Sainz believes McLaren hit its “low point” last year

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In the round-up: Carlos Sainz Jnr believes McLaren will be more competitive in the 2019 F1 season following its poor 2018 campaign.

What they say

Sainz says he expects to be in direct competition with his former team mate Daniil Kvyat, who has returned to Toro Rosso this year:

Probably we will be direct competitors. If Honda keeps doing the progress that they are doing then we better have Renault doing some progress also next year on the engine side and

I’m quite sure that McLaren has hit a low point [in 2018] and they’re also going to get it better on the chassis so all those things combined, I expect to be in a better position with McLaren.

By that time, Toro Rosso-Honda have established themselves as a very solid midfield team and they could be direct competitors. But as I said, I hope and I think McLaren has turned a corner.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Would Formula E benefit from a change of race format?

Having just watched my first Formula E race live, in Marrakesh, I can say that neither the top speed nor the acceleration of the cars is impressive. On the plus side, the close racing is awesome, and the whiny engine sound isn’t annoying like it is on TV, and it allows you to hear all the other sounds the car makes (braking, tyres, the floor hitting the kerbs), which was cool.

There’s an obvious way to solve the low speed and acceleration with current battery technology: short sprint races with recharging in between!

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On this day in F1

  • 25 years ago today Benetton shook down their new B194 chassis for the 1994 F1 season with 1993 test driver Allan McNish at the wheel

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54 comments on “Sainz believes McLaren hit its “low point” last year”

  1. I do expect more from mclaren next year as well. Their 2018 season looks a bit worse than it was because the midfield was so tight. They have done a lot of correcting moves to fix their issues so I’d be really worried if mclaren still stays where they were in 2018. If you can not improve from the poor last season then they have no hope of improving ever really.

    1. @socksolid I’d argue it looked better than it was, as they won’t have Alonso carrying them anymore.

      1. @mashiat, the team was reasonably competitive in the early races of the 2018 season, as they scored three double points finishes in the opening four races – it was from around the Spanish GP onwards that their form started to really tail off.

        Alonso’s form did flatter them a bit, but the car was at least capable of scoring points on a fairly regular basis in the first few races of 2018 – if they can at least get back to that form, that would at least be an improvement on where they are now.

    2. You’d sure enough think that they should be at least able to build a somewhat decent chassis for the second year in a row with the same engine, wouldn’t you.

      Then again, we also thought that Williams would turn a corner for the last few years and Honda has been “making progress” while more or less standing still and taking steps back for the last 4 years.

    3. @socksolid You mean this year.

      1. Doesn’t really make a difference.
        I expected something better last year as well.
        Without new management at the top it won’t happen this year, nor next year.

        And comparing yourself to STR is a low target; you should be able step over it easily as a team the size of McLaren’s with all those talented engineers.

        1. 2018 was far better year for mclaren than 2017. But even then it was not a good year. Especially when there was red bull with the same engine doing much better things.

    4. You mean it looked better than it was due to errors made by teams around them

    5. @socksolid You can’t make the claim that if they don’t improve over last season, then they never will. Of course they will do whatever they will this year, and then next year will be what it is, and then there’s the reg changes for 2021. So….all kinds of opportunity for them to improve as a resourced team, and odds are greater they will, than they will not. They’re not just sitting on their hands.

  2. COTD: What about switching to a second fully-charged car half-way through the race?
    Oh wait, this is the first season they don’t do that!

    1. short sprint races with recharging in between!

      =20 minute sprint race with one hour recharging pit stops? I think it takes an hour to recharge the batteries?

  3. I wasn’t expecting Massa’s photo for the “10 year thingy”, I can’t believe it has been nearly 10 years… Crazy.

  4. About W Series… Is anybody knew what the organizer stand on transgender women in sport?

    I knew this maybe a sensitive issue, but after the row between Martina Navratilova (LGBTQ activist who said it’s not fair) against Dr. Rachel McKinnon (transgender cyclist world champion on women category), they need to had a clear rule about this.

    1. I guess there really is not much of a point of taking a view and expressing that untill the occasion arises, is there @ruliemaulana?

      1. I think having clear rule now to prevent future controversy is worth having @bascb.
        Let say, for the sake of argument, Alonso self proclaim that he is actually a woman and join W-Series and end it with whole new Triple Crown, should that be allowed?

