Lando Norris, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Lack of pre-race test “not a huge disadvantage” for McLaren

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In the round-up: McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says the team will be able to quickly make up for lost time having been unable to test ahead of the resumption of racing this weekend.

What they say

While Mercedes and other teams conducted tests with two-year-old cars, McLaren were unable to do so:

We did several simulator sessions, several sessions also in terms of making sure the drivers and the team are up to speed again with all the race weekend specific operational procedures with the rules and everything.

The drivers obviously did a lot of physical training as well, they did some go-karting. As you know, we did also the Formula 3 test with Carlin to simply get the drivers also some some running in a car with a more downforce.

As you know we are unfortunately not in a position, because was are simply not set up like that at the moment, to run a two-year-old car, for example. Which, obviously, in the ideal world, you would do, otherwise Mercedes and these guys wouldn’t do it.

But I also think it’s not a huge disadvantage and I’m sure that after three or four laps in Austria our drivers [will be] back up to the speed we are used to.

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Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

F1 should take the plunge and go full-electric, argues David:

The entire world should be going electric, and slowly is, F1 should head the curve not catch up years later. If an electric F1 car can do full race distances at similar speeds then they should aim for that, imagine how much the tech would improve and mature if F1 minds were on the case at full tilt. They should just do it. Have large removable batteries you can change during pit stops if need be. That would be quite cool to see, pit mechanics slotting out and in batteries in seconds.

It’s the future and F1 fans are silly to ignore it. Embrace it. Be the fastest and best electric series going at the classic venues.

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On this day in F1

  • 25 years ago today Michael Schumacher jumped ahead of Damon Hill through the pit stops to win the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours

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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24 comments on “Lack of pre-race test “not a huge disadvantage” for McLaren”

  1. re: COTD, Formula E have exclusivity on all-electric open wheel cars for a few years though.

    I agree with it, but we have to be patient.

    1. RP (@slotopen)
      2nd July 2020, 5:32


      I’m skeptical it is time yet for F1 to make the conversion. The electric performance isn’t ready yet. The clean electric energy isn’t ready yet either.

      I grew up with internal combustion engines, I love the sound and smell and don’t want to see them disappear completely. But I’m fine with them becoming rare when it makes sense for the environment.

      Of course marketing will probably drive the decision. It is a little sad, but I’d rather see F1 change before it gets left behind.

      1. @slotopen: I agree, the performance isn’t there yet. I applaud Formula E, but I don’t yet find it exciting. The tracks are too short and too tight, they make Monaco look like Spa! ;-)

    2. Formula E has an exclusive license with the FIA for 25 seasons…

  2. Lewis raised his virtue flag so high so everyone in every country can see so he can duck hiding when apologize.

    1. Black cars are often quickly forgotten. Black Minardi, McLaren etc.

      1. Hmmm. Are you saying that this year has the probability to become more competitive?

        1. Pair of melts.

          1. tony mansell
            2nd July 2020, 9:52

            RB13. You are too kind on these guys. There’s a few floating around this website, It’d be good to get rid of them and send them back to the caves they inhabit

          2. I’m in two minds. I think it’s great that Keith allows them to show us exactly what they are.

          3. Hahahah. The emoji really hurt you?

  3. So no Renault-return for Alonso confirmed.

    1. …we need as many Alonso’s on the grid as possible. Too many insipid characters atm. They’re so dull even the Hulk was a loss to the entertainment value!
      That said, we have Max and the Haas lads, including Gunther, and I reckon The Master Lewis is showing potential to be more outspoken and colourful.

      Gogogo 2020!! Can’t wait…

    2. Wasn’t it obvious from the start? There’s simply nothing Renault could offer to Alonso to entice him back.

  4. I am really sceptical and even opposed to the idea of “going electrical” for the whole world the CotD proposes.
    As Dieter described in that article we we are not going to be able to ditch all of hundres of million of combustion engines worldwide anytime soon.

    Then there is no viable way we will be able to creat a good solution for everyone to even load those batteries regularly. Sure, we are investing in loading stations, and there will be a network. But look at how much those cost for users. But think about all those cities where “loading at home from the socket” is not an option. You cannot have a high rise with wires running from all the appartments to the cars parked below them/around them to load thousands of cars. Yes, we ARE going to solve this. But it will take decades to do that at the scale needed. Even if we make all the money in the world available to do so.

    And maybe in developing countries they will be able to put up new, sustainable engergy local clusters and grids to keep up with new cars (doubtfull, see a Nigeria with now 200 million people growing to maybe half a billin before too long), but it is already clear that neither Europe, nor the USA is able to boost their networks fast enough to be able to transmit all the power that would be needed to do this by say 2035 or something on the scale needed.

    Then there is off course the issue with both our lack of ability to build enough batteries (sure, improvement in batteries WILL greatly be enhanced in the near future, with more focus and investment), and the likely lack the rare earths to do build them and we will be at the mercy of really exploitative mining (ruinging nature, exploiting people) and pretty bad regimes for the ones that are available too. And then we lack the capacities to deal with the waste of al those batteries.
    Oh, and there will be a huge pile of waste from all those newly forbidden combustion engine vehicles too that will be shoved around the world much like our (western) plastic waste has been in recent decades.

