Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Circuit of the Americas, 2021

Alpine reinforce rear wings after “fatigue overload” on Alonso’s car

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso said the rear wing failure that caused him to retire from the United States Grand Prix was caused by fatigue.

In brief

Alonso: Alpine have learned lesson from rear wing failure

Alonso was forced to retire from the US Grand Prix on lap 49, with a failure on the rear of his Alpine car. Ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix, he explained that it had been due to excessive stress on the rear wing.

“We understand it was pure fatigue overload on the rear wing,” he said. “And we reinforced that part for the remainder of the season.”

“Austin probably was one of the lows for us and hopefully here we can come back on a strong form,” he added.

Andretti: IndyCar politics not ugly enough for Drive to Survive

Michael Andretti said that he had heard “rumours” of a potential IndyCar parallel to F1’s Drive to Survive series but said he was not convinced the format would transfer.

“I guess it could be good,” pondered Andretti. “I just don’t want it to be trying to do the same thing. I don’t know if it’ll have the same effect.”

“I think the politics and the things – the stories are a little different in IndyCar,” he continued. “I think there’s a little more drama in F1 because there’s a lot more back-stabbing and things like that. I think over here there’s a lot more camaraderie and it’s more about the racing on the racetrack, than the politics off the racetrack.

“I’m not sure it would have the same interest, but maybe if they can come up with a different angle it would be good.”

“I think what makes those stories interesting in F1 is everybody hates each other and everybody has their knives out to stab each other in the back,” he added. “You don’t really have that as much in IndyCar, so you don’t have that same type of ugly drama.”

Sprint races bring “revenue opportunities” despite team opposition

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei says teams’ concerns about its sprint qualifying format are largely financial. “We like it, the fans like it, the teams and the drivers don’t necessarily love it,” he told an investor call yesterday. “Partly because they know this [current] system and partly because it incurs potential incremental expense for them against the cost cap,” he explained.

However he pointed out the Saturday races can also generate more income for the sport. “There are revenue opportunities around it, both in terms of greater attendance at events, including qualifying, but also in terms of potentially sponsorship of the sprint race and the like.

“So clearly, there is an economic reason. But there’s a tension which we’re not dismissive of, that it puts more stress on the teams and more stress on the drivers. So we’ll see how we can manage through those two counterpoint elements”

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Comment of the day

In the debate about sprint qualifying, Roger Ayles says that if the idea has to be sold on the minutiae of opinion polls, it maybe shouldn’t be being put forward – at least in its current form.

A great idea should sell itself & one that was well thought out shouldn’t need to be constantly ‘fixed’ after the fact.

The fact that Ross, Stefano etc.. are having to constantly sell the sprint as an amazing idea & constantly having to justify it’s existence while coming out with obvious spin like ‘Fans are overwhelmingly positive about it’ when I think even the fans who support the idea would admit that opinion is far more divided suggests that the format is perhaps not a great idea.

And the fact the format is full of holes that need fixing & that some of them are things that they don’t appear to have a good answer to suggests the format wasn’t well thought out to begin with. And that some of the flaws are things that fans (Among others) were pointing out beforehand also shows that those in charge weren’t paying attention because they were too busy putting commercial deals in place ahead of the sport & before the sprint format had even been finalised.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Adam Dennehey, Amadis, Somersetracefan, Sonia Luff and Giggsy11!

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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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8 comments on “Alpine reinforce rear wings after “fatigue overload” on Alonso’s car”

  1. some racing fan
    5th November 2021, 3:39

    F1 is the Premier League or NFL of racing. There’s a whole lot more money (primarily money), technology and prestige involved than in any other racing series- that’s why it is so political, because everyone is under un-natural amounts of pressure to do their jobs right. There’s just so much at stake all the time.

  2. While Lucas Di Grassi’s track design idea is good, I still prefer slight, high-speed corners over tighter, slower ones, as they’re more enjoyable driving-wise.

    1. Not sure where you’re driving, @jerejj – but I like all kinds of corners, depending on their context.
      Even those that aren’t necessarily so much ‘fun’ bring more of a challenge to get right. Doing something you dislike well is a massive reward and achievement in and of itself.

    2. It’s Tha way corners are connected that makes them fun.
      I. E. The individual bends of the esses in Silverstone are not worth mentioning. But connected they are fun.

  3. Dear Lucas, I think you’re thinking of Oval banking.

  4. petebaldwin (@)
    5th November 2021, 13:45

    Re: COTD – the thing is, Sprint races do sell themselves…

    “Hi Sky – do you want an extra race instead of a practice session?” “ummm.. Yeah we do! Of course! Loads more people will watch!”

    “Hi track owners – do you think you’d be able to sell more tickets if you had a competitive season on each day instead of Friday just being practice?” “Yeah we’d love that!”

    “Sup sponsors. Want considerably more eyes on your logos?” “Hell yeah!”

    The difficult sell is to fans but what they’ve got is an idea that easily sells itself commercially so they are focussed on creating a narrative where fans just accept it. They’ll tell us that most fans love it, that it’s good for the sport, that it’s exciting… Everything they can to get us to buy into something that will ultimately make them a load of money.

    Whatever comments fans make, they can point to the fact that more people will qualifying on Friday than would have watched FP2 and that the overall viewing figures are up. As long as that’s the case, they’ll call it a success. If people don’t watch it and viewing figure are down, they’ll call it a failure and will drop it.

    1. @petebaldwin Unfortunately, they only sold themselves until viewing figures came in. Not sure why Sky would consent to an extra race if it means they get fewer viewers in total across the weekend than with the previous format due to lost viewers for the race (something indicated to be the case at Silverstone). Track attendance so far is 1 identical (Silverstone has sold out every year since 2007 in any case) and 1 vastly reduced (albeit complicated by a 50% price hike). This leads to likely (though not definitively yet) fewer eyeballs, which logically leads to less sponsor money – except that since the current sponsor deal was negotiated before Monza, Liberty won’t figure that out for some time.

      (Also, I am not sure why @petebaldwin ‘s message shows as flagged when I only ever had a reply button for it. I may not believe Pete’s argument but it’s definitely within the Comment Policy ;) )

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