Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Monza, 2019

McLaren seeking return to pre-shutdown form

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says the team needs to return to the form it enjoyed before the summer break factory shutdown.

What they say

Seidl expects the return to higher-downforce tracks will play into the team’s hands:

I think the Renault pace was as we have expected it. I think with Carlos’s race it went as expected. I think we were set for [sixth] which would have been damage limitation because we have seen in Spa and here that we were struggling with the low-downforce package in terms of keeping up with Renault.

So it’s obviously disappointing that we go away from here with only one point and Renault scoring so many points. It’s important now as a team to regroup, reset, analyse what happened in detail on the pit stop side and then hopefully with more downforce on the track we are back to where we have been before the shutdown in terms of being competitive.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Formula E’s strength is its accessibility, says David:

They’re trying to appeal to broader, less traditional motorsports markets, and to me they’re doing a good job. First and foremost you can actually watch the thing for free on YouTube which is a revelation compared to F1 in the UK now for instance. Nobody’s paying £9 to watch one race on Now
TV or getting a Sky subscription just for F1 if they’re only a casual viewer. F1 is appealing to the converted already as far as UK coverage goes.

Meanwhile Formula E looks attractive. You can watch it streamed live online or watch it later at your leisure. Shorter exciting races plus it’s actually realistic to consider going along to a race since they’re in big cities and it is cheap entry. No one is going to set aside a whole weekend to traipse to some track in the middle of the countryside, spending several hundred just for a seat, to watch something they’re not 100% committed to (certainly not people on the lower income side of things, which is an absolute travesty in F1 by the way). Now I can consider a weekend trip to Berlin for the nightlife and fit in a Formula E race while I’m there since I’m curious about it.

To put it simply, Formula E is massively more accessible. Its popularity is clearly growing each year as a result. How is that a bad thing? A new motorsport fan is then more likely going to be interested in other series’ as well. Motorsport is so inaccessible to people that many never even realise they have an interest in it. Formula E is about the most accessible way for many to get involved, and it’s quickly getting a reputation as the new big thing whether you like it or not. It can only keep improving given big name manufacturers are getting more involved as well since electric is clearly the trajectory of the future, whether you like it or not.

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On this day in F1

  • 40 years ago today Nigel Mansell suffered a broken vertebra in a huge Formula Three crash at Oulton Park

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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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  • 31 comments on “McLaren seeking return to pre-shutdown form”

    1. @RacingLines: Hearing from two very reliable but totally different sources that negotiations to sell Motorsport Network – @F1Racing_mag @autosport @Motorsport etc – in process, with D Mazepin said to be an interested party

      Very interesting to see this. So Zak wants out? And has Mazepin given up on his lawsuit against the administrators of the former Force India entity?

      A new motorsport fan is then more likely going to be interested in other series’ as well. Motorsport is so inaccessible to people that many never even realise they have an interest in it. Formula E is about the most accessible way for many to get involved, and it’s quickly getting a reputation as the new big thing whether you like it or not. It can only keep improving given big name manufacturers are getting more involved as well since electric is clearly the trajectory of the future, whether you like it or not.

      Very good points there, DavidDesu.

      1. Seconded, on the COTD points, if F1 is relying on those FE fans coming across to F1 in the future that is a very, very, long term strategy.

      2. Agree that FE and F1 will be complementary, @phylyp.

        I pre-ordered my first EV, which was presented last week, and they will join FE next year.
        But I will always be an F1 fan as long as they have the best drivers and remain technologically the most advanced (drivetrain & car).
        Thus in a fully electric world there will always be 1 fan at the tracks ;)

        1. @coldfly – a Merc (assuming they’re the only noteworthy ones joining FE in 2020)? Congratulations on the EV!

          So, here’s a bit of a thought experiment… let’s assume the manufacturers pull up stakes and quit F1, since they all get onto the electric bandwagon somewhere in the near future (say 5-10 years). No more Merc, Honda, Renault. Let’s assume that McLaren and Ferrari also step back (yeah, this stretches credulity, I know).

