McLaren next year


Test Driver
So I've been lurking on this forum(and others!) for a while and the general consensus is that if McLaren can produce a car similar to this year Lewis will be looking over enviously from the Merc. garage. So I was thinking perhaps we ought to evaluate how this current car would have looked with Jenson as it's lead driver(as this will presumably be the case next year). All things considered I'd say the strength of the car has been qualifying so here's a list of Jenson's qualifing throughout the year.


By my reckoning that's an average grid slot of 6-7... indicating it would appear to be the third fastest car in the hands of Jenson. So the real question is - is the MP4-27 really that fantastic a car in qualifying?
There was that spell when he (and subsequently, the whole team) went off the boil, wasn't there. If you take that away, then it looks a lot better - but then that was part of the season, I know.

I'm not sure that qualifying is a strength of McLaren this year, really. There have been weekends when they've been strong overall, and weekends when they've not, but I can't think of that many occasions when the pace was massively different from qualifying to race.

Having said that, of everyone on this forum I probably pay the least attention to McLaren!

Obviously, qualifying is one of Hamilton's strengths, and has been one of Button's weaknesses. Fortunately for Button, qualifying is less influential on the race result than it used to be, thanks to the refuelling ban, Pirelli tyres and DRS. I wonder what Alonso's mean qualifying position is? Clearly, however, having said that, getting consistently in the top 2-3 rows is critical to a championship challenge. And Mercedes will require a big step up to achieve that in 2013.
Without Lewis, Jenson gets 2extra poles which should then reduce his average grid slot. Second fastest car would probably be a more realistic assessment. Maybe the emphasis will shift to race pace next year who knows but to fight for the championship you need a top qualifying car.
What would the scores be if, for example, Hamilton were in a Mercedes? Not sure what assumptions could be made about performance relative to current drivers?
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