Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

Alonso explains why he lost 16 seconds on the final lap in Bahrain

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso has explained why he lost 16 seconds on the final lap of the race in Bahrain.

Formula E on RaceFans

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What they say

Alonso was chasing Nico Hulkenberg over the final laps in Bahrain, but both lost around 16 seconds on the final lap of the race.

It was just fuel, we were saving fuel all the race. We were six corners from the end, Hulkenberg was not any more a target. I had to save a little bit of fuel that lap but obviously if you get lap you save even more because you do one lap less and you are completely safe. I didn’t need to [get lapped], but obviously they were in a fight, they told me Bottas was catching Vettel, so I moved over and made things easy for everyone.

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Comment of the day

Was Valtteri Bottas right to stay his hand in his fight with Sebastian Vettel?

The move just wasn’t on for Bottas. I commend him for not trying something desperate and possibly ruining the championship. Mercedes have only themselves to blame: if they’d realised Vettel wasn’t going to stop again sooner, then Bottas would have taken an easy victory. He doesn’t have to do crazy torpedo stuff to make up for his team’s failure.

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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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  • 35 comments on “Alonso explains why he lost 16 seconds on the final lap in Bahrain”

    1. “So we simplify the front wings, then arguably you could say you’re going to go back in the right direction. Everything we have done in the last few years has gone in the wrong direction.”
      – I fully agree with this paragraph.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        13th April 2018, 3:49

        I recall Grosjean saying in either 2014 or 2015 that even the smallest turbulence from another car compromises the front wing’s performance, and therefore the rest of the car’s aero package.

        IMO they made a good step forward in 2009 because the front wings were quite simple, but there were no regulations against the increasing complexity of the front wing since then (with the exception of flexi-wings being heavily restricted). Also, the width of the front wing was reduced in 2014.

        1. @mbr-9 ”Also, the width of the front wing was reduced in 2014.”
          – Really? If so, then I never noticed the difference compared to the preceding season.

          1. Michael Brown (@)
            13th April 2018, 14:44

            @jerejj It was a very small change to the width.

      2. I’ll prob say keep the front wings for qualifying, but revert to standard wings for the race. This will challenge the teams and give the practice sessions more purpose, so in fp2, standard wings for long runs etc. But in fp3, put on the fancy wings to set up for qualifying. Thoughts

        1. Yes this could be a solution for overtaking and still have advance aero for position. Just 2 nose wings one for quali and one simple for racing.

        2. drawback of multiple sets of wings is that teams will still outspend each other on the qulification wings.
          I would say: just 1 simple wing for everything: saves a lot of money, increases following and overtakes, makes cars prettier.
          Just look at the McLaren of 1988, such a simple and beautiful front wing. And they also drove 333km/h with DRS tricks…

          1. Without DRS tricks of course…

      3. Pretty much everyone on here has agreed on this for the past 10 years. I blame Red Bull Racing.

    2. Alonso slowing down to be lapped – smart move by McLaren & Alonso.

      Kate Walker’s article in Crash about the pay gap is excellent, and clearly calls out how the earlier report is misleading, and how it is competence that is the big driver. It also illustrates the need for wider STEM acceptance among women. For anyone who read the earlier piece about the pay gap report, this article is a must-read.

      1. The legislation is ridiculous – what on earth did they think it would achieve.
        I can say without any doubt that F1 teams are bending over backwards to bring in females to technical roles – two equally qualified candidates, being female will be a significant advantage.
        Actually, scratch that – i think i do know what they trying to achieve – equality of outcome over equality of opportunity.
        Dont get me wrong, those that are currently there will be there on merit, but i dont think the social engineers are satisfied with that.

        1. Social engineers, good one!

      2. @phylyp Indeed, and so far I can’t help but think Alonso’s comments about McLaren not doing operational errors in these two races is true. Smart move, It even had fifth-fastest pit-stop.

    3. Welcome Ms. Southwell, and did you by any chance insert the article on the gender pay gap in order to strengthen your remuneration negotiation?

      1. that’s a shameful comment.

    4. Keith, it’s not a srunt, it’s fan engagement. Your tweet comes off as disingenuous and condescending

      1. Calm down mate, we all love a srunt

        1. I’m totally mlac

        2. 🤪

          That said -what was he supposed to leave around?

          You know like, for free!

          Do not get me started on the fact the Maclaren is pretty much smothered in…

          Alonsoesque company logos for… yep you guessed it.

          Frankly LH is a beginner in this type of marketing stuff.

          Anyway -I would have been more than happy for some free kit given the crazy prices charged.

    5. This misleading pay gap foolishness should be called an earnings gap.
      And it doesn’t even compare the same jobs. It’s comparing the earnings of – say – the CAD female intern with that of the chief male aerodynamicist. It’s counting a sum of all earnings based on gender and then dividing by the amount of people in each gender group.

      The only meaningful conclusion to draw from this paygap mindless panic is that there are more men than women in F1.

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        13th April 2018, 11:31

        “It’s counting a sum of all earnings based on gender and then dividing by the amount of people in each gender group.”

        No it isn’t. Its comparing the median, not the mean.

      2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        13th April 2018, 11:36

        Sorry I assumed this was referencing the UK’s pay gap reports and then read the crash article

    6. Something that occurred to me was this – why does the FIA allow teams to service engines and some parts, and open up things like the gearbox for inspection, and only bring about penalties if things are changed?

      Instead, what if they say that a PU is to be used for 7 events, and it stays sealed (you can change the oil, recharge pneumatics, etc. via ports, but that’s it). If you’re not confident about it’s health, change it and accrue the penalty.

