Thursday, May 21, 2015

Monaco GP : FP1 & FP2 results

Formula 1 regulations for 2016 & 2017

Spanish GP : Mclaren-Honda race report

JENSON BUTTON : "My car was pretty scary to drive today: as soon as I touched the throttle, it just snapped away from me. It was unpredictable: in low-speed corners, the car was just slow, because I got wheel-spin immediately; in the high-speed stuff, it was just scary, because the rear end would snap away immediately under power."I was talking to my engineers for most of the race to try to find out what the root of the problem was, and we switched on quite a lot of handling balance changes to try to cure it. It got a little bit better towards the end of the afternoon, but it was a pretty tough afternoon."Now, we’ll thoroughly look at the data and see what the matter was – it’s something we’ve got to look into."

FERNANDO ALONSO : "My pitstop was a scary moment – I didn’t have much rear braking for my whole in-lap, then even less at the stop. It was scary for the mechanics, but luckily it didn’t hurt anyone."My brake issue was separate from Jenson’s problem yesterday; in qualifying, he had a single disc that wasn’t reaching temperature, but I had no brakes. I think the rear disc stopped working, so I only had front brakes."Things are coming together. We’re still a long way off the front and need to take bigger steps, but this is a very challenging project and I’m happy that we’re recovering well."This has been a disappointing day, but the team will investigate what happened, and we’ll come back stronger in Monaco."

ERIC BOULLIER : "For all at McLaren, a team that has won the Spanish Grand Prix no fewer than eight times in our illustrious history, it’s superfluous to state that this afternoon has been a more than somewhat disappointing one."Fernando was running reasonably well until his race was abruptly terminated by an as-yet-unspecified rear brake problem that caused him to overshoot our pit-box. That was irksome for all of us, Fernando in particular, but more important is that no-one was hurt."As for Jenson, he too had a vexatious afternoon, losing ground right from the start and complaining of poor rear traction thereafter. He eventually finished 16th."We arrived in Spain with robust but measured ambitions: to manage both our cars through to Q2 in qualifying and to score world championship points for the first time this year. The former objective we achieved; the latter we did not."Disappointing it was, but disheartening it isn’t. Yes, we’d all be more sanguine if progress could be made more expeditiously; equally, and importantly, our underlying pace is improving with every race."In two weeks’ time we’ll be in Monaco, on whose famously serpentine Tarmac we’ll be hoping to fare appreciably better than we did here in Barcelona today. McLaren has won at the Principality more often than has any other marque – 15 times to be precise – and, although we aren’t anticipating notching up victory number 16 there this year, I won’t shy away from proclaiming here and now that we’ll be aiming to score world championship points on May 24th."

YASUHISA ARAI : "It has been a very disappointing weekend, but, sometimes, that’s the reality of racing."On a more positive note, Fernando’s race pace was very good. We’ll now analyse all the data and continue to improve driveability for the next race at Monaco. That will be key to progress around the slow street circuit."

Spanish GP : the race results

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Spanish GP : Mclaren-Honda report

• FERNANDO ALONSO : “This is the first time both McLaren-Hondas have got into Q2 this season, so we’re definitely unlocking more of the car’s potential, and there’ll be more to come in the next couple of races.“Still, this is another step forward, and I hope we can fight for points tomorrow. We’re starting 13th, and our tyre management looks quite good, so I think it’s realistic to look at getting into the top 10, but we’ll need to attack throughout the race.”To be honest, however, scoring one or two points tomorrow isn’t what we as a team are looking for, but it’s good for everyone’s motivation if we keep achieving tangible results – so scoring points will be a good step.”

• JENSON BUTTON : “I’m a bit frustrated because we fitted new brakes for qualifying, and, every time I braked for Turn One, the car pulled to the left. On my last run in Q2, the team told me to warm the brakes in a different way, which meant they weren’t fully warmed up by the time I started my fast lap, so I had front locking for the first three corners. It felt a bit weird, so we need to look at the reasons why.“I hope that we can be relatively competitive and have a reasonable race tomorrow. We’re making solid progress – we got both cars into Q2 on merit, without any cars ahead of us suffering any issues. That’s a positive step for the whole team.“Yesterday, our long-run practice pace looked okay – a lot of teams turn their engines up for qualifying, and then turn them down again for the race; but we don’t have to do that, so we perhaps go into the race with a bit more potential than some of the cars ahead of us.“I’m looking forward to the race.”

