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Post by Jermaine2015 on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 9:45 am

Ricciardo's red bull breaks down early doors and Alonso's McLaren suffers an oil problem

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Post by Just John on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 9:48 am

Nothing out of the norm then for McLaren

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Post by dyrewolfe on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 3:29 pm

Please god just let it be something that can easily be fixed.  Fingers Crossed

Don't let any performance improvements be scuppered by lousy reliability. They are supposed to have copied Mercedes' engine design, which was largely bulletproof last season, so I'm not sure how they could have messed up this season.
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Post by Just John on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 5:24 pm

Day 1

1 Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:21.765* (73 laps)
2 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:21.878 (128)
3 Felipe Massa (Brz) Williams 1:22.076*  (103)
4 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas 1:22.894* (51)
5 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull 1:22.926* (50)
6 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:23.169* (79)
7 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India 1:23.709* (39)
8 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Toro Rosso 1:24.494 (51)
9 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 1:24.784 (57)
10 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren 1:24.852* (29

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Post by Just John on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 5:58 pm

Day 2

1 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:20.960*
2 Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:20.983**
3 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:22.200*
4 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas 1:22.204**
5 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Force India 1:22.509**
6 Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Toro Rosso 1:22.956*
7 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:22.986*
8 Jolyon Palmer (GB) Renault 1:24.139*
9 Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Sauber 1:24.671*
10 Stoffel Vandoorne (Bel) McLaren 1:25.600*

The Mercedes looks imperious, although the Ferrari looks a step up from last year, definitely competitive. Not surprised by Honda, still looks an unreliable unit & still down on power. Wonder what the odds of Alonso being in Australia are....

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Post by Fernando on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 7:34 pm

Kimi was on the soft tyres
Hamilton super soft.

So that's interesting apparently the Ferrari has a few things on it that others won't be able to copy so if they've got it right for once i think we're in for a good season.

Tailfin wise teams tried to get them removed but the FIA Council rejected it.

The FIA also gave out instructions over trick suspension systems which Mercedes have utilized over the last few years & something RB has come up with for this year. The following are now banned essentially.

- Any system that changes how the car responds to body accelerations.

- No direct coupling between the ride height function and the braking system or the steering system.

- Right height control via self-levelling.

- Direct coupling between the role and heave parts of the suspension.

- The storing of energy for delayed deployment or any system that would result in non-incidental asymmetry in the response to changes in load applied to the wheels.

Should a team use the system despite being asked to remove or disable it, the matter will be reported to the stewards.

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Post by dyrewolfe on Wed 01 Mar 2017, 11:37 am

That last one sounds awfully like the mass damper system Renault used when Alonso won his titles with them. The other sound like elements of the active suspension system Williams used in the early 90s.

Good news for McLaren fans - Nando seems to be having a trouble-free day so far and his timed laps aren't a million miles off the pace. Not that you can read much into lap times at this stage.

Last set of times from BBC live text:


1. Bottas, Mercedes - 1:20.107 (50 laps) Soft

2. Vettel, Ferrari - 1:21.609 (44) Medium

3. Ericsson, Sauber - 1:22.326 (34) Soft

4. Ricciardo, Red Bull - 1:22.382 (23) Soft

5. Stroll, Williams 1:23.305 (22) Soft

6. Palmer, Renault - 1:23.387 (21) Medium

7. Alonso, McLaren - 1:23.956 (19) Soft

8. Kvyat, Toro Rosso - 1:24.190 (21) Medium

9. Celis Jr, Force India - 1:25.524 (17) Soft

10. Grosjean, Haas - 1:25.898 (11) Medium
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Post by Just John on Wed 01 Mar 2017, 11:53 am

Bottas has just done a 1:19:8. Agree with Ross Brawn, it would be naive to think a regulation change would destabilise such an outfit as Mercedes. They look like they've aced it once again. Ferrari look strongest of the chasing pack

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Post by dyrewolfe on Wed 01 Mar 2017, 12:06 pm

Yeah - its going to take a fundamental re-write of the design and race regulations to really shake things up.

