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?