Wednesday, 1 May 2013

McLaren are falling into disrepair

Yes it's a well known and confirmed fact that the team best known for innovation and mid-season development are doomed for all eternity because they started the season badly.

Ok well it's ridiculous to assume anyone isn't a title contender this year at this stage, Sauber could improve on their horrible car and claim several consecutive wins with Hulkenberg and win the championship. This is F1 don't forget.

I've been hesitant to comment on McLaren until at least half way through the season, but it seems that I said in my first post that this article was coming soon, and I've given into the pressure. McLaren are a team best known for developing a car quickly, and yes this year they may have a dog, but so did Ferrari (And a boat load of luck) last year and look where that got them.

Greg's hire car was not what he was expecting
McLaren are not a team with dodgy uninspired leadership, admittedly Martin Whitmarsh hasn't shown teal leadership skills when is required, but the rest of the team are committed; right from the board to the lowest chap in the team, the company exists to race in F1, and are making cars with the sole purpose of funding that ambition. 

There is no shying away from the fact their car struggles to get into the top 5 at the best of times, let alone win races, but the team seem quite confident, perhaps they knew this was going to happen, perhaps most of their resources are going into the 2014 car, after all a lot of changes will mean an entirely new design philosophy will have to be created. The truth is we just don't know.

"Sergio, smile and pretend it's good"
The pit wall seems to know their title hopes are over this year, letting Button and Perez race like that in Bahrain, risking the best two finishes McLaren would have had all year was a brave move if you think you’re going to be needing every point come the end of the year, just look at Red Bull.

I feel that they have invested so much into next year’s car they heavily neglected the 2013 car, getting the Tea boy to design the aero for example, this seems odd from a team with so many resources, but it does seem like everyone in McLaren is fairly content; we all know that’s what Mercedes are doing, already reporting 50% of all team resources are being spent on next years car.

This all begs the question though, why if they were going to ignore this year and use it as some sort of test, did they just not use last year’s car, clearly the fastest on the grid. It takes some impressive work to go from fastest to not even in the top 4 teams in one season and still use effectively the same car, and it’s not like they've been out-developed, because everyone is using similar cars to last year.

Tip - Remember to bolt on wheels
So why would they not use the same car, it could very well be reinforcing that this year, the car they are using is a test for next year, where they hope Button will actually find some grip for once.

After Hamilton jumped ship on the promise of an amazing car in 2014, I’m sure McLaren are keen to show him what he’s missing and hammer Merc into the ground next year.

But with the European races coming up, only time will tell.

Side Note: Unlike every article about McLaren ever, I didn't use the expression “The Woking Based Outfit”.... Stop doing that.

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