I like the bright cars, but I think it'd look better if the main pink was the pink they used for the accents. That BWT logo also looks bad.
Hey, guys. I have a question. In the old videos of F1 in the late 80's and early 90's, the drivers have what appear to be tv or computer monitors mounted to the car. Have any of you ever seen one these in the wild? What is on these monitors? What are they called? how would one see one or potentially get one? Are they just rudimentary tv's or are they wired to the cars' telemetry in some way? I've included a picture for reference.
It'll be the official timings. They land flatscreens in front of drivers when they're in the pit. They could probably feed telemetry to them now but maybe not in the 80s.
It's either that or Ayrton coding Super Monaco GP 2 on the fly. There was basically nothing he couldn't do.
This may be entirely coincidental, but interesting nonetheless. McLaren have apparently approached Mercedes about maybe picking up the spare engines left available by Manor. At the same time, Mika Häkkinen has moved from his brand ambassador role at Mercedes for a similar position at McLaren. Could the stars be aligning for a mid-season switch of engine suppliers for McLaren?
I wouldn't be shocked if they switched to Mercedes mid-season. McLaren can't afford another season at the back of the field. Some people are calling for them to be honorable and stick it out with Honda for the season but I think from a business perspective that's insane. They have way too much to lose right now to risk next year maybe being competitive. They still don't have a new title sponsor and battling with a team using year old Ferrari engines isn't going to look good on them at all when it comes to new sponsors.
James Allen had a good summary of their situation and options on his blog, and basically McLaren has three options, the first being sticking with Honda but flying in a bunch of outside people to make sure the engine actually improves, basically writing off the entire season this year and probably losing Alonso along with making it much more difficult to find sponsors and losing out on FOM money because they'll place so low. The next option is ditching Honda at the end of the season, which will improve their prospects for next year with sponsorship, but lose them the Honda money, still probably ruin this year, and still probably lose Alonso. Lastly, they can switch to Mercedes mid-season (he figures Spain at the earliest for races), which would require them to rework the entire back half and cooling system of the car, and would take a couple months minimum, but once done would allow them to score consistent points as long as their chassis is up to par, which, while losing them all the Honda sponsorship money and free engines, would definitely improve their chances of getting new sponsors and increase their winnings from the championship, and probably let them keep Alonso since he'll have a competitive car.
I'm most curious about the Alonso thing. I wonder how many races of engine failures or bottom 5 places it will take for him to exercise the car performance-related escape clause in his contract. Maybe Jenson Button will have to race again after all.
I'm still kinda surprised he didn't put his name forward for Mercedes or Williams. He gives the impression of someone who really wants one last big run. Maybe he's got some good relationships at McLaren which kept him there.
From the sounds of things, with his current contract, he's locked in quite tightly. Also, he's getting paid an insane amount and I don't think Williams could come close right now to paying anything big.
This article on Motorsport by Renault reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin is super duper interesting. He watched testing from the stands or from the Renault garage so he got to see quite a bit of the new cars running on track. He does acknowledge that it's testing and all that, but he seems to think the Ferrari is perhaps as good or maybe even faster than Mercedes in the corners. The Ferrari's apparently much more stable through corners than any other car, including the Mercedes, which is a pretty big deal when the cars will be going full tilt for much more of each lap now.
Also, kinda sad is that he mentions that the McLaren is among the slowest overall, but notably quicker in the corners than the slower cars, and even the lower end of the mid-field. That kinda confirms the suspicions that their chassis this year is quite good, but that their engine is the deal breaker. I really am starting to think they'll be on Mercedes engines by the mid-point of the season unless Honda can completely turn things around in the next month or so. Supposedly, the new Honda unit is weaker than the Honda unit used for the last race last year by about 45-50hp, which itself had a big power deficit to Mercedes, which means the new Honda power unit is likely down in range of over a hundred horsepower on LAST YEAR'S Mercedes unit. Oof.
If Alonso does decide to take some time off because of the Honda situation, I have no idea who McLaren would replace him with. Vandoorne would benefit greatly from an experienced co-driver, even though he's been driving cars for the team for 4 years now. I don't see Jenson coming out of retirement, so the most experienced drivers available would probably be Gutierrez and Maldonado. I don't think there's anyone quite ready in their young driver program, even if they did want to take a bit of a risk with someone new.
The Manor assets, including their 2017 wind tunnel model, are going into auction.
I'm the guy who made the 2016 F1 spotter guide that was emailed to the podcast last year, and I just posted (on reddit) the one I made this year for the 2017 season. Here's a link to it on imgur, otherwise here's the reddit /r/formula1 post as well for anyone interested.
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