McLaren looks to the past to improve fortunes

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James Key from Toro Rosso arrival is unlikely to be anytime soon, McLaren has now signed Pat Fry to the role of engineering director.

The Briton worked for McLaren between 1993 and 2010, before making the switch to Maranello. At Ferrari he worked his way up to director of engineering before his departure in 2014. He also briefly worked as an engineering consultant with Manor before that team folded in 2016.

Pat Fry started working for its former employer last week, while it is still not decided when James Key will be released from Toro Rosso.

IndyCar team Harding, which has been rumoured as a potential destination for Fernando Alonso if he joins the series, today announced a new partnership with Steinbrenner Racing.

The absence of any information on what engines the team will use next year hint at the behind-the-scenes moves related to Alonso’s efforts to enter the series in collaboration with McLaren and Andretti, who he raced for in the 2017 Indianapolis 500.

Sergio Perez made something of a splash in Singapore, but not in a good way.

For such an experienced and accomplished driver, it seemed a bizarrely hot-headed and immature performance, but a stubborn refusal to surrender space in battle has always been a trait and it’s one that can still be uncovered in him in the heat of a moment. All the drivers have traits and peculiarities underlying their performances, revealed in moments of extremes – and this is one of his.

Under Lawrence Stroll (new owner), the finances have already been freed up and the team is set to expand. Obviously, any driver that can deliver performances of Perez’s calibre and also provide useful sponsorship is super-valuable – but it is probably no longer absolutely crucial to the team’s survival.

So the power dynamics have changed subtly. In the heat of battle with a rival from another team, all he has to answer to are the race stewards (and a five-second penalty for the Sirotkin incident has to be considered lenient). But when it comes to fighting your team-mate, given that his future team-mate is potentially Lance Stroll, that first lap touch with Ocon could turn out to have been very expensive for him.

“We are very satisfied with the development of Formula E – it is very exciting, very interesting races,” Mauser said.

“It’s absolutely not boring. If you compare to Formula 1, you watch the start on Sunday and then you fall asleep, wake up and say ‘is it Vettel or Hamilton [who won]?’. This is totally different to Formula E, which has lots of action.

“Formula E had six different winners last season, you don’t have that in Formula 1,” he added. “The top 15 in the timesheets are often within one second, which is also a big difference to Formula 1.

“[In the coming years] we will have nine OEM’s on the grid which I think in the history of motorsport has never been seen before. This is really sensational.”