      So no inspecting the engine by opening it up, and then preventatively making changes at chosen races and building a strategy around it. Of course, there is a gray area of inspection via boroscope, etc. that needs addressing.

      To me, that would bring about an amount of natural unpredictability, by denying (or at least limiting) teams the ability to strategically manage their PU allocation.

      A drawback is that people might drive even more conservatively, but it does mean that someone else who is willing to push the limits can roll the dice and do so.

      1. Also enforced unreliability aint exactly top notch for safety.

        1. That @rethla, and it’s not exactly the ‘natural unpredictability’ you call it @phylyp, it is another rules enforced unpredictability, which I think has it in it to increase costs for teams that cannot afford the costs of more PU’s (which is the reason we got the three PU rule). Also, the current gearbox rules often lead to penalties already (see Hamilton last race), but not when the car didn’t finish the last race – when that goes for all mechanical units, maybe more people will have incidents that ‘force’ them to end the race a few laps early. Not the unpredictability I’d want to see.

          1. @bosyber – I’m not saying replace the 3 PU rule with this, but just cut down on inspection of engines and gearboxes, in addition to the 3 PU rule.

            I called it ‘natural unpredictability’ because it allows regular wear and tear to play a larger role by cutting down on opportunities for preventative maintenance.

            To the point @rethla made about safety, we’ve had cars die on the track very often due to PU issues (e.g. Ricciardo’s failure last Sunday with no warning), and they’ve not posed any significantly different or heightened safety concerns.

            1. @phylyp I see what you are saying/writing, but I’m not quite convinced.

              I suppose they could do that with the new 2021 regulations, with PU’s that have to be modified anyway to get rid of everything that is tuned to run with a MGU-H, they can then also make the engines less on the knife-edge and thus more able to run without continuous monitoring as they need now, and indeed it would just be part of more ‘robust’, less advanced set of rules. Not my preference (but yeah, I like the MGU-H, so maybe I need to get used to it, just like I am putting effort into not missing that bit of tech too much ;)

            2. @bosyber – heh, well it was just something that struck me as I sat watching FP1, it’s not a fully thought out thing :-)

              Yeah, I’m with you that losing the MGU-H takes away a bit of the technical allure of F1, it’s like losing a technical crown jewel, an admission of defeat that the other manufacturers can’t match Mercedes so they move the goalposts.

    7. F1’s real challenge lies in ensuring that more and more women are attracted to the sport in any role

      THIS is what REALLY bothers me in today’s gender/equality/sexism debates. WHY? If most Women don’t care, WHY try to convince them otherwise?

      Equal opportunities and treatment for those that do, sure, of course. But Why has it become a Bad thing that different genders tend to have differing interests

      1. @mrboerns – good question, and a good point. “Ensuring” was probably too strong a word to have been used in that article. Keep it fair, open, free of sexist behaviour, and let human nature run its course (i.e. like a free market, governed by regulations).

        On the other hand, it could be a matter of optics influencing behaviour – women are less likely to evince interest in F1 jobs if they don’t see many women in F1 jobs (a bit of a catch 22, I agree). It’s as if we men see a documentary on, say, tailoring shops or circuit assembly factories, and we see row upon row of women working there, we’re unlikely to ever consider it as a career opportunity. If we see a more mixed crowd, we might be at least curious as to what draws men like us to it, and there might be something there that tips the favour in our balance (maybe the pay is stunningly good, maybe the perks are awesome, etc.)

        Kate’s article is nice in that it calls out competence as the #1 factor in landing a job (unsurprising, given this is F1).

        1. @phylyp I just don’t buy the idea that men over the world somehow always land their dream job in the sector they wished for because they didn’t face any controversy whatsoever and at the same time women worldwide are struggling to enter whatever profession they so choose, and on top ‘earn 70%’ a man does for the same job. Not getting what you want isn’t immediately the result of you being discriminated.

          Only last week I read about a colored woman who said there were not enough engineers in top positions like her. But when you then point out colored women represent just somewhere between 1/10th and 1/16th of the world population, even including Africa, and that in her direct environment she had 7 out of 41 colored women in a similar position, that statistically she was just fine, but I’m the racist at that point.

          The simple idea that we ‘must’ have diversity’ is flawed. We ‘must’ make diversity work if it occurs, but it’s not obligatory for a well working company, society, or whatever.

          1. Agreed 100%.

            The only way to foster equality is to let it grow organically. Any social engineered model will fail.

            I’m an engineer, and have been doing this for the last 12 years. I’ve worked in traditional office jobs, been out into desolate places and out at sea, the fact is this, there just aren’t enough women who are interested in engineering. Why should anyone be forced into something that they have no natural affinity to? Some people enjoy it, while others dont.

            This is the PC brigade and their “we know better” ethos. People should be allowed to decide for themselves. Everyone should be given equal options, with the same amount of info, nobody should be forced, regardless of sex, race bla bla.

      2. I think its one off attempt by F1 to push F1 as a sport to a new audience and its embarrassing to see how they are going about it. By pushing the sexism debate they are taking the easier route. If girls are interested in cars in their childhood, they’d be naturally inclined to take part in STEM careers.

      3. @mrboerns Because it just so happens to be that these STEM ‘jobs’ tend to earn more, and that is a direct threat to all females in the world, or in other words it supports the patriarchy. And if you don’t believe that I’ll make up something else that sounds like a baboon invented it.

    Comments are closed.