        1. @ruliemaulana if your chromosomes are XY you can’t participate in the series, if they are XX you can. There just clarified it, put me in contact with whoever and I will explain them.

          They can use the rule for any other sport, it is that simple

          1. wait wait wait….you’re trying to tell me your gender is something you are born with that is a biological fact??????

          2. @johnmilk You’re clearly not woke yet, where did you spend 2018? :D

          3. Did I miss anything? @alec-glen

          4. @johnmilk – Even if one were to agree with your ‘rule,’ it is not “that simple.” What about people born with more than 2 chromosomes in the 23rd position? XXY, XXX, XYY, etc.? Even if you want to try to boil it down to chromosomes, it’s not that simple.

            When you take into account nature vs nurture, culture, society, etc., it becomes less so.

          5. @hobo as said below XXY, XXX and XYY are genetic disorders, that have influence in the development of those that are afflicted by them. Surely we won’t compare healthy individuals with those which are not.

            So, yes, it is that simple, people like to complicate things, that is not my fault.

          6. @johnmilk – Genetics isn’t everything. I don’t know where further scientific inquiry will lead on the genetics and gender issues, but in general, genetics is only a part of what defines who a person is.

            I don’t even have a side here, I just find your simplification to be a bit simple.

          7. @hobo that is the best part of it

      2. So… head-in-the-sand syndrome… ;-)

      3. First of all, your point has one merit – it shows how strange a “women only” series is in motorsport, as there is no clear biological advantage, or indeed disadvantage, to being of a specific gender as is pointed out below @ruliemaulana.

        On the other hand, your add on with the absurd notion of a driver “proclaiming he is actually a woman” shows that before we can actually go into this discussion, you first need to understand the issue. Being transgender, or genderfluid etc is NOT about somebody proclaiming something. Especially not in any regulated competition, but neither in normal, society.

        Oh, and @johmilk, and @mrboerns, let me add for your benefit that both of your presumptions aren’t actual fact at all. Biology is a lot more complicated than that, and that is before we even get into the mind and feelings that most transgender people harbour from almost as soon as they can feel and start to distinct between genders.

        1. yes @bascb biology is a very complex thing and we barely managed to understand how much information we carry on a single cell of our body. And yes they are presumptions, as every scientific theory is (gravity is theory, but works pretty well I must say). Indeed even if your chromosomes point to a gender it doesn’t necessarily mean that your body, mind or whatever relate to it, it does mean that you will have physical characteristics that are informed by those two chromosomes, and with a sample of billions of people proving that the theory is most likely correct, if it was me I would base a rule on that, because like gravity it seems to work pretty well.

          1. I am not talking at theory here at all @johnmilk. Yes, the overwhelming majority of biological male humans have XY chromosomes while the overwhelming majority of biologically female humans have YY chromosomes. But there are significant minorities of humans where that is not the case (proven, measured, tested fact, NOT theory).

            Then again, that doesn’t have much to do with transgenders, as a transgender individual is rather someone who feels their body is wrong for who they are – and because of that strives to change the body (or at least their appearance).

          2. But there are significant minorities of humans where that is not the case (proven, measured, tested fact, NOT theory).

            Care to elaborate @bascb

            You missed what meant with theory…

          3. Well, @johnmilk, where to start.

            so 1. a reality, measured, tested (DNA) and registered by medical sciense, is that not all humans fit the neat YY/XY pattern found in most humans, they have a different combination, more or less of one of the chromosomes etc.

            As for theory – I think you must have somethign mixed up there. What I mentioned about chromosomes has nothing to do with theory, it is fact.
            Theory could cover the hows, the why’s etc, but not the fact itself.

            And yes, it is by now clear that a person’s personality does not have to correspond with biologics of the body, which is where being transgender, gender fluid, etc come from.
            Certainly not about just deciding to “want to be a female to get more fancy trophies”, even though there certainly have been (are?) cases where sporters tried to get into the female sport to profit (gymnastics in China has been rumourd to have been affected, for example)

          4. @bascb I didn’t mentioned anything about personality, each to their own. Doesn’t matter here. People can be whatever they want and live their live however they want, couldn’t care less.