• ERIC BOULLIER : “Compared with where we were at the beginning of the season, this afternoon’s qualifying performance clearly indicates the continuing steady improvement we’ve been working so hard to achieve.“No, we aren’t remotely satisfied with P13 and P14, and we never will be. But our target for today was to get both cars through to Q2, and we achieved that.“We have a busy evening ahead of us, with plenty of data to study. Tomorrow, our ambition is to score our first world championship points of the season. That isn’t a promise, but, yes, it’s our objective.”

• YASUHISA ARAI : "We’ve been working hard to improve the low- to mid-speed output on the power unit, but unfortunately we couldn’t bring everything together for qualifying. It’s disappointing, but we know that our race-pace simulation during FP2 went well yesterday, so we hope that we’ll be able to improve our positions during tomorrow’s race.”

Spanish GP : qualifications

Spanish GP : FP3

Spanish GP : Mclaren-Honda report

• JENSON BUTTON : “You simply can’t compare the car I drove today to the car I last tested here back in February; the difference is night and day. Then, the last corner was easy-flat, whereas now it isn’t because of the extra grunt our Honda power unit is pushing out these days.“We felt reasonably good on the Prime tyre this morning, but really struggled on it in the afternoon, when we were much better on the Option. So there’s a lot of work for us to do in every area to optimise what we have, and also to figure out why the car is doing certain things on track.“All in all, it’s been a positive but tough day in terms of putting miles on our components: for example, we tried three different front wings today – so the sessions were mainly about data collecting.“There’s still plenty of room for improvement, so we need to properly study all the data tonight.”

• FERNANDO ALONSO : “Today felt more like a test day than the Friday of a grand prix weekend.“But it’s been positive: we ended the day without any technical problems, and we completed everything on our run programme. I had a little spin at the end of FP1 – I was pushing on one of my in-laps, just having a bit of fun, when the car pirouetted at Turn 12.“The track was a little bit slower today than it was in winter testing, and we had to adapt the car to today’s conditions, but hopefully tomorrow we can be a little bit closer to the cars at the front.“We’ve made a number of positive steps today, and the car seemed to behave well, but we have a lot of work to do tonight. We need to pull everything together and then select the best parts for qualifying tomorrow.”

• ERIC BOULLIER :“It’s been a busy day: we had an extremely aggressive run programme planned for today – with lots to assess and analyse – and, pleasingly, we got through it all.“It’s hard to definitively measure the extent of lap-time improvement that this weekend’s upgrades have provided, but we’re seeing useful positives in every area.“Additionally, both Fernando and Jenson have given us some very detailed feedback, but it’s clear that we still have some work to do if we’re to get the whole package working to its fullest extent on Saturday and Sunday.“The most important thing, however, is that we’re moving forwards.”

• YASUHISA ARAI :"Today, FP1 was a bit difficult because we were trying to pull together various updates from both the chassis and power unit side – so the 90 minutes went rather quickly!“In the end both sessions were very productive for us, though, and we were able to test the power unit driveability software updates that we implemented during the mini-break. Based on the FP1 results, we then tweaked the engine dynamics further for FP2.“On the operational side, things are working more smoothly than they were on the first four race weekends, and we’re satisfied with today’s work in the garage. We still need to review our data further for tomorrow’s running – qualifying is very important at this track, as it’s so difficult to overtake here.“But, as always, we’ll do our best.”

Spanish GP : FP2

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Spanish GP : Thursday press conference

Mclaren Honda revised livery and motorhomes pics

Mclaren Honda revealed yesterday a revised livery with a new shade of graphite grey and more iconic "rocket red" .

Let's also take a look at Mclaren and Honda motorhomes for the European season 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mclaren Honda news

I/ The Japanese manufacturer has evolved the combustion chamber from its V6 as well as the electronic fuel injection system. Fernando Alonso should be the first to benefit of this evolution this weekend in Spain, his engine being the most tired. Jenson Button could also have the engine evolution . The increase in power is estimated to be approximately 15-20 horses, at high speed. This should allow the MP4-30 to win a few kilometres / hour top speed. In parallel, the heat exchanger will be reviewed and a new fuel produced by Exxon Mobil will be used. The next engine evolution is scheduled for the Austria or Britain GP .

II/ the podium still a target for 2015 for Yasuhisa Arai : "Day by day , we can see real progress. I am confident that our efforts will yield results .
I would say that we are on the way up the mountain now, although not yet at the top. The podium is our hope and aspiration for the remaining 15 races ."

III/ Fernando Alonso will this week reunite with the medical team that nursed him back to health after his winter testing crash.Spain’s El Mundo newspaper reports that the McLaren-Honda driver has invited members of the Hospital General de Catalunya out for dinner ahead of this weekend’s Spanish grand prix at the Barcelona circuit.

