McLaren drivers all for NASCAR-like throwback weekend in F1

McLaren's Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo would love to see F1 emulate NASCAR and travel back in time... The post McLaren drivers all for NASCAR-like throwback weekend in F1 appeared first on F1i.com.

McLaren drivers all for NASCAR-like throwback weekend in F1

McLaren's Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo would love to see F1 emulate NASCAR and travel back in time for the space of a Grand Prix weekend when all teams would run retro liveries.

McLaren and partner Gulf Oil unveiled on Sunday a special one-off design for this week's Monaco Grand Prix that pays tribute to the historical partnership enjoyed by the two companies in the 60s and 70s.

NASCAR indulges in an annual time warp on the series' popular Throwback Weekend, when every team rolls out an iconic retro paint scheme honoring a past driver or sponsor, as was the case at Darlington most recently.

McLaren's Ricciardo said 'Spark it!' when asked about the idea after the Woking-based outfit pulled the covers off its one-off Monaco livery.

"It would be cool," Ricciardo said, quoted by RACER. "I’m aware it’s another expense for the team but that aside, for everything to be a throwback — not just our race suits, but casual wear, down to team hats, to properly do it — that would be cool for everyone to get involved. Spark it!"

©McLaren

Last season, at the Tuscan Grand Prix, Ferrari ran a special burgundy red livery on its SF1000 for its 1000th Grand Prix, the colour of the first racing to carry the Ferrari name.

Norris would love to see everyone follow the retro scheme during a dedicated race weekend.

"The proper old school ones would be pretty awesome," Norris said. "I think it’s nice we are the only ones who are doing it. More eyes on us, unless we both crash into Turn 1.

"For one race, make it a bit more exciting, it would be cool to see everyone do something like that. Especially when you have a Williams or Ferrari — I mean, Ferrari would just be red!

"A lot of teams have had awesome and unique liveries over the years and it would be cool if everyone came up with their own."

  • Read also: McLaren goes retro for Monaco with one-off Gulf livery!

McLaren boss Zak Brown, a man never short on ideas, believes a variation on NASCAR's Throwback Weekend would go a long way towards creating a good buzz for F1.

"Whether we do it as other sports do where everyone does it at the same time or when you are in your home country or you have a reason or an anniversary…" Brown said.

"We don’t want to confuse the fans and lose our identity, but I think to do something a few times a year that’s special creates some excitement and some additional engagement with the fans."

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Williams' Robson: Russell talent level 'very close' to Hamilton

Williams' head of vehicle performance Dave Robson who worked with Lewis Hamilton at McLaren sees similarities between the... The post Williams' Robson: Russell talent level 'very close' to Hamilton appeared first on F1i.com.

Williams' Robson: Russell talent level 'very close' to Hamilton

Williams' head of vehicle performance Dave Robson who worked with Lewis Hamilton at McLaren sees similarities between the Mercedes star's special qualities and the outstanding talent of George Russell.

Robson had a front row seat to witness Hamilton's flourishing, first as a junior driver involved with McLaren and then as fully fledged member of the Woking-based outfit in F1.

As a highly rated Mercedes protégé, Russell is currently seen as Hamilton's natural successor at the Brackley squad, and Robson is convinced the 23-year-old fits the bill just as the seven-time world champion during his early days at McLaren.

"I think there are definitely some similarities there," said Robson. "And they were obvious from the first time I met George and we ran him in the simulator in Grove.

"Then we went up and ran him around the airfield in a road car. Again, there was something. There was something there.

"I think the talent is there. I think he is very close to Lewis and has the potential to get there. For sure."

©Mercedes

As Jenson Button's race engineer at McLaren, Robson competed against Hamilton from 2010 to 2012. But the Williams engineer identified early on a "special quality" about the Briton, whom he described as "an annoying customer" to have on the other side of the garage.

"I've obviously not worked with him for quite a few years, but it's something he's always had, I think," said Robson who called Hamilton's recent 100-pole record a "phenomenal achievement".

"There is just that something about him. That special quality that you can't really define.

"That was obvious right from when he was just a kid and [McLaren] took him testing at Elvington [airfield, for a straight-line aerodynamic test run] - going up and down the runway.

"He was bored stiff after 10 minutes. Whereas most kids, when you took them to Elvington, they were just chuffed to bits to be in an F1 car - even though they were just going up and down the runway.

"And he was different right from the beginning. He just has that talent and that tremendous attitude. So, take your hat off to him.

"He's an annoying customer to have on the other side of the garage, for sure. But yeah, he's a phenomenal talent."

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