonder why was Fernando asked to stay behind Jenson?

      1. Yeah, I find that rather intriguing as well.

      2. @jaymenon10, could it possibly have something to do with the image of the 2 mercs colliding ?

      3. @jaymenon10 strategy probably, as JB was on fresh soft tyres unlike Alonso.

        Alonso had been faster all weekend tho while JB was unhappy with the car since day 1.

        1. “fernando _ Jenson is slower than you “

      4. Betty Swollocks
        16th May 2016, 3:26

        Rumour is that McLaren saw a possible problem with Fernandos PU before the race started, so told him not to push to maximum revs until they could resolve it. Couldnt resolve the problem so by lap47 they decided to retire the car and save the motor mileage for another day.

        1. There’s a problem with that theory:
          McLaren didn’t ‘retire’ the car. Instead, Alonso reported a loss of power over the radio before grinding to a halt in the first sector. So I wonder why the team didn’t retire him half a minute earlier, taking the car back to the pits. Also, telling the team you’re losing power is rather odd if you know the team are monitoring that since before the race.
          The easiest explanation I can come up with is that there was no plan to retire Alonso. It was probably just a failure. And that rumour just an uninformed rumour.

      5. Spanish radio said that there is an agreement in McLaren that states that the driver that completes the first lap in front of the other gets the privilege of not being overtaken.

      6. Seems to me @jaymenon10 the reason has to be that the motor can’t take being raced. It can only be cruised round and round, gently.

        And surely Jenson and Fernando’s calm acceptance of this state of affairs means they have more or less given up on this year’s entry. McLaren are lucky they have Stoffel who has no other options.

      7. Or he is lying to save face as Button was beating him?

        1. A bit of a stretch mate..

    3. i agree with you that the aero wash is to strong. I was watching indy car and if im not mistaken i believe that they dont have a flat floor on the car so they can follow closely without losing a lot of down force even with the crazy aero package. Maybe f1 should look into it.

      1. pastaman (@)
        16th May 2016, 11:52

        Actually, Indycars are having trouble following each other to the point where they are considering scrapping the aero packages starting next year.

      2. Didn’t they used to form a train of three or four cars all following closely behind each other? All benefiting from the tow and all going faster?

    4. Alonso, Button is better than you, stay behind…

      1. Bwahaha. Good one!

      2. I read that as Button is butter.

        I don’t think it was malicious, with two cars out Macca had a decent shot at points. Why risk it?

        1. @mashiat: in planet earth, 2016.

      3. Alonso, Haryanto is better than you, stay behind…

    5. I like that CotD @andae23. Fully agree that its great to see the Netherlands getting talking about F1 again.

      I think it might also have an effect on the German race, surely now the Dutch will have more interest in going to Hockenheim or the Nurburgring as well (Spa is lovely, and closest, but its always been somewhat more expensive too), especially the Nurburgring is not much further away and I think there is enough capacity at Hockenheim this year to get a smart tour operator to ramp up shipping “oranges” to the track for a washout of Spitzkehre (where they sadly don’t have any grandstand planned this year).

    6. First signs that there is some disharmony this year at McLaren ? JB was on the back foot due to missing practice and running the new untested wing etc but on race day pulled it together, Alonso was marginally quicker all weekend but not by so much, maybe the reality is that he couldn’t catch JB without thrashing the engine so was told to hold station, or maybe the message was something like ” Jenson is quite quick at the moment and on different strategy … SO stay where you are” it just depends on what was said and how Alonso wishes to portray the message. I’ve a feeling he won’t like being beaten by JB who is quite capable of doing so and is so underrated by so many people its unreal. Maybe the old dog is up to his tricks again, blaming everyone for his failings when in reality he’s past his best.

      1. Hard to accept Alonso comments as the truth. When he said McLaren have a better chassis than Ferrari you know he is talking out his backside. He has many excuses he once was adamant this very team were favouring his teammate, he had issues when TrullI was beating him in the Renault years ago. Guess McLaren if they had said this should of realised he brings 6 tenths to the team.

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