            I’m talking about how can we make as fair as possible (even though in the concrete example of FW doesn’t really matter imo), and that is to put the ones with XX in one group and XY in another, if the sport in question has a significant difference in performance when comparing both groups. Certainly if a man becomes a woman and competes against those who were born XX, he that latter became she will have an unfair advantage in certain sports and vice versa, that is obvious. If people don’t want to see it because it isn’t politically correct or goes against what society accepts nowadays that’s not a problem that will affect science, because the most beautiful thing about it, is that it doesn’t give an F

            You still didn’t said what are the others that don’t fit that pattern, the XXY, XXX and XYY? As mentioned in other comments those are genetic disorders and shouldn’t be brought up to this sort of discussion, if anything out of respect to those who have to live with them.

            What I meant with theory, is how the scientific community approaches the study of different subjects, everything starts as an hypothesis and becomes a theory after data (facts if you will) is observed. Hence the gravity theory, gene theory, evolution theory, big bang theory, etc etc. The reason science take this approach is that we cannot be 100% sure how things work, of course we see theories that are soundproof (at least today) and others not so much. But it isn’t within the reach of human capacity to understand how the universe and our world works.

            That or they were taught by Yoda, and they know only a Sith leads in absolutes

          5. IF you want to make things “fair” @johnmilk, why even go into all the trouble around chromosomes etc. Why not stay simply with what a person’s ID/passport/drivers license says to decide whether they are elegible to have a go at getting into Formula W?

            Especially since it seems pretty clear that there is no obvious advantage either way to what gender a driver is in motorsport, the issue Formula W want’s to adress is more a social / cultural thing than a biological thing. So then the fact that one is regarded as female (as confirmed by their ID papers) should be easy and clear enough.

            There are facts and science tries to test theories to explain the facts and understand them. But facts stay, they are not theory. So gravity IS there and we have theories that try to explain why and how.

        2. but thank you for worrying about us

    2. If the point of the series is to give women a chance to get better drives by winning the w championship then it should be open to all genders as it is about diversity in motorsports and proving that women can drive as well as men so gender should not matter. However if the goal is just to create a very marketable racing series with just women in it then transgenders might not fit inside that view. It seems the series has just one goal and that is “all but women not welcome” so from that pov they probably would not allow it.

    3. @ruliemaulana it will be an interesting discussion when it comes up but it’s also an instructive example for why the W series is an unsound idea.

      a lot of the arguments against having transgender women compete in women’s sports are around the fact that the athlete will have developed as male (i.e. with levels of testosterone that are illegal in women’s sport) and so have an unfair strength/endurance advantage over athletes who developed as female. the get out clause currently is that the transgender athlete must be tested for testosterone over the course of a year before she begins competition – obviously this does nothing to negate all those years of male puberty and so it’s highly controversial. there are reports that female sports teams (brazilian volleyball was an example) were actively trying to recruit transgender athletes for that very reason.

      now, for motorsport there is very little advantage (in fact a highly likely disadvantage) to being bigger and stronger, so it seems unlikely that a transgender woman would have any innate advantage over a woman born female [i feel like this is the wrong term…you know what i mean] in terms of driving. this obviously then takes us back to the question of why we have a gender segregated series in the first place – it seems that there is no reason!

      if it does happen (a transgender woman trying to enter the W series) it will highlight the absurdity of the whole concept.

      1. I’m glad that you brought up testosterone @frood19
        Dr. Rachel McKinnon who enter woman world championship by self-proclaim was one of many that promote scientific journal which claim there was no direct correlation of testosterone level to athletic endurance.

        1. @ruliemaulana Getting a single study published in a journal doesn’t mean a lot in the grand scheme of things. Testosterone and all the other physical differences have a huge affect on athletic performance and to argue otherwise is plain silly. I also don’t know which study you’re referring to but it probably wouldn’t be applicable to her as she’s not an endurance athlete.

    4. petebaldwin (@)
      17th January 2019, 10:09

      I think it would make no difference in motorsport if you a man, woman, transgender or anything else. It’s more talent than physicality.

      Watching some of the “women” running in the olympics is a different story though. Exceptionally unfair.

      1. @petebaldwin not the point that is being discussed here. the FW will happen despite what you are saying, and despite being true or not. Question is, it seems, even though I don’t quite get it, what. a. woman. is?!