          F1 then returns to being a playground for “privateers” – the likes of Racing Point, Williams, etc. Budgets obviously drop, and PUs also get de-emphasized, since in such a situation R&D into ICE will slow down significantly. So these teams would be running similar or spec PUs that are either ICE, or the current hybrids, built by specialist companies like Cosworth.

          In such a post-F1 world, would F1 still enthral you?

          1. @coldfly – a Merc (assuming they’re the only noteworthy ones joining FE in 2020)? Congratulations on the EV!

            Taycan! @phylyp.

            In such a post-F1 world, would F1 still enthral you?

            Big manufacturers never attracted me in F1; I prefer Minardi over all the current big names who merely do this as a marketing exercise.
            As long as F1 can still (on a smaller budget) be the pinnacle of technical innovation, provide good racing (room for improvement there), and attract the best drivers, then I’m in.
            I strongly believe that some (boring) spec parts can help to focus on innovations in other areas te remain at the top. Doing it like that it’s easier to stay within a budget cap.
            And when a certain area is ‘out-innovated’ they can make that a spec part and open up a new area.

      3. @phylyp I’m pretty sure the Mazepins haven’t given up on the lawsuit, and I worry he might get petty about it through the media if he owns a big chunk of it.

        1. @alianora-la-canta – yeah, I can totally see that happening :)

      4. @phylyp probably the Motorsport network isn’t profitable or anywhere close. He tried to create a monopoly of a kind by buying out dozens of motorsport related media, but instead of elevating the final product the quality suffered. He then tried to put a paywall behind some articles, but having tried it, they are average of worse. I can’t imagine that a lot of motorsport fans are willing to pay the Motorsport network for content far worse than what they can find in site like RaceFans for instance.

    2. Zack is so obsessed with Alonso that he can’t see him do anything…

    3. Forgot to mention, good to see that tweet about Peroni walking around happily, so it would seem that his vertebral fracture was a minor one only. That is a relief, since that unnatural crash (i.e. not engaging the barriers in the usual way) still meant that he was not seriously injured. The earlier news had me thinking it was a more serious fracture, so it’s really good to see this, probably the only bit of good news in what has been a tragic fortnight for motorsport.

      1. Definitely a better outcome than we would have first though after that crash. It may still be some time though before Peroni is able to get back in the car. Walking and being able to withstand the sort of forces drivers are subjected to in a race car are two very different things.

        Hopefully he’s good to go soon.

    4. +1000 for the quote of the day. Formula 1 blew it when it went down the road of high-end exclusivity and restricted access. A long time ago, it was fan friendly and appealed to the masses. It was exclusive only for participants, because of the difficulty and danger. Formula E is getting it right.

      1. I could remember the 70′ where i as child could walk in the pitsboxen in Zandvoort(even invited to have my picture taken while in a braham cockpit) All the people were very nice.

    5. “It’s hard to imagine the public wouldn’t want to see swimmers with fingers surgically webbed together to act like paddles, or weight lifters using short-lasting adrenaline shots, or 150-mile-per-hour baseball pitches thrown from bionic limbs.”

      This totally doesn’t sound at all like the nice face of a cyberpunk dystopia at all.

      1. The only thing that makes it dystopic is the capitalist exploitation of the athletes.
        Nothing wrong with webbed fingers. Phelps had them. If people want them, all the power to them. But let them be the beneficiaries of those fingers, not a Bernie Ecclestone feeding off the labour of others.

      2. High level sports already has its dystopian side. Just look at how china is is picking kids as young as 6 to train them to olympic athletes, separating them from their families and forced use of steroids and other drugs.

    6. I did karting once, guess I’m an f1 driver to be. That’s a karting track worthy of losing your head.

    7. If you want a different statistical take on the Ferrari driver situation then read

      fivethirtyeight is a New York statisticians site that looks mainly at US sports and Politics.The founder Nate Silver’s claim to fame is that he predicted the outcome of the 2008 US presidential election in 49 out of 50 states.

