From GrandPrix 247 The big question after Malaysia is: has Ferrari really caught Mercedes? After Sebastian Vettel’s breakthrough win in red on Sunday, Mercedes management admitted to being surprised their dominance of Melbourne has been so quickly reined in, and team boss Toto Wolff described it as a “wake-up call”. “I don’t think it was a wake-up call,” championship leader Lewis Hamilton insists. “But I think everyone can always do with, not a kick, more like a pinch.” Some think Malaysia was just a one-off. Huge track temperatures were…

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From GrandPrix 247 Renault’s relationship with works team Red Bull continues to crumble, as Cyril Abiteboul, chief of the French carmaker’s F1 engine programme, accused Red Bull technical boss Adrian Newey of lying. He admits that Renault is struggling at the start of 2015, insisting: “I am not looking for excuses”. But he said it is wrong of Newey to say the only problem with his 2015 package is the ‘power unit’ supplied by Renault. “In addition to our problems,” Abiteboul told France’s Auto Hebdo magazine, “Red Bull has…

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From GrandPrix 247 McLaren’s Fernando Alonso has been cleared to travel to Malaysia for the second race of the Formula 1 season after passing medical tests in England, Spanish media reported on Sunday. Marca and AS sports newspapers, quoting sources close to the driver, said the double world champion had short and long-term memory and reflex checks in Cambridge. There was no immediate comment from McLaren. The driver, who suffered concussion after crashing in testing in Barcelona last month, missed the March 15 Australian season-opener and must still pass FIA…

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If you’re American, you likely recognize the title of this post as a quote from Donald Rumsfeld that was made in regards to the Iraq war. It was ludicrous at the time, it has been mocked ever since, and I still laugh when I read it. Surprisingly, it also accurately describes the exact situation we find ourselves in regarding Fernando Alonso’s pre-season crash which has sidelined him for the season opening Grand Prix in Melbourne. There are some weird and very bizarre stories and sound bites going around…

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From ESPNF1 Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai says Honda feels ready to go racing in Melbourne despite its troublesome start to life as McLaren’s engine supplier. McLaren completed just 380 laps over the winter, with numerous issues hampering the team over the 12 days in Jerez and Barcelona. Honda’s engine was homologated on February 28 and the onus is now on the Japanese manufacturer to get the power unit running reliably in time for the Australian Grand Prix on March 15. In Barcelona, Arai told the media he…

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  From GrandPrix 247 Fernando Alonso will sit out next weekend’s season opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. McLaren announced the news on Tuesday, despite insisting the Spaniard has been checked by doctors in the wake of his Barcelona testing crash and four days in hospital. The doctors found Alonso “asymptomatic of any medical issue,” McLaren said in a media statement, “they see no evidence whatsoever of any injury; and that they therefore describe him as entirely healthy from neurological and cardiac perspectives alike”. But, as swirling controversy…

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From PlanetF1 Declaring McLaren to be “50 percent behind” schedule, Eric Boullier admits development is taking preference over performance at this stage. Friday’s running at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya proved to be McLaren-Honda’s most successful day to date with the new package. Fernando Alonso managed 59 laps with a best time of 1:25.961, which put him 1.387s off the pace set by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. Reliability, though, continues to hamper the team as Alonso’s 59 laps meant he completed the fewest of the ten drivers out on…

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From GrandPrix 247 McLaren have a mountain to climb with Honda in Formula One this season, with plenty of challenges along the way but they will get there in the end, group head Ron Dennis said on Tuesday. “You don’t expect to be at the top of the mountain the day you start climbing. It takes time and you also have to prepare well,” the Briton told a news conference at Honda’s global headquarters in Tokyo. “We are very much preparing for the climb, and it’s going to be…

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  2015 has arrived and I feel refreshed, if only just a little. I was non-stop in the second half of the F1 season and in overdrive the last few weeks before the finale in Abu Dhabi and I have to say it really took its toll. I have been MIA for a bit but that is over, I am officially B (back) IA. Before I commence my 2015 year of blogging my opinions, the ones you will like and also the ones that you will not, I…

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The post F1 season is still filled with plenty of news to comment on. There is still upheaval at Ferrari with the appointment of the new team principal Maurizio Arrivabene and the mass firings still in full swing. McLaren finally announced Jenson Button to drive alongside Fernando Alonso, ending weeks or rather months of speculation and conjecture. Bernie Eccelstone has re-cemented his presence as F1 supremo, there was even a story about Red Bull trophies that went out the front door of their factory, probably courtesy of someone…

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