Perez stands for Mexican GP's anti-Trump campaign

F1i 10/02/2017
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Force India star: Perez.

The initiative  showcases the hashtag #BridgesNotWalls on social media, with Perez positioned as a figurehead for the campaign, and banners denouncing Trump’s stance hung from bridges all around the country.

Since its return to the Formula 1 calendar in 2015, the Mexican Grand Prix  has enjoyed tremendous success, thanks in no small part to the presence on the grid of Force India’s Perez.

“World class international events such as the Formula 1 Gran Premio de Mexico provide an excellent opportunity to showcase to the world what the Mexican people are capable of achieving when we work together,” Perez said.

“Through this unique global platform, Mexico has been shown as a warm and welcoming destination. The 2015 and 2016 races were award-winning, 2017 promises to be even more memorable.”

The Mexican driver showed his patriotic mettle last year when he ditched a personal sponsor for tweeting a disparaging remark linked to the construction of the wall.

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Red Bull expect engine boost from Renault at Spanish GP

F1i 9/02/2017
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Helmut Marko

Red Bull’s Helmut Marko believes Renault’s power unit is slowly but surely bridging the gap with its rivals, and expects a boost from the French manufacturer early in the season.

Marko is banking on an upgrade after the first four  flyaway races in March and April, when the European season gets underway in  Spain.

“We are seeing encouraging signs that the gap to the leaders is gradually decreasing,” he told Germany’s motorsport-magazin.com.

“For the European part of the season we should be in good shape,” Marko added.

“From the point of view of speed, our engine should be at Ferrari’s level unless they make a big jump, although we have not yet reached the level of Mercedes.

“However, the gap is no longer so great that we can talk about having no chance,” said the Austrian.

In addition to Red Bull, where the manufacturers’ engines are branded Tag Heuer, Renault shall also supply Toro Rosso, and its own works team of course.

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McLaren's Temple praises Alonso's intelligence

F1i 9/02/2017
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Fernando Alonso

McLaren-Honda race engineer Mark Temple says that Fernando Alonso’s prime qualities are his intelligence and ability to always extract the most out of a racing car.

Temple praised the Spaniard’s high-level capability of multi-tasking when behind the wheel, chasing the limit while always thinking about strategy.

“He’s the most intelligent driver I’ve worked with,” Mark Temple told McLaren’s official website.

“Combine this intelligence with a supreme level of natural talent and you’re left with a very potent combination.

“It allows him to do so much else while driving the car. He processes a lot of data and he’s always thinking about strategy.”

Temple also noted the two-time world champion’s ability to remain aggressive while never over-driving the car.

“Fernando extracts the maximum from everything around him,” he added.

“He drives it in a very aggressive manner. He really attacks the braking areas and throws the car into the corners, but he doesn’t lose out on corner exit.

“Often, if a driver’s aggressive on entry he loses out on exit, but Fernando manages to keep the car on the limit in both areas.”

Like everyone at McLaren-Honda, Alonso is hoping the team’s performance will finally move to the next level.

And the Spaniard has been training hard to bring his fitness up to the optimum physical level which will be required by the 2017 cars.

“Fernando’s aerobic work in these past years has been good, but now there is more fitness, more weight, more strength needed,” said Edoardo Bendinelli, the drivers’ personal trainer.

“I can say that Fernando is in his best shape, stronger and more motivated than ever.”

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