    Producing hydrogen from sun and wind (to make use of the times where more electricity is generated than used) will almost inevitably be one part – it might also provide fuel for industrial processes like making steel etc, and it can replace natural gas for heating and cooking, for example, and also can fuel things like boats, busses, even trains. Again, this process is still a few years away from being economically viable on an industrial scale.

    If F1 can be part of pushing efficient & really renewable synthetic fuels, be it made from waste (bacteria making fuel out of waste plastics etc, pressure to do that etc.) or by capturing CO2 and making fuel out of that, it would give us a really good fuel to be able to buy ourselves the time to find a better solution – since this fuel should be able to make all those combustion engines out there run at least in a way that does not create greenhouse gasses.
    And I hope they would also find new ways to limit other exhaust gasses (NOx, sulphur etc) that make combustion engines bad news for our world.

    Electrical cars are great. Using electrical cars, busses, delivery vans etc will certainly help a great deal in limiting emissions in population centres. And they are more efficient overall than combustion engines in those conditions (especially since we drive many short trips in general) . Also because it is easier to solve emissions (filtering, catching, or by using sustainable sources like wind, water and sun etc) at the “power plant”. But they are not the fix for our problems. And not at short notice.

    THe real solution is to have LESS vehicles as such. Since most of them spend their time standing around for 80% of the time. Wasted investment of resources cluttering up our streets. Streets that also greatly “help” in heating up our cities in the first place. But off course that means a huge shift in the way we currently live.

    1. Oh, sorry for the wall of text there!

      1. Good read, thankyou.

        F1 isnt road relevant, the trickle down is minimal and doesn’t impact the vast majority of motorists; modern driving as you say above and resources ultimately is dictating the future of production cars. F1 does have a responsibility to try to be as carbon neutral and efficient as possible as a sport, as we all have our own responsibility to try be a green as we can.

        I’d prefer them to say, we are the pinnacle of Motorsport but we are a sport for entertainment, we want the fastest 1 lap cars on the planet and distance themselves from potential future manufacture technologies to concentrate on purer racing and lowering costs, 20 v10 engines are not going to kill the planet but the benefit of electric powered haulage for the races and other general real world benefits seem the better ultimate cumulative return.

        People do say ‘but that will lose manufacturers’ but i cant see it myself, yes the engine development wouldn’t give you the same return – but it would cost you a fraction of the current spend and you’d have all of the returns of all of the other technology benefits, they are still currently making super efficient v6’s after all, but those billions of $ in R&D is arguably wasted anyway as that isn’t the future of domestic cars.

        For context an electric car owner.

      2. William Jones
        2nd July 2020, 19:03

        I think you’re correct and I think self driving cars as a service is the real future of mass transportation – think about it, you need to get to work, so you have a car booked to get you there at the right time. It drives itself over from the depot, you jump in, whizz off to work, where it goes back to the depot ready for the next customer to need it. When you finish work, over it comes to whip you back home again.

        Will there be teething problems, of course, but it’s the future all the car manufacturers are gearing up for. Will people hate the loss of ownership of a car, of course – but as you I believe so rightly said, the number of vehicles needs to be reduced, so that’s the way it will happen. We can hope that it’s a significant saving over car ownership, that will certainly quell most of the rumblings and us passionate lot can keep a hobby car in the same way that some of us keep a track car or a classic car on the driveway these days.

    2. Also see this UN report about impact of materials needed for surge in batteries:

  5. tony mansell
    2nd July 2020, 9:54

    COTD pfffff. Electric cars lack drama. And that’s it. Football without fans has no drama, racing without noise, has no drama. No drama, no global sport. END.

  6. I understand Dieter’s conundrum, and since I’m just an avatar I’ll point out that the measures are only understandable from the standpoint of f1 as a business. In 6 months I’ve only read study after study that seem to not fit the media narrative and political interests.

  7. James Norris
    2nd July 2020, 12:51

    I appreciate electric cars from a distance and I’d consider purchasing one once the infrastructure gets better… but I can’t get past the fact that the production of both batteries and the electricity to power them seems unsustainable and possibly worse for the environment than fossil fuels. It feels like the electric charge (no pun intended) is a marketing effort driven by technology almost mature enough to support demand.

    Personally I’d prefer F1 to pursue hydrogen fuel cells or other more sustainable sources that would have a direct impact on creating cost and engineering efficiencies, therefore making road adoption possible.

    1. James Norris I think related to what you are saying I do think that some of the hype over electric vehicles stems from car manufacturers having to appear to be environmentally conscious, and fearing being left behind, not literally because of big numbers of EVs being sold by the competition, but left behind in image or lack of political correctness. Oh of course we all have to be very very concerned about the environment, but I’m sure not convinced EVs are the be all and end all answer, and certainly aren’t taking over the world any time soon. I think they will be a component, but other concepts need to be brought in as well as you have mentioned.

      1. Definitely go for green hydrogen! It ticks all the right boxes and would create the right kind of publicity.

Comments are closed.