McLaren on the back foot

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Well all the talk of "sandbagging" was wishful thinking it would seem.
McLaren have admitted that have a problem with performance on the MP4-24.

"This week the car has run in Barcelona with an updated aero package, as we had always planned it would, and a performance shortfall has been identified that we are now working hard to resolve."

When asked if the car was fast enough at the moment, he added: "Not at the moment - and certainly not by our team's extremely high standards."
So, it looks like McLaren will be starting the season on the back foot which is not ideal when one of your drivers is attempting to defend a WDC.
Hopefully they can resolve the problem before Melbourne but with only 2 weeks to go and strict limits on testing it's not looking good...

More here: McLaren says new car not fast enough and here: We are not competitive - McLaren
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
Not great news for fans of VMM or LH.

Meanwhile over in Maranello, the chaps in red have been quietly getting on with the job. At the moment it's hard to see anything other than a strong start to the season for Ferrari.

I think BMW and perhaps Toyota look like the teams to provide the early challenge and of course Mclaren despite their concerns will be there and there abouts.

Hopefully no one team will be too dominant in the early part of the season and we are treated to some fantastic close racing.

The big unknown of course being where exactly Brawn GP will fit into things.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
cider_and_toast said:
The big unknown of course being where exactly Brawn GP will fit into things.
Well I for one am hoping their testing times are indicative of true race pace.

That would be a fantastic turn around and deserved reward for the whole team after the dismal time they had of it in 2008.
 

McZiderRed

Champion Elect
Supporter
This is a video of the latest test by McLaren. It may go some way to explain why McLaren are experiencing problems...:popcorn:






Apologies if people have seen it before. I am known to be behind current events by some distance! :)
 
OMG F1 will end up like this!!! the health & safety people will love it because the biggest injury to a driver will be r.s.i and the world champion could end up an x-box/playstation playing 10 yr old with a good wrist!!! anybody over 15 won't stand a chance!! lewis could have some serious defending to do!!! LOL please interpret as it's meant
 

McZiderRed

Champion Elect
Supporter
LOL I'm sure that r.s.i is covered by Lewis' fitness preparation! :whistle:

Anyway, despite McLaren's concerns about their speed, I see Ferrari have their own concerns over reliability. See here, a report from autosport.com

It seems that McLaren might not be quicker, but first one has to finish before one can finish first! :)

As with previous seasons when major changes have come into affect, there are going to be a few topsy turvy results, at least until things iron themselves out... :popcorn:
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Ferrari tend to be quick out of the traps with rule changes - but I still wonder about BMW, they've been working on this since Canada! McLaren seem happy with the engine and, unusually, with KERS. I'd imagine McLaren are clever and rich enough to get it right at some point this season - even in 2004 they were OK by the Belgian GP and the 2002 car nearly won the Championship in 2003! Either way, so long as there be a fight, 'm not concerned who be fighting!
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
Here is a big if

If McLaren are to be the only team to be running a fully functional KERS from the off, will this not give them a performance advantage that would negate their relatively poor times in testing?

apologies if this makes no sense - I've just done 19 hours at work and am going to bed
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I think you're working too hard, Speshal! LOL

KERS is reckoned to be worth at the most 0.4s/lap, according to the people at Flybrid who are working with Williams (and, maybe, Brawn) on KERS.

However one would assume that McLaren have been testing at least some, if not most, of the time with KERS enabled already - otherwise they certainly wouldn't risk running it at Melbourne.

So their poor testing times might be despite the time advantage that KERS brings (which may not be much at Jerez, but considerably more at Catalunya).

On face value these are worrying times at Woking. Perhaps Martin Whitmarsh will regret badgering Ron quite so hard for the big man's chair??!
 

Porceliamone

This cost me a tenner, but so L'Oreal.
Contributor
I can't see how a team like McLaren can drop such a HUGE clanger performance-wise. A one or two second deficit these days is pretty dramatic to say the least.
Fingers crossed they pull out some kind of miracle early on in the season otherwise my last GP at Silverstone might not be such a happy occasion after all. :(

I think someone might have already said this elsewhere, but perhaps last years event and the loss of highly skilled senior technical staff over the last few seasons have had a longer term, further reaching effect than we had all realised.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Nicholas Tombazis left McLaren to return to Ferrari in 2006.

Mike Coughlan has also, famously, left the design department recently.
 
Every time there are big rule changes at least one team cocks up. This time it might be McLaren. It obviously only takes quite a small issue to make a big difference or we wouldn't have seen the various big teams going backwards and forwards over the last ten years of fairly small changes.

I don't really mind if McL and Hamilton are out of the running as long as there is some close racing and overtaking (and a team other than Ferrari wins). I'm happy to cheer on almost anyone fighting for the WDC, didn't expect it to be Alonso until it was, didn't expect it to be Hamilton until it was. Button, Vettel, Kubica, whoever!

Mclaren may yet sort out their problems though...
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Brawn GP seem to be consistently at the top of the time sheets, whether it be long stints or short runs.

The images here show that Brawn have a very distinctive front end design with a very low nose: Analysis: Reading between the times

Could this be significant?
It seems too much of a coincidence that the only design where the nose dips below the level of the front wing end-plates is also the quickest.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
The images here show that Brawn have a very distinctive front end design with a very low nose: Analysis: Reading between the times

Could this be significant?
It seems too much of a coincidence that the only design where the nose dips below the level of the front wing end-plates is also the quickest.
Guess we will only know the answer to this one Bro, when that type of nose starts appearing on cars during the usual round of Mid Season Aero tweeks. It is unusual and great to see a team take an almost 180' different design approach in this day and age.

:goodday:
 
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