As he said though, that will take a number of years and the changes will have to be incremental, to avoid hitting teams with massive costs in any one season.
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Post by Just John on Wed 01 Mar 2017, 3:30 pm

Andrew Benson‏ @andrewbensonf1
A 1:22.598 from Alonso on ultra-softs. 2.893secs off Bottas's time. 2.6secs off Vettel on softs. Oh dear

Lance Stroll also looks way out of his depth already

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Post by Fernando on Wed 01 Mar 2017, 4:28 pm

Be interesting to know how much fuel the Ferrari had in when Seb set his time only 0.2 off Bottas on Softs compared to Valteri's ultra soft.

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Post by Jermaine2015 on Wed 01 Mar 2017, 4:40 pm

Ferrari needed the column inches back in Maranello after a dreadful 2016. They are probably bluffing with their pace but it's a damn sight better than blaming Sebastian for driving badly as they reason for the crap results

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Post by dyrewolfe on Thu 02 Mar 2017, 3:45 pm

Raikkonen topping the current time lists, but when you look at the rest of the top 4 and see Mercedes only 5th, its just a reminder not to read too much into anything yet.

1 Raikkonen Ferrari 1:22.305 (61 laps)

2 Grosjean Haas 1:22.739 (68)

3 Verstappen Red Bull 1:22.949 (46)

4 Vandoorne McLaren 1:23.918 (43)

5 Bottas Mercedes 1:23.920 (40)

6 Perez Force India 1:24.893 (32)

7 Hulkenberg Renault 1:24.974 (51)

8 Giovinazzi Sauber 1:25.037 (53)

No other drivers have set timed laps.

Still, it must be worrying (for the competition) to see Mercedes and Ferrari setting sub 1:20 times in dry conditions. Have the rest of the teams been sandbagging? I hope so...

Good to see that McLaren have apparently banished the technical gremlins that beset them early on. Their apparent lack of pace is disappointing though. I was really hoping Honda would have figured out how to unleash their engine's full potential without risk of it blowing up. Or are they just keeping their cards close to their chest, as the majority of the teams appear to be doing?

Good news that the drivers seem to be happy with this year's tyres - apart from the extreme wets. Pirelli acknowledging they need to do more development to get the wet compound to "switch on" better at cooler temps.
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Post by Jermaine2015 on Tue 07 Mar 2017, 2:13 pm

Sandbagging are us going in the second test. Williams currently fastest

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Post by Jermaine2015 on Tue 07 Mar 2017, 2:14 pm

McLaren are gonna struggle finishing races with their pathetic power unit

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Post by Just John on Tue 07 Mar 2017, 8:01 pm

Hearing that it's a right mess at Honda. Incompetent. Quite clear it's got severe power issues again & it's even more unrealiable, which is just embarrassing. They even got rid of that French engine expert Gilles Simon this week. I actually believe McLaren will be calling the back-row of the grid their home for the majority of the season, it's looking that bad.


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Post by Fernando on Tue 07 Mar 2017, 8:13 pm


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Post by Jermaine2015 on Tue 07 Mar 2017, 9:30 pm

Just John wrote:Hearing that it's a right mess at Honda. Incompetent. Quite clear it's got severe power issues again & it's even more unrealiable, which is just embarrassing. They even got rid of that French engine expert Gilles Simon this week. I actually believe McLaren will be calling the back-row of the grid their home for the majority of the season, it's looking that bad.

Alonso will quit and leave F1 before mid season. That's where my money is

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Post by Just John on Thu 09 Mar 2017, 11:46 am

1:19:1 for Vettel on softs. Ferrari were bound to get it right at some point, looks like they will be more than a match for Mercedes this year.

As for McLaren, the Honda engine just blew on the straight. At least we've replaced Manor.

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Post by Fernando on Thu 09 Mar 2017, 11:48 am

He did a 1.19.0 on the ultra soft but coasted from the last corner to the line.