IV/ Finally, there are suggestions McLaren may tweak the livery of its MP4-30 car for the Spanish grand prix, removing silver and replacing it with grey or more of the team’s iconic ’rocket red’. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

provisional 2016 calendar

 It was at that point that apparently leaked versions of the provisional race schedule for next year, featuring an unprecedented 21 grands prix, began to do the rounds. One version, published by Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, shows the addition of Azerbaijan and the return of Germany, and multiple ’back-to-back’ race weekends including Australia and China in early April . The Malaysia GP takes a place at the end of calendar for a logical chain with Singapore while the Russia GP migrates early in the season . Note , finally , that there is no more than 4 weeks holiday in August but just 3, if this calendar is accepted .

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A few news

I/ ValenciaGP back in 2016 ? : the ARC Resorts Company, based in Singapore, would be willing to invest the necessary 600 million of euros to make formula 1 come back in Valencia. Their goal is to open a six star palace , also a Yacht club, a golf course , a shopping centre and a place dedicated to concerts or even a casino as in Monaco.
The aim would be to promote the formula 1, but also the new formula e.

II/ Luca di Montezemolo believes that the current priority , in F1 , is to reduce costs to help small teams and also to increase the number of spectators on the circuit and in front of their television. If he still supports Ecclestone, di Montzemolo asserts that "he needs experts advices from the world of finance, marketing and digital."

III/ Pirelli tyres for the four next races : medium and hard for Barcelona ; soft and supersoft for Monaco , Canada and Austria

Bahrain GP : race report

FERNANDO ALONSO : “This wasn’t the easiest race for us. We weren’t very competitive at the beginning, then we had a few issues with the aero behaviour of the car, which slowed me down in the middle stint, but I was able to push a bit harder on the soft tyre at the end of the race. We still need to learn a lot more about this car in order to extract its maximum, but an afternoon like today was extremely useful for us as it enabled us to better understand the car.“It was a useful race for me too: my longest stint during winter testing was 12 laps; in Malaysia, I did 22; and here I completed the race, so this is a step forward. Hopefully, we can improve again for Bahrain.”

JENSON BUTTON : “Today wasn’t too bad – we’re still fighting at the back of the field, which is a shame, but it’s positive to see that we’re progressing. My middle stint on the Option tyre wasn’t too bad – I don’t think our pace was too bad at all on the softer tyre – but the Prime was a bit trickier in those closing laps. A lot of that was due to all the blue flags and traffic I encountered – they meant the tyre temperatures dropped off quite a bit through the stint. It wasn’t easy. Regarding the collision with Pastor, I thought there was room on the inside – a collision is something you never want to see happen. It was just a misjudgment, I guess. Still, we go to Bahrain hoping for more progress, although the circuit configuration doesn’t suit us, so heading to Europe will hopefully work out a little bit better for the team. We need to improve at every race because we’re quite a way back.”

ERIC BOULLIER : “First, it’s a real positive for the entire team that we managed to get two cars to the finish with no issues whatsoever during the race. I think that’s a great reward for Honda, and we should congratulate them – today’s double-finish is the result of an enormous amount of hard work, much of which goes unappreciated, so I want to personally thank everybody working in Woking, Sakura and Milton Keynes for their efforts. It’s great that we’re starting to make solid progress. Second, our race pace showed further improvement: Jenson drove strongly in the middle stint, and Fernando was reasonably quick relative to the others in the final stint. Fighting towards the back of the pack still isn’t where we want to be. We know we’re not in a position to fight for points yet – but, little by little, we’re getting there. And we must keep pushing to ensure there are improvements coming for every race.”

YASUHISA ARAI : “After today’s result, it finally feels like we’ve left this long period of winter testing behind us, and started the season proper. To get both cars to the finish of the race is one more item off our list, and we’ll now continue to push forward race by race to achieve the targets that we’ve set for ourselves. It may appear that we’ve only achieved a minor objective, and we know there’s a lot of work ahead, but the whole team deserves credit and thanks for all of their hard work.”

Bahrain GP : the race

Bahrain GP : qualifications report

JENSON BUTTON : “I guess we hoped we might be just a bit closer than we were today; in practice, we’d looked a bit more competitive, certainly. We’d found a reasonably good balance with the car, in fact, but the lap-time isn’t quite there yet. In addition, the cars in front of us seemed to make a big leap forward this afternoon – whereas we didn’t – so we’ll need to find out why that was. So, overall, we’ve made some improvements this weekend, but qualifying just didn’t go our way. Hopefully, things will be better tomorrow, and we’ll be able to race some of the cars that will start in front of us on the grid."

