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F1: 2014 McLaren 'A Laboratory' For New Honda Car - Boullier Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | Aug, 11 2014 | 0 Comments

McLaren's current car is a "rolling laboratory" for the start of the works Honda era beginning in 2015.

That is the news of team boss Eric Boullier, who arrived at Woking this year and is overseeing the British grandee's struggle to even stay in the top five constructors in 2014.

This season is the last in McLaren's long and successful partnership with Mercedes, even though the relationship is no more than a mere customer pairing in 2014.

McLaren lies behind its usual top-team protagonists at the mid-season point, but also behind Mercedes' other customers Williams and Force India.

Still, Frenchman Boullier said the team is not giving up on developing the MP4-29.

"We see this year's car as a rolling laboratory for the coming season," he is quoted by Speed Week.

"What we do this year has great relevance, because according to the rules the mounting points of the engine and transmission are the same next year, even if you change engine partner.

"So most of our improvements this year will have a direct impact on the design of the next McLaren," Boullier explained.

(GMM)

 

Schumacher medical records suspect commits suicide

The Michael Schumacher camp is "stunned and shocked" as the story of the F1 legend's skiing crash and recovery took a tragic twist this week.

It emerges that a man detained in Switzerland for stealing the former Ferrari and Mercedes driver's medical records in June has hung himself in jail.

"We are stunned a shocked," Schumacher's manager and spokeswoman Sabine Kehm told the German newspaper Bild.

The newspaper said the Schumacher camp did not even know that a suspect in the case, who police confirmed was arrested on Tuesday, had even been detained.

The Zurich prosecutors' office said the man who apparently committed suicide was an executive of the Swiss helicopter rescue company, Rega, who had organised Schumacher's transfer from intensive care in Grenoble to a rehabilitation clinic in Lausanne in June.

It is expected that the investigation into the attempted sale of the medical records to members of the press will now be closed.

The man reportedly denied any wrongdoing during interrogations on Tuesday but was detained in a Zurich police holding cell, where he hung himself on Wednesday before a scheduled court hearing.

(GMM)

 

Ferrari could learn from Williams experience - Massa

Ferrari could learn from Williams' recovery from the doldrums of the British team's past few seasons.

That is the claim of Felipe Massa, Williams' new driver who moved to Grove for 2014 after a long Ferrari career.

Undoubtedly aided by the dominant Mercedes engine, Williams has been arguably the surprise team of 2014, having finished a woeful ninth in the 2013 constructors' table to now trail only the top three teams and proving a regular front row and podium challenger.

Initially, Williams seemed merely to be benefitting from superior horsepower in 2014, but now the FW36 is proving competitive even at twisty circuits like Hungary.

"Now we are competitive in the other areas too," confirmed Brazilian Massa in an interview with the latest edition of Italy's Autosprint magazine.

"It took a while but we did it. And there is still so much to improve," he added.

Personally, however, 33-year-old Massa is enduring a rough patch alongside the on-form Valtteri Bottas but he argues that his struggle is simply for a turn of luck.

"The important thing is that we have a competitive car," Massa insisted, "and that I am competitive myself. That's what I care about."

So when asked if he would have any advice to offer Ferrari if he was ever called back to race for his struggling former employer, Massa answered in the affirmative.

"Yes, but I won't say," he insisted. "I don't know if it will happen, but if one day I had to change teams again, I would take all of the experience that I have from Williams."

Indeed, with Ferrari notably struggling in 2014, Italy's influential La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that new boss Marco Mattiacci has headed into the summer break having identified the four major areas Maranello must focus on.

They are the V6 power unit, speeding up development response times, coordination between the engine and chassis, and better balancing reliability versus performance.

(GMM)

 

Alonso denies rumours over F1 future

Fernando Alonso has taken time out of his summer vacation to deny speculation about his future.

Currently on a cycling tour in the Italian Dolomites, the Spaniard has obviously read rumours about his potential switch to McLaren, or perhaps his demands for $50 million a year to sign a new Ferrari contract.

Without referring specifically to either of the rumours, Alonso told his more than 2 million Twitter followers: "A thing that's not true, even if is copied a thousand times, will remain false.

"Always helpful to remember this," the 33-year-old added.

Another rumour floating about during the August break and F1 team factory shutdown period is that Honda, McLaren's returning works engine supplier for 2015, may be eyeing a Japanese driver for the foray.

26-year-old Naoki Yamamoto, currently carrying the number 1 for the Honda-linked Mugen team in Japan's premier open wheel Super Formula series, told Japanese TV it is "not impossible" he will play a role.

(GMM)

 
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