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Post by dyrewolfe on Thu 09 Mar 2017, 12:21 pm

Just John wrote:Hearing that it's a right mess at Honda. Incompetent. Quite clear it's got severe power issues again & it's even more unrealiable, which is just embarrassing. They even got rid of that French engine expert Gilles Simon this week. I actually believe McLaren will be calling the back-row of the grid their home for the majority of the season, it's looking that bad.

Yep - pretty depressing at the moment, if you're a McLaren fan. At the moment you wouldn't even put any money on them finishing a race this season, nevermind challenging for podiums.

And even when the engine is working, they're at least a couple of seconds off the pace.


The only upside is that Ferrari, Williams and Red Bull are looking like they could give Mercedes some serious competition at last.
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Post by dyrewolfe on Thu 09 Mar 2017, 12:25 pm

Jermaine2015 wrote:
Just John wrote:Hearing that it's a right mess at Honda. Incompetent. Quite clear it's got severe power issues again & it's even more unrealiable, which is just embarrassing. They even got rid of that French engine expert Gilles Simon this week. I actually believe McLaren will be calling the back-row of the grid their home for the majority of the season, it's looking that bad.

Alonso will quit and leave F1 before mid season. That's where my money is.


I can see him walking away before the start of the season, if he doesn't feel Honda have got the engine sorted...or after 2 or 3 races anyway. Don't think he'd mind buying himself out of his contract, if necessary.

I'm really struggling to understand how Honda seem to be producing progressively worse engines with each season... picard steam
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Post by Jermaine2015 on Thu 09 Mar 2017, 1:29 pm

Sebastian set the fastest time in pre season with a 1.19 flat on the ultra softs. Whilst I'm certain Mercedes are sandbagging, it's looks like Ferrari have made a pretty decent car at this stage

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Post by dyrewolfe on Fri 10 Mar 2017, 10:45 am

Some kind souls have set up a website to help McLaren fans keep track...

https://hasmclarenbrokendown.com/

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Post by GSC on Fri 10 Mar 2017, 11:58 am

This is just embarassing
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Post by Just John on Fri 10 Mar 2017, 12:04 pm

1:18.634 for Raikkonen on super-softs

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Post by Jermaine2015 on Fri 10 Mar 2017, 1:12 pm

Think Ferrari get land a few double podiums early doors in 2017. Hamilton will probably be ahead but Vettel and Kimi should be able to see off Bottas IMO. Renault's engine is holding Red Bull back ATM

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Post by Just John on Fri 10 Mar 2017, 7:26 pm

Combined times by team for all eight days of testing

Position               Time             Gap
1 Ferrari           1’18.634
2 Mercedes        1’19.310            0.676
3 Williams         1’19.420            0.786
4 Red Bull        1’19.438              0.804
5 Toro Rosso     1’19.837            1.203
6 Renault         1’19.885             1.251
7 Force India    1’20.110             1.482
8 Haas             1’20.504            1.870
9 McLaren        1’21.348             2.714
10 Sauber        1’21.670             3.036

Good indicator of a pecking order, going into Australia. Can clearly see that the Mercedes is sandbagging, no chance it's that close to it's customer. They had the most mileage too, indicating heavier loads. Still think we're going to see a return of the 'finger' this year, that's for sure. RB are still a total unknown for me, definitely held back by that renault engine. You can probably swap McLaren & Sauber, seeing as McLaren won't even be able to  finish a race at this rate.

Total testing mileage by team:

1. Mercedes 3170
2. Ferrari 2765
3. Williams 2314
4. Sauber 2279
5. Force India 2270
6. Haas 2068
7. Red Bull 1978
8. Renault 1727
9. Toro Rosso 1690
10. McLaren 1229


Total testing mileage by engine:

1. Mercedes 7755
2. Ferrari 7113
3. Renault 5395
4. Honda 1229 Laugh

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Post by dyrewolfe on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 4:14 pm

Looks like both McLaren and Honda are already considering their options for next season.