        (hell this sounds so wrong)

        1. @petebaldwin @johnmilk There’s two issues.

          1) What is unfair?
          There’s a scientific journal that says no direct correlation of testosterone level to athletic endurance and show that 1/6 elite men athlete having less testosterone than elite women. There’s a different testosterone level limit between sport association and there’s even a movement that says testosterone was discriminate to women athlete now. Dr. Rachel McKinnon won world cyclist championship ‘legally’ within the organization set of rule even its slightly different than IOC.

          2) What a woman is?
          There’s a scientific journal that says chromosome doesn’t necessarily define gender. Lot of new approach to label it in XX, XY, XXY even ZXY now but main thing is the scientific world begun to agree that its all spectrum. Scientific aside, socially some of us begun to accept that gender is what some people claim to be and it’s up to everyone to identify themselves and society should accept that.

          1. @ruliemaulana

            There’s a scientific journal that says chromosome doesn’t necessarily define gender. Lot of new approach to label it in XX, XY, XXY even ZXY now but main thing is the scientific world begun to agree that its all spectrum. Scientific aside, socially some of us begun to accept that gender is what some people claim to be and it’s up to everyone to identify themselves and society should accept that.

            Well scientifically it does, and that what matters if we take an objective approach to the issue. Socially I couldn’t care less, but scientifically if you have to be treated as one or the other that is what will define it. As an extreme example, there are some diseases that are treated differently if you are a man or a woman, and you will be treated according to your genetic information. Because if I identify as a 5 year old girl I guarantee you that I will be a promising young talent in whatever sport I choose.

            I’ve never heard of ZXY, and never heard anyone on the scientific community agreeing it’s all a spectrum.
            You are right in one thing, you can label it XXY or XYY even, but those represent the Klinefelter and Jacobs syndrome, they are genetic disorders similar to trysomies (such as Down syndrome), that hardly defines anything, except the impairment someone with that disease will have throughout their lives (if they manage to live)

          2. @johnmilk Yeah. About ZXY, I mix some bird chromosome there.
            I should stick to transgender in women sport issue and talk about what if Ocon had sex reassignment surgery if Merc confirm Bottas for 2020.

          3. @ruliemaulana

            Yeah. About ZXY, I mix some bird chromosome there.

            Well in your defence, birdman was a great movie imo

    5. They could name the team Lola?

    6. At this point I’d settle for W Series having a publically-available document that officially lays down its main regulations. Even a FAQ-style thing giving an idea beyond “oh, it’ll be 30-minute races” would be helpful. A TV show can get away with keeping things a secret, but there’s a limit as to how long that works for a sporting discipline.

  5. I hope he’s right. I’m also expecting more from Mclaren. Another season like that would be yet more embarrassing for a team the size of them.

    What’s with these sudden side-by-side 2009-2019 image posts on Instagram?

    That beard, though. He looks better without it, LOL.

    1. @jerejj
      I think they’re designed by the smug folk to remind people like me that we’ve done nothing with our lives!

      1. Or an oportunity for the other 15 drivers to show that they can also win races.

        1. or a massive training set for face recogrecognition Software

          1. That escalated quickly!

          2. you are almost certainly right there @mrboerns, all those pictures will serve someone as an excellent dataset acquired almost for free and sellable to many companies with needs for such data to train their software.

          3. @mrboerns, smart thinking.
            let’s fool them and post 2 totally different images with the same hashtag; maybe even a man and a woman to get @ruliemaulana totally confused as well ;)

          4. I believe @mrboerns refer to an article in Wired about Facebook and Amazon using #10yearschallenge to enhance their face recognition AI @coldfly. Amazon had multi billion defense contract but still far behind Chinese WeChat capability. This should help when they apply the same Social Credit Score in US & EU later…

          5. Good thing I only found picture of me drunk 10 years ago and decides not to publish any.

            Alcohol is bad for you…yeah right

  6. Sainz: Last year was the worst, man. Definitely McLaren’s low point.
    Brown: I dunno, ’16 was pretty bad, that get’s my vote.
    Phone ringing:
    Hey Fernando, which year do you think was our low point? What? No you can’t choose a decade. Just one. Wait….Whoa, that’s deep.
    Brown: Fernando says: No highs, therefore no lows. We just just totally sucked the same every day.

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