Daily News and Comment: Wednesday 16th September 2015

Magnussen contract with McLaren expires

Kevin Magnussen announced yesterday on twitter he had broken his hand falling off a bike. “Broke my hand after falling off my bicycle. Better stick to four wheels.”

Meanwhile, Germany’s AMuS is reporting McLaren have allowed the option on Kevin Magnussen’s contract for 2016 to lapse. The date for the extension is allegedly 31st August.

There has since been a spate of rumours connecting the Dane with the newly formed Haas F1 team.

Despite having partnered Jenson Button at the woking F1 based team in 2014, it appears the stellar performances of Stoffel Vandoorne in GP2 this year have pushed him ahead of Magnussen in the McLaren pecking order.

Eric Boullier has previously refuted that McLaren have let Magnussen go. stated, “We at McLaren never provide details of our drivers’ contracts, but we can confirm that recent media reports to the effect that we have allowed our current contractual option on Kevin Magnussen to lapse are inaccurate.

“Fernando is a yes (for 2016),” adds Boullier. “And we do intend to keep Jenson. It’s a luxury problem to have four good drivers. Kevin and Stoffel are very good drivers, we expect both of them to race formula one but if we can’t fit or accommodate them at home we will do our best to make sure they can race next year.”

There has been speculation that McLaren have offered Jenson Button a much reduced remuneration for 2016 and respected F1 journalist Michael Schmidt claims a source says, “It is up to Jenson.”

Fernando Alonso is clear in what he believes McLaren should do. “McLaren will make the decision they think is best for the team and hopefully they will do it before Christmas time. 

I think Jenson has been quite good all season and we have been working together very closely to help the team. The experience Jenson comes with has been very important for the upgrades that we have brought to the car, so if Jenson stays I think it will be a good thing for the team. 

If they decide they need to change something, there will be some advantages and disadvantages. The only thing I know for sure is working with Jenson has been very productive for the team and myself also learning a lot of things.”

Having expressed the view that Ferrari should retain Felipe Massa the year he was ‘let go’, some may think Fernando has developed a loyalty streak for his team mates.

Singapore track is haunted

Back in 2008, both Mark Webber and  Sebastian Bourdais experienced strange electrical “gremlins” at the exact same place on the Singapore Circuit. Bourdais crashed during Free Practice and Webber’s problem was deemed to have ended his race.

At the time Christian Horner blamed an Underground tram that runs in close proximity to that location on the race track.

Tim Goss, McLaren Technical director, described this as “a quirky little technical problem” that effects most if not all of the cars in Singapore. “The actuators that control the throttle position and the clutch start moving and are no longer under the control of the driver.”

Since this “quirky technical problem” has been known to the FIA since 2008, one wonders why the FIA has not investigated it. If the disturbance is strong enough to effect the throttle and clutch systems, it presumably could also effect the brake by wire system.

A driver losing control of the brakes, clutch, and throttle, even for a second, is surely not a good thing and the GPDA must be asking questions?



12 responses to “Daily News and Comment: Wednesday 16th September 2015

  1. Boullier: We’re going to have another crap year so it doesn’t matter who drives for us.

    Fred: Jenson knows what he’s talking about but I know I can beat him, so he can stay – it’s going to be another crap year anyway.

  2. Anybody know what’s happened to the podcast? Last one was end of July! I’ve looked around but not seen anything.

    • ‘Tis better to have podcasted and lost than never to have podcasted at all. – Alfred Lord Tennyson feat. @WTF_F1

  3. Regarding the coming FiA v Harstein war, a reply-comment the Doc posted below. Not entirely sure this qualifies as “always logical and reasoned in such matters”, but it sure is going to deepen certain motivations… especially when family is pulled in. Perhaps that’s the design? Probably not. He doth not help himself, methinks.

    Dr Gary Hartstein
    SEPTEMBER 14, 2015

    “I’d almost bet that Ms. Yeoh, who is a lovely woman and superb actress, does not even have a drivers license. That said, much as the current F1 Medical Delegate’s qualifications for his job were summarised as follows: “he’s a great fan of F1”, it is likely that Ms. Yeoh’s resumé can be stated as: “she has ridden in cars all her life”. Need one look farther for egregious examples of nepotism?

    A quick look at the concrete accomplishments of the FIA road safety campaign (do not confuse this with those of the FIA INSTITUTE, almost a separate body, whose success and independence actually were the reason Todt was forced to create a separate FIA “program”) will reveal a remarkably poor cost:benefit ratio. Oh yeah – there’s no way the costs (including, no doubt, first class travel for Mr. Todt and Madame Ambassador all over the world) can be found, as they are of course not revealed anywhere.

    I have heard that the various REAL road safety NGOs are still screaming for Todt’s head, so much so that Ban Ki Moon may be forced to act.

    I’d like to be a famous rock drummer. But it’s not because I WANT to be that I have the qualifications to actually BE one. Same with this, just insert “F1 Medical Delegate” or “UN Special Envoy for Road Safety” in place of “famous rock drummer”.”

    Brilliant, delicious, spiteful… all things that’ll keep us entertained in the off season.

    I figured I’d post this, verbatim, seeing as it’s already published in the public domain. Might as well enjoy it, seeing as Gary’s intent on utilising the public angle. We’ll have some context when the FiA respond with fervour, as opposed to thinking, “Gee, where’d that come from”.

    Peace & Love,


    • @wtf-f1. I have followed the good Dr for a while and have had alot of support for his ramblings. I can fully understand why he has felt the need to go public with this spat. He gave some really good explanations when Michael had his accident and again with Jules but for some reason the FIA just doesn’t like it when a spade is called a spade not a shovel. However….and here is the big problem,and pls correct me if I am wrong, his current location may lead him to some trouble with the courts over anything that is wrote.

      • Given that there has actually been nothing issued to the Doc yet – that I’m aware of – it’s difficult to say if his current location will be an issue… either legally or practically. However, I suspect any issues he may suffer will be of a practical nature only with no direct legal issues born of simply being based where he is. Again, it will depend on what’s brought against him, and where.

        In terms of going public, well there’s public and there’s public. I applaud his moxie. But as has been said in the most recent article on this site about Mr Ghosn and Red Bull, it seems e Doc is also “spoiling for a fight” with Jean in particular. To each their own… It’s all quite academic and abstract for me and I find it fascinating, in particular the behaviours involved.

        I agree regarding Michael and Jules; I find his medical insights worthwhile and helpful.


        • Fully agree. The pot has been boiling for a while. It will be a real loss to the fans. If he is driven to silence as his insight into the workings of the medical side of our sport have been well explained. It can be a real tightrope when explaining or even commenting on personal medical details but I do believe he has always acted in a very professional manner.

  4. Another young driver cannibalize by Mclaren all because,as Donald Trump would say a HUGE mistake,by loosing this generation most talented and engaging driver in Lewis Da Lion.Its the 3 yr since Lewis left ,and its 3rd consecutive year of change in driver line up at Mclaren.
    That volatility in their driver line up reflects the void left by loosing the leadership of a driver of Lewis caliber,and his ability to lead the development of a car.

    • And they had to resort to re hiring the only driver that almost matched the rookie Hamilton, at least they know what they are trying to replace

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