Red Bull not as dominant as in 2011 – Alonso

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Fernando Alonso does not believe Red Bull’s form this year has reached the dominant levels they achieved in 2011 despite Sebastian Vettel having now won half of the races so far this year.

“I think it’s more tight this year than 2011,” said Alonso after finishing second at Monza, “and also there are more teams in the battle”.

“There is not only Red Bull who can be on pole position etc; there is Mercedes who have done many pole positions this year etc, so many races are coming with many interesting combinations of performance so what we have to do is try to be close to the top in all track characteristics.”

In the 19-race 2011 season Red Bull took 18 pole positions and won 12 races. Vettel claimed the title in Japan with four races to spare.

Alonso believes Ferrari have improved their form in recent races but the next race in Singapore will show whether they can compete with Red Bull on high downforce tracks:

“We made some changes in the car, they seemed to be positive in Spa, seem to be good and positive in Monza, but when we reach the maximum level of downforce in Singapore, like we had in Hungary, we need to check.

“If we still have Mercedes in front, Lotus in front and some other teams, we will be more or less the same as in Hungary and we don’t want to be. I think we prepare the car and we prepare everything to make a step forward and in Singapore hopefully we can see it.”

FIA returns Manor’s F1 entry fee for 2017

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Good news: Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited got a refund of an entry fee it paid to the FIA to run in this year’s F1 season.

Bad news: Manor still hasn’t run this year, and won’t be for the foreseeable future (especially as Manor’s former leadership staff is moving that team into FIA WEC’s new-look LMP1 class in addition to its LMP2 program).

Manor Group’s receivership outfit, Just Racing Services Limited, went into administration earlier this year. As there was no new buyer for the F1 team, Manor dropped from the 2017 grid before the season.

The FIA said it would return its entry fee to help Manor Group pay off outstanding debts.

It basically means nothing in the grand scheme of things since Manor missed out on 10th place in the constructor’s standings in 2016 and fell from the F1 grid as a result, but hey, it’s a goodwill gesture going into Thanksgiving this week.