Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Yas Marina, 2021

Little opportunity for drivers’ input on 2022 car until now – Alonso

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says he’s been unable to be heavily involved in the development of Alpine’s 2022 car due to the unknowns over the new regulations

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In brief

Alonso had limited involvement in developing 2022 Alpine

Dramatic technical changes to next year’s F1 cars designed to improve racing mean that a number of teams have focused on extensively developing the designs of their 2022 cars.

Asked how much involvement he has been able to have on next year’s car throughout the season, Alonso replied “not much, to be honest.

“If I’m honest, the development has been followed by all the designers and the simulations,” Alonso explained.

“The new regulations were too restrictive at the beginning, so there were a lot of clarifications over what we could do and what we couldn’t do with the FIA and things like that. So it was a strange new project for everybody, I think. So now, from December, January, we will start the work in the simulator and hopefully our implication will be a little bit more.”

Rosberg X Racing take inaugural Extreme E title

Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson claimed the first-ever Extreme E championship at the fifth and final round of the inaugural season at the Jurassic Xprix in Dorset.

Rosberg X Racing secured the title despite finishing equal on points with the X44 team of Cristina Gutierrez and Sebastian Loeb due to taking the most round wins in the season.

The X44 team took over victory in the Jurassic Xprix, held around the Bovington Tank Range in the English county of Dorset, with Gutierrez and Loeb leading the entirety of the final around the muddy course. Taylor and Kristoffersson were able to finish in fourth, to secure the points they needed to take the championship.

The result sees Rosberg X Racing owner Nico Rosberg claim the honours against the X44 team owned by his former Mercedes F1 team mate and rival, Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen misses out on SPOTY award

Max Verstappen was among the six nominees for World Sport Star of the Year in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, but was beaten to the prize by jockey Rachael Blackmore. For the first time in five years Lewis Hamilton was not among the nominees for the overall prize.

Mazepin brings Christmas cheer to Haas

Nikita Mazepin has gifted a Christmas hamper to every member of the Haas team across their three sites.

The team posted images on social media of Haas personnel posing with the hampers bought for them by the Russian driver, with the gifts covering every member of the team across their bases in Kannapolis, North Carolina in the United States, Banbury in the United Kingdom and the team’s hub at Maranello in Italy.

Mazepin finished his rookie season in 21st and last place in the drivers’ standings, behind team mate Mick Schumacher and Alfa Romeo stand-in Robert Kubica. He missed the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi after returning a positive covid test on Sunday.

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Comment of the day

Congratulations to the winner of this weekend’s Caption Competition: Derek Edwards!

Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly, Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, 2021

Okay, so now I’m being told that we can get out of Max’s way after all.
Derek Edwards

Thank you all for taking part in this weekend’s contest and special mention to Jack, to Red Andy and to stjs16 for all making some very amusing entries.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ferrox Glideh!

On this day in motorsport

Ayrton Senna was the last driver to win in a race in a JPS-liveried F1 car
  • 35 years ago today Lotus sponsor John Player Special announced its departure, ending one of the sport’s most famous associations and liveries

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 31 comments on “Little opportunity for drivers’ input on 2022 car until now – Alonso”

    1. I am drawn to F1 because of the design of the cars. I know many posters on this site feel it is somehow unfair that certain cars are rockets but for me that is the interesting part of the competition. There are rules on the design of the cars and some teams are better than others. I can’t wait to see the 2022 designs and how teams performed. If you want a true test of driver talent you would put the drivers in the same cars and tires and everything else. You could have a paddock of identical cars and drivers could draw a number for which car they get to use for qualifying and then draw again to see which car they drive in the race. But that’s not F1. Bon chance to the designers!

      1. @jimfromus +1. Really looking forward to who can interpret the rules best, including all the loopholes. As Colin Chapman said, “Rules are for the obidience of fools and interpretations of smart men”. There are plenty of other spec series (or near-spec series) for drivers to compare talent equally, but they should keep F1 as a constructor’s championship

      2. @jimfromus I agree, the design challenge is one of the most interesting aspects of F1 and the new regulations we get every few years always provide a fascinating element.

