McLaren has confirmed that at next week’s pre-season testing in Jerez, Fernando Alonso will be the first of its drivers to moan about the car.
‘It’s a show of faith,’ admitting one Woking insider. ‘We hired Fernando because we know what he’s capable of. He is as good as anyone out there, especially at moaning. So it’s only right that he gets first go in the car and then a chance to moan about it.’
However, McLaren is keen to point out that Jenson Button will also get plenty of chances to moan about the car in Spain next week. ‘There are no favourites here,’ our man insisted. ‘Jenson is a world class driver and can deliver world class moaning. Our ideal is for both drivers to get an equal amount of time to moan about the chassis and the engine, and then to sigh and tell reporters there’s a lot of work still to do.’
‘Simulations and data can only tell us so much,’ our mole continued. ‘It’s not until you get a real driver out there on a real track that you can really get a sense of what there is to moan about.’
McLaren is famed for the attention it devotes to pre-season moaning, even running all moans through a special measuring machine it developed in the mid-‘90s known as ‘the Mansellometer’.