2 FEBRUARY 8 2012 motorsport-news.co.uk
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“I believe in Ferrari’s capability. We can win”
P4 Fernando Alonso has high hopes for his new F2012
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Britons Allan McNish and Oliver Jarvis lead charge
MINI WRC EFFORT SUFFERS FACTORY BLOW
BMW pull-out puts Prodrive squad under threat
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Catch up on the progress of the 1000mph machine
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National Rally Calendar 2012 24 Preview:BTRDA Rally Series 26 Report:ITRC Galway Rally 28 Rally reports 29 Sporting Scene round up 30 Karting round up 32 Letters/Comment/What’s On 34 SUBSCRIBETOMOTORSPORTNEWS 36 Wanted:Ferrari to find the bit that it’s lost from its front wing.We thought Italians were supposed to be stylish?!...
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McLaren knows it will have to beat close rivals in 2012
ByRob Ladbrook McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh believes that his team will have to fight harder than ever to win this year’s Formula One world title after rating the field as the most competitive in history.
Speaking at the launch of the Woking team’s newMP4-27 last week, Whitmarsh said that he expected the gap between the front teams to narrow and that the midfield teams would also be closer in outright pace.
The return of Kimi Räikkönen with Lotus also adds a sixth champion to the field, alongside Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and defending champion Sebastian Vettel.
Red Bull and its lead driver Vettel ran away with both the drivers’ and constructors titles last season but this year Whitmarsh said that he doesn’t expect a repeat performance.
“This year will be one of the closest seasons in history,” he said. “We’ve never had six world champions on the same grid before and I don’t think we’ve ever had a grid as competitive as the one wewill have this year.
“Every team has its strengths in different
UNDER THE SKIN OF THE
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Hamilton and Button ar e t wo of six champions on the gr id areas and there’s five potential race winners in ourselves, Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus. It will be open. Nobody will be able to run away with the championship.”
The new regulations Part of the reason for the grid closing up is the FIA’s banning of the rear exhaust-blown diffuser system that the frontrunning teams relied heavily upon last year.
The device wasmastered by both McLaren and Red Bull, but left teams like Ferrari and Renault trailing. The emphasis on the development of the system also meant that the lesser funded teams couldn’t afford to integrate the system, which left their cars at a substantial performance deficit.
The FIA initially banned the diffusers for the British GPback in July, the only race Ferrari won last season. McLaren’s technical director Paddy Lowe said the removal of the system will benefit the racing. “At Silverstone last year we saw a different ranking among the teams that surfaced after the loss of the blown