        I do worry, though, that in this era of cost caps and restricted development, we see someone run away with the competition who can’t then be caught. Normally you would expect a team who started fast to be outdeveloped by their rivals, resulting in a much more level playing field over time (the most dramatic recent example being Brawn GP in 2009), but that never really happened with the turbo/hybrid engines and it may not happen with these new changes either. That would be a shame, if we end up with another lengthy era of single-team dominance – not “unfair” but certainly uninteresting.

        1. @red-andy

          I do worry, though, that in this era of cost caps and restricted development, we see someone run away with the competition who can’t then be caught.

          Isn’t their hope that the cost caps and the restricted development will level the field more since the beginning? And if one team finds a loophole to exploit the others can follow it easily without spending restrictions? If so, teams would be more or less close together earlier and remain like that for the remaining of the era. Why wouldn’t that be the case? If there’s some reason, I’m interested on hearing it.
          Yes, the development part is fascinating and more exciting to the championship, provided that the old Formula 1 mantra of “the best drivers always end up sooner or later with the fastest cars” remains more accurate than not. It clearly wasn’t what we have seen during the hybrid era. Half of the seats on top cars were taken by average drivers, and the simple fact of having more than one team with a shot at both titles has been already something to celebrate, something that seldom happened (sadly, a miserable state of competitiveness).

    2. If Masi had followed the correct SC procedure since the beginning and applied the “Let them race” philosophy, I wonder which excuse they’d make for Hamilton/Mercedes instead. The outcome would probably be the same with Verstappen’s WDC, but then another thing beyond the final lap would have to be considered not “fair”.

      1. @rodewulf memories are short. There was a let them race policy, it allowed Max to run Lewis off track at quite a few races until Silverstone where Hamilton finally stood his ground after being bullied off track so many times before. Brazil turn 4 also seems to have evaded your memory, which is exactly when Masi used the ‘let them race’ philosophy not to do anything about that type of driving, leading to the problems at Saudi.

        Unfortunately for Max that last lap was not fair that much seems pretty obvious but again maybe I’m really biased or something, or perhaps it’s ‘British bias’ I’ve heard that many times before. Max is a completely deserving driver, and immense talent, but that debacle with the unlapped cars at the end was not a sport. Anyway I give up with this, I’m going to take a break soon from racefans. I’m exhausted.

        1. @john-h Agree with that comment, especially that last paragraph. I personally didn’t mind Max’s driving too much earlier in the season. I’m assuming you’re on about Imola, which was a bit iffy I’ll admit but the combination of rain and lap 1 was probably enough for it to not be investigated, and Spain, which imo was right on the borderlin of hard but fair racing. Anything more I probably wouldn’t have liked, but I don’t think it was too much worse than some of the pre-DRS moves.

          Anyways, I hope you enjoy your break, you definitely deserve one! Have a great Christmas and a good new year! I’m also probably gonna take a bit of a break soon, probably over the Christmas period and most of January with a hope of being back in time for the car launches, which I’m quite excited for with the new season. When I come back, I hope the whole atmosphere is a bit calmer (either that or it’s in a complete civil war). As I say, enjoy your break, I hope to see you back next season, and have a great Holiday season

      2. @rodewulf Both following correct SC procedure & applying ‘Let them race’ philosophy, admittedly I don’t quite follow how would the WDC outcome still be the same & another thing beyond final lap being unfair.

    3. “The new regulations were too restrictive at the beginning, so there were a lot of clarifications over what we could do and what we couldn’t do with the FIA and things like that. So it was a strange new project for everybody, I think. So now, from December, January, we will start the work in the simulator and hopefully our implication will be a little bit more.”

      Can’t wait for him to get a grasp on new Alpine. The thick part of El Plan is coming soon for Fernando.

    4. So Mazapin sent “Christmas hampers” to every Haas team member? I’m an American and to me, a hamper is something we put our dirty clothes in until its time to wash them. I guess a Christmas hamper means something else in Europe. I knew Mazapin had a lot of “dirty laundry” but I didn’t think it was enough to send to every Haas team member!

