• Alonso to miss Bahrain GP

    McLaren’s Fernando Alonso has been barred from racing in the Bahrain Grand Prix after suffering “rib fractures” and a partially collapsed lung in his 180mph crash in Australia.

    Fernando AlonsoMedics made the call after conducting scans on the two-time world champion.

    He will be replaced by McLaren reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne, who will be making his F1 debut in Bahrain.

    A “disappointed” Alonso says there was “a risk the fracture could affect the lung” and he “respects the decision”.

    In Thursday’s news conference in Bahrain, the 34-year-old revealed he suffered a pneumothorax – a partially collapsed lung – as a result of the accident in Melbourne but this had now healed.

    He said it was “not 100%” that he will be able to race in China in two weeks and he will be tested again in the next eight to 10 days after which governing body the FIA will evaluate his condition.

  • Alonso has 4 engines left in 2016

    It’s a tough way to start your Bahrain Grand Prix weekend but McLaren’s Fernando Alonso will have a new engine already after the ICE used in the Australia was too damaged following a massive crash.

    “We have recovered the power unit from Fernando’s car used in Melbourne,” said Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda’s F1 boss.

    “After initial investigations, we are massively disappointed that the ICE and most of the surrounding parts have been heavily damaged, as the impact from the accident was just too great. We will be replacing the complete power unit in Bahrain.”

    With precious few engines for the entirety of the season, Fernando is already on the back foot this year. You have to hand it to his positive face in the press though:

    “Firstly, I’m very pleased to be heading to Bahrain after the crash in Australia. I’ve spent some time resting and I can’t wait to get back in the car,” he said.

    “Although on paper Melbourne wasn’t a great race for us, before the crash I’d been having some good battles and the car felt pretty promising, so I hope in Bahrain we can experience more of the same.

    “We’re still pushing to bring upgrades to each race, so providing we can get everything to the car in time we’ll be aiming to get as much track time as possible with the new chassis from the start of free practice.”

    He’s right though, he was running relatively well compared to last year’s performance and might possibly have scored points if not for the crash with Haas F1 driver Esteban Gutierrez. Regardless, more challenges for McLaren Honda and only the second race into a 21-race season. As Sky points out, having 4 left is an issue considering they used 23 engines between drivers last season.

     

  • No further action over Alonso-Gutierrez Australian GP crash

    @Suttonimages

    The FIA have confirmed that there will be no further action following the dramatic crash between Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez.

    Alonso clipped the left rear of Gutierrez’s Haas as the pair approached Turn 3 on lap 18 of the Australian Grand Prix, pitching his McLaren into the wall and then into an airborne barrel roll across the gravel trap.

    The Spaniard was able to clamber out, with Gutierrez immediately running over to check if the double world champion was okay.

    After the incident, Alonso placed no blame on the Mexican driver and later on the FIA stewards also concurred with that assessment, declaring – after examining video evidence and speaking to both men – that ‘no driver was wholly or predominantly to blame’.

  • McLaren launch car for 2016

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    McLaren's new F1 car for the 2016 seasonMcLaren have launched the car that they hope will be able to get them back up towards the front of the grid after years of disappointment.

    In 2015 they reunited with Honda in an attempt to match their previous era together in the 1980s with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

    However the complicated power unit struggled with reliability and power.

    It meant that team endured their worst ever season in more than 50 years.

    The team will be hoping that their 2016 creation will be able to get them back towards the sharp end of the grid.

    Their driver lineup will remain unchanged for the first time since 2012, with Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.

    Button will take the MP4-31 out on its first drive in testing tomorrow.

    Over the past three seasons, the team have managed just two podiums, as many as Force India, compared to the 72 that Mercedes have achieved, 38 from Red Bull, 29 from Ferrari, 16 from Lotus and 13 from Williams

  • Capito new McLaren boss

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    McLaren have recruited former Volkswagen motorsport boss Jost Capito as the new overall head of their Formula 1 programme.

    The German, 57, will be appointed chief executive officer of McLaren Racing, reporting directly to chairman Ron Dennis.

    Capito will join at an unspecified date to be agreed between McLaren and VW.

    Jonathan Neale, who had been fulfilling that role following the sacking of Martin Whitmarsh in early 2014, has been moved out of the racing department.

    Neale will be chief operating officer of the McLaren Technology Group.

    McLaren are aiming to improve their form in 2016 after a dismal first season of their renewed relationship with engine partner Honda last year, in which they finished ninth of 10 teams in the championship.

    Despite having arguably the best driver line-up in F1 with former champions Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, their best result was a fifth place in the Hungarian Grand Prix by Alonso.

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