    8. The haze from burning forests is far worse than ‘unhealthy’. Three cities in Riau Indonesia had reach 1000 psi air quality (300 is considered hazardous). Singapore is just lucky that the wind blows east these weeks. If the wind change, Singapore GP better be cancelled.

      1. Jikes @ruliemaulana, have not seen anything about it on the news here in Germany yet this year, but I do recall it being an issue several years ago for , I think, the Malaysia GP (or was it Singapore too?)

        Must be terrible for the people living in those cities, and the surrounding areas.

        Is there really nothing the government (can? ) do to stop it from happening again and again? I can see some burning for land happening, multiplied by a lot of people, but on that scale it seems madness.

        1. @bosyber There’s a regulation that make exception for local ingenious community to burn wild grass for farming. The things is big palm oil corporation pays local farmers to clear their land. No one could held responsible.

      2. @ruliemaulana Cancelling the race altogether wouldn’t really be a viable option, though, given how much money has been spent to put up the event, transfer all the necessary equipment there, etc.

        1. @jerejj, there are situations where it could start having an impact on the operation of the race itself – for example, if the visibility is as bad as @ruliemaulana mentions in his later post (down to 800m and forcing the closure of local airports), that might prevent medical helicopters from being able to take off from the circuit. That would then put pressure on the organisers to arrange alternative medical evacuation procedures, which might not necessarily be easy to put in place at relatively short notice.

      3. @ruliemaulana “Unhealthy” is an official classification, and I think it’s the highest one the ai quality measurement system has.

        It was an issue in Malaysia a few years ago, but I don’t recall the organisers being in a position to cancel. The FIA won’t cancel unless travel insurers stop providing cover (they can be expected to provide cover, since the majority of consequences of air that bad are long-term, not immediate).

        1. I live in Singapore the haze was quite bad yesterday (but not nearly as bad as 2015) but a lot better today, looks hazy in the distance seems fine when walking around etc. It depends which way the wind blows really how bad it is. It was similar to yesterday a few years back on the Friday and practice went ahead. Think they’d only look at cancellation if hit it hazardous which is classified as a PSI of 300 as a 24 hour average, currently the average PSI is 95.

    9. @jerejj @alianora-la-canta
      Two local airports already closed. Visibility is only 800 meters.

      1. @ruliemaulana @jerejj That… …complicates matters. I have to admit I assumed the teams would be able to get there, but that could take a fair amount of re-routing, depending on whether the plane that takes the cars was on an affected route, and what wind direction changes occur. F1’s usually good at getting enough people in the right place (as long ago as Canada 1992, there was a big strike but the only thing that didn’t arrive was Andrea Moda’s engines), but there are limits.

    10. Since the COTD is partly in response to my reply, I will reiterate.

      My biggest complaint with FE is the horrible track layouts. I have no issue with FE for the most part, but the tracks have left me almost uninterested. The Rome race was a perfect example. Why did they need something so narrow as to create a pile up?

      Street circuits are fine when designed well. Make the tracks a little wider with a better layout and I will return. Something like Tempelhof is a good track. As it stands, I didn’t even finish the season.

      As for TV, the races are on pay TV in the US. They aren’t available on Youtube till a week after the race.

      1. I agree with your point about track layouts – they’re often narrow and twisty, reminiscent of karting tracks, but running cars that are significantly larger than karts. It forces the cars to drive in a bit of a point-and-squirt manner in the tighter sections.

    11. Fittipaldi??? Is he still alive???
      He won his titles in the 1840s

    12. I’ve said it before on this site but I don’t know anyone in the UK who I can talk to about F1 anymore, no one watches it. worst idea ever putting it behind a paywall. If it wasn’t for Hamilton still generating newspaper headlines, the sport would disappear completely from the public consciousness.

    Comments are closed.