      1. @danarcha In Europe (or at least the UK), a hamper is usually a box of goodies and treats. It could have anything from cakes, to chocolates, to small bottles of wine.

      2. In the UK at least, a Christmas hamper is a gift basket filled with wine, Chocolate, cheese, cookies etc. It was a nice thing he did for his team.

      3. @danarcha, I didn’t know what Christmas hamper was so a quick search made me realise it’s a Christmas package/basket. I think it’s also the first time I came across this term before (although I’ve worked with British people since many years now)…

      4. In Britain, it means a picnic basket. In the rest of Europe, people speak a different language than English.

      5. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        20th December 2021, 9:26

        In Europe we have a simple name for it a laundry basket.

        1. In North America we say gift basket instead of hamper

      6. @danarcha A hamper can be a laundry basket even in Britain (though “laundry basket” is the more common British term for a washing carrier), and I think the first British picnic hampers served both purposes at different times in a family’s typical week. Christmas hampers specifically came later, as these were felt to be good sizes for a substantial and classy present for a family.

    5. In a biggest season in history of F1, where superstar Max Verstappen showed teeth to one of the best drivers in history Lewis Hamilton, they gave SPOTY to some jockey….

      1. It was the first female winner of the grand national I believe. I’m not a fan of horse racing, but I can see why that might have inspired some people.

        1. @john-h
          It’s not a surprise that the BBC are non-objective. A part from Lewis Hamilton, there is no British athlete that comes close to what Tyson Fury has been doing in and out of the ring since his comeback. He is the best fighter on the planet and has demonstrated over and over again that can move mountains and he has inspired the world with his opening about his mental health struggles. No wonder he didn’t want any part of that award…

          1. He didn’t? What was his reasoning?

          2. It’s a public vote @tifoso1989 so you can’t blame the BBC.

          3. @tifoso1989 Usually people who don’t want the award or anything to do with it don’t get nominated regardless of how impressive their claim to the title might be, so we can take the fact Tyson did get nominated as a mark of approval in itself.

            1. @alianora-la-canta
              Totally agree with you. Though Tyson apparently didn’t forget the way they treated him with a lot of disrespect back in 2015 when he was a world champion but struggling with mental health issue. I think they only softened their stance after his comeback.

      2. You did watch the last lap with the safety car and stuff?… Everyone who watched it on FTA or the news saw what a fix it was, then you expect them to vote, in a Sports award of all things, as a sporting achievement. See the problem is you’ve mistaken F1 as a sport when in fact its a ‘reality TV entertainment show’ involving race cars.

    6. It is a bit interesting that so many people have complained about the restrictiveness of the new regulations. It appears we are really going to end up with pretty similar cars. I will salute any team that finds a loophole on the level of the Brawn double diffuser – that will be proof that they’ve really, really done one hell of a job with interpreting them.

      Nice Toto and Valterri video there with a couple of interesting tidbits (including the admission that even Toto can’t tolerate the sprints).

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        20th December 2021, 9:29

        I cannot remember the exact words but if a loophole appears to not fully fit with the FIA designers philosophy then it will be regulated away.

        1. Yes – I’ve seen that as well. I hope one of the teams surprises us with one that can’t simply be regulated away :-)

      2. Although this was my thinking also, I am intrigued by Fernandos comments. He mentions there being the need for a lot of back and forth or clarifications with the FIA. I wonder if this means there’s a fair bit of ambiguity, possibly leading to a team or two finding some big performance loopholes.

        Either way I hope we get a close season between multiple drivers and teams and some surprise winners as well

    7. I know there’s been some doom and gloom about the health of the sport recently so this roundup was a nice reminder of one area where the future is looking bright and that’s the drivers. I can’t remember the last time there were so many likeable, marketable and above all else super talented young drivers in the sport. Gasly, Norris, Sainz, Leclerc and even Albon and Ocon would normally stand out as future superstars (especially when I started watching in the late 90s). Yes there are a couple notable exceptions but at least in this regard F1 is in good health.

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