McLaren Crisis: Team Could Face Choice Between Alonso and Honda


And with his contract expiring at the end of the season, the 35-year-old could easily have sealed a move away from McLaren by the summer.

"My future is not my priority right now," Alonso said when questioned about his expiring contract during testing.

"I live in the present and try to enjoy myself as much as I can right now.

"I am driving at my best and I'm enjoying attacking the corners quite fast.

"I feel I'm the best driver out there."

However, he failed to hide his displeasure at the performance of the car and specifically the Honda element.

"We just need an engine that can run as quick as the others on the straight," Alonso added.

"We have only one problem which is the power unit.

"There is no reliability and there is no power."


McLaren - Honda Partnership on the Line


McLaren’s long-term partnership with Honda is under threat as the Woking team could sever their relationship at the end of this season using a break clause.

Engine changes, closing in on double figures, coupled with more breakdowns than any other team meant McLaren covered the least number of laps in this year's pre-season testing.

The Woking team managed just 425 laps, down on their 710 from 2016, and less than half of what Mercedes, at 1096 laps, achieved this year.

Reliability, though, is not the only concern.

The Honda engine is also lacking in power with only Sauber, who are running a 2016 engine, slower in testing.

"I don't think we are too far back with the chassis, we have only one problem which is the power unit," was Alonso's assessment. "There is no reliability and there is no power. We are 30kph down on the straight."

McLaren's pre-season form had led to speculation that they could severe ties with Honda with the DailyMail reporting that it could happen at the end of this season.

"McLaren have a long-term partnership with Honda, until 2024, but it is understood there are break clauses on both sides," reads the report. "If McLaren wish to cut free, they could do so at the end of the year.

"Similarly, if Honda feels their problems are causing more loss of face than they can endure, they too could sever ties. That doomsday scenario is one both partners want to avoid, with each publicly committing themselves to one another."



In other news, Renault have been told to change the design of their rear wing support, as it could be deemed illegal, following protests from other teams.

http://www.express.co.uk/sport/f1-autosport/773692/Renault-change-illegal-rear-wing-FIA-F1-authorities-rival-teams-protest

The article doesn't say WHY this is...presumably it could provide some sort of handling or downforce advantage...
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Post by Fernando on Thu 16 Mar 2017, 1:26 pm

Mclaren have enquired to Mercedes about getting the engines that Manor would of used for this year.

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Post by Just John on Thu 16 Mar 2017, 2:21 pm

Desperational move, which is never going to happen. Honda deal is worth £100m & they pay a % of the driver salaries too.

You can't just throw a different engine into a chassis, it would need to be completely re-designed & reconfigured.

Also, Boullier's statement of 'we would win with a Mercedes PU' is hardly going to make Mercedes works team enter into supplying them, irrespective of how true Boullier's words are.

It's gone beyond embarrassing

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Post by dyrewolfe on Thu 16 Mar 2017, 4:11 pm

I dunno - Brawn managed to re-configure the back end of their cars at short notice, to take Merc engines when they had originally been designed for Honda power units.

Having said that - I'm pretty sure McLaren would not be allowed to do this mid-season, given the design and engine usage regs. At best they would only be able to start using different engines next season.
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Post by Just John on Thu 16 Mar 2017, 6:31 pm

Only way something drastic can happen, is if it becomes a farce. If McLaren can't finish races or are considerably slower than Manor achieved, then I would expect the FIA to intervene.

If there was a separation in the relationship between Honda & McLaren, you can pretty much guarantee that no manufacturer will ever enter F1 again under the current rules/technical complexities of these engines. Honda's reputation has been destroyed.

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Post by dyrewolfe on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 3:37 pm

What I don't understand is why McLaren haven't made any efforts to bring in some hybrid system expertise. They already make their own engines for their road cars (such as the MP4 12C). All they are lacking is experience of hybrid battery and energy recovery systems.

Given the considerable resources of their Bahraini and Saudi backers, I would have thought it would wouldn't be that much of a stretch to bring in some new engine-building expertise and even set up a separate F1 engine shop.
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