First points in Monaco – Alonso
Fernando Alonso says he expects McLaren to score the team’s first points this weekend. McLaren have had a difficult start to the 2015 season not scoring any points.
Alonso previously said that they would score points at his home race last time out. However he retired from the race with a break problem after a tear-off visor strip got stuck in the breaks and his team-mate Jenson Button described the handling of his car as ‘scary’.
Alonso told Sky Sports “I think we will get points in Monaco. Our simulations (in Barcelona) until the retirement put us in ninth place, so (that) was already the first opportunity to get the points. In Monaco it will be the second.”
Button said that he hopes that the balance issues he had in Spain can be resolved and that in “Monaco should see an improvement.”
McLaren have not managed to win a race since 2012 and are enduring their worst start to a season as the new partnership with Honda.
Manor has said the most difficult race this season will be this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix after they scored there first points there last season with Jules Bianchi.
Bianchi who was involved in a serious crash in pouring rain during the Japanese Grand Prix last October is recovering at home in Nice nearby. Manor team principal John Booth said “It’s going to be difficult. It’s going to be tough for everybody. He’ll be in the next town.”
He said that the message ‘JB17’ his initials and number will be carried on the car for the whole season. Bianchi points aided the team to return from bankruptcy with them securing ninth place and £32.1 million in funding from FOM.
Without that, the team would never have come out of administration at the 11th hour after making their employees redundant and missing the final three races of last season.
Hybrid engine row
Mercedes have rejected claims by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone that the current turbo hybrid engines have no relevance to road cars.
Ecclestone has been opposed to V6 engines since they were introduced last season because engines because they are quieter and more expensive than the previous V8s. He told F1 Racing magazine that the engines “have nothing to do with cars; they will never be used in cars”.
They were introduced so that formula One cars have more reliance to road cars which have been he down the road of hybrid turbo engines. Currently they are more thermal efficient than road-going diesel engine.
All the engine manufacturers in F1 – Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda want to continue with the turbo hybrid engines for this reason.
Massa backs refuelling
Williams driver Felipe Massa has backed the proposal of the return of refuelling in 2017. The Brazilian believes that it will lead to more exciting “sprint” racing.
The plan emerged last week after a meeting of the Strategy Group agreed plans aimed at making cars faster and races more dramatic. The proposal for the return of mid-race refuelling came as a surprise after being removed in 2009 on cost and safety grounds.
Massa arguably lost the 2008 championship after finishing out the points in Singapore after drove off with the fuel hose still attached to his Ferrari while leading the race.
He said “I think it’s a good thing and [will] change completely the race. The problem now is that we will race with very heavy cars with the full tank and the lap times, if you compare qualifying and the race, it’s a big difference.”
Bottas speculation not distraction
The manager of Valtteri Bottas says speculation over the future of the Fin is not a distraction for the Finn. Bottas has continued to impress this season and there has been rumours that have been denied of a ‘pre-contract’ with Ferrari.
His manger Didier Coton however says there substance to the recent stories linking the Finn to Ferrari and it does no harm to have the Finn recognised as the man in demand.
“For a driver like Valtteri it’s a nice return on the sacrifice and commitment that he’s put into the sport and into his driving,” Coton told Motorsport.com. The rumour of Ferrari is nothing more than a rumour.
Adding “Personally I consider that Williams is a top team. Valtteri is with Williams and he’s concentrating on that. We saw again in Spain that he did a great race, and we will continue to speak with them, and see after.”