FERNANDO ALONSO : “We were two tenths away from the mid-pack – and close to getting into Q2 – today. We’re getting there, and this is another step forward, but we’re still under-performing, so we need to keep improving. Our main priority now is to finish tomorrow’s race; that’ll allow us to learn more about the car and uncover any possible problems. Obviously, two DNFs in Malaysia wasn’t an ideal situation for us, so, regardless of the result, we need to make the finish here in China. This has been another positive weekend – everyone in the team is excited about the progress we’re making.”

ERIC BOULLIER : “I’d hesitate to use the word ‘disappointing’ to describe this afternoon’s qualifying performance, but I think we’d all hoped for a little more, particularly after looking like we’d made a respectable improvement in all three of this weekend’s practice sessions. Fernando’s afternoon was obviously affected by the car failure on his out-lap in FP3 this morning, but he responded magnificently, and the parity between our drivers today demonstrated exactly why we hired them: because they can get absolutely everything from the car, and leave nothing out on track. Superbe ! Additionally, both Fernando and Jenson know how important it will be to finish tomorrow’s race. Hopefully, it will give us another opportunity to narrow the gap to the cars in front. In fact, while today’s grid positions of 17th and 18th don’t necessarily reflect it, this weekend does indeed mark another step forward: in Australia we were 2.836s off the best Q1 time; in Malaysia the gap was 2.367s, and here it was 1.774s. That gives everyone in the team reason to feel encouraged.”

YASUHISA ARAI : “In FP3 we had a small ignition system issue on Fernando’s car, so we couldn’t ride the momentum that we’d gathered during yesterday’s positive FP1 and FP2 sessions. It’s an unfortunate result, especially since we’d been closing the gap. I want to say a big thank-you to all the mechanics for their hard work to get Fernando’s car ready for qualifying. And we hope that the race tomorrow will bring us some positive results.”

Bahrain GP : qualifications

Bahrain GP : FP1 & FP2 report

JENSON BUTTON : “I guess it wasn’t a great day, but at least we got a lot of useful data on the car. The slightly frustrating thing, though, is that both cars were set up quite differently today, to get comparative aero info, and we weren’t really able to benefit from that on my car. Hopefully, we won’t have further issues; that way, I can get some decent running tomorrow so as to see what the car is doing. Whatever happens, though, it’s not going to be an easy weekend. We knew that already. And qualifying will undoubtedly be tricky again!”

FERNANDO ALONSO : “Today I had a very smooth day, and I was happy with the car in every condition, so tomorrow we just need to make sure we optimise the performance of the car and try to get a good result. Still, today is only Friday, and we saw in Shanghai that we had a decent performance on the Friday but then not so good on the Saturday – due to the fact other people were running more fuel than us on the Friday. Even so, we can see that we’re getting closer and closer to the mid-pack with every race. Definitely we’re moving in the right direction, we just need to do it that bit quicker! We don’t have any ‘magic bullets’ here, since we’re only four days after the last race, but we have some little tweaks that are putting some performance in the car. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the same for Jenson today, so we’re missing some information, but we’ll try to recover tomorrow.”

ERIC BOULLIER : “Today, to quote that hackneyed footballing proverb, was for McLaren-Honda a game of two halves.“On the one hand, Fernando enjoyed a trouble-free morning followed by an equally unproblematic afternoon, running through his planned programme without mishap. On the other, Jenson was forced to endure a frustrating day, the result of not one but two major interruptions, compromising his ability to complete satisfactorily not only FP1 but also FP2. We apologise to him for that. Even so, we’ve gathered valuable data, which our engineers will study this evening and tonight. It’s too early to say where we are, pace-wise, but Fernando’s best FP2 lap-time was 1.5s off Nico’s [Rosberg] FP2 benchmark. That isn’t where we want to be; having said that, I believe it demonstrates that our progress, although not always linear, is nonetheless directionally positive overall.”

YASUHISA ARAI : “Today, Fernando’s FP1 and FP2 running programmes were completed as planned, and we were more or less able to set the driveability control on the power unit. As for Jenson’s power unit issues, we were limited on running time owing to an electrical shutdown in FP1. We were able to put the car back on the track for FP2, but the control data that monitors the power unit status was unstable and we had to bring the car back to the garage several times, which was unfortunate.We’ll need to utilise tomorrow’s FP3 to set the control data for qualifying.”