Briatore: Alonso has a better future with McLaren


Former Formula 1 team owner and driver manager Flavio Briatore is confident that two-time world champion Fernando Alonso has a better future with McLaren than one Ferrari could have offered him.

After five happy but unsuccessful years with Ferrari, Alonso parted company with the team at the end of the 2014 season and rejoined McLaren, with whom he had spent one acrimonious year back in 2007.

Based on the results so far this season, the decision may appear to have been a poor one. McLaren has suffered its worst ever start to a grand prix campaign, scoring its first points in Monaco last weekend, whilst Ferrari has moved close to Mercedes at the front of the field and won a race.

Speaking to Reuters in Monaco last weekend, Briatore – who still works as Alonso’s manager – said that he was confident the Spaniard had made the right decision and that Ferrari was in fact no better off than it had been in 2014.

“[Sebastian] Vettel was seven tenths from Lewis [Hamilton in qualifying] and last year Fernando was fifth and seven tenths [behind],” he said.

“Between Ferrari and Mercedes it is the same distance. The problem is three or four teams are not there any more. With Honda and McLaren, we have a better future.

“He is happy to be staying at McLaren now. I don’t understand why you guys think it’s a lot of pressure. Drivers like this are very lucky people.

“Maybe you have pressure to pay the rent at the end of the month but these people have no pressure at all.”

Alonso is yet to score any points since joining McLaren, with the technical issues that are blighting the MP4-30 car forcing him to retire when running inside the top ten in Monaco last weekend.

However, as detailed by MotorSportsTalk earlier this month, the Spaniard does seem far happier and more comfortable with McLaren, even if he lacks the points to truly justify it yet.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.