Current McLaren

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
McLaren are no worse than anyone else at strategy. In fact some of their strategies have been quite brilliant. Take their quick switch to a 3-stopper in China when Mercedes were making it work.

Ferrari have put extreme wets on a car on a dry track. Practically the whole field unnecessarily switched to inters at China last year.

Everyone makes mistakes. But, as I've demonstrated, McLaren have won 6 of the last 10 "wet/dry" races. So their strategies can't have been that bad, can they?
 

tranquility2k9

Podium Finisher
McLaren are no worse than anyone else at strategy. In fact some of their strategies have been quite brilliant. Take their quick switch to a 3-stopper in China when Mercedes were making it work.

Ferrari have put extreme wets on a car on a dry track. Practically the whole field unnecessarily switched to inters at China last year.

Everyone makes mistakes. But, as I've demonstrated, McLaren have won 6 of the last 10 "wet/dry" races. So their strategies can't have been that bad, can they?
That's because their drivers are amongst the best in the wet and their car has inherently been very good in wet or damp conditions over the last few years.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
That's because their drivers are amongst the best in the wet and their car has inherently been very good in wet or damp conditions over the last few years.
I struggle to see that McLaren had any right to win China or Australia 2010 without strategy decisions. It also shows their strategy is, in general, not stuffing it up!
 

tranquility2k9

Podium Finisher
Australia 2010 was solely Button's decision and was slightly lucky, but also adventurous. China 2010 they just split the strategies, as quite a few other teams did. Their superior pace was shown by how Lewis came through the field about 3 times quite easily.

Anyway what people are criticising is more the decisions they make outside of the race, most notably in qualifying, but also in the upgrade/development arena.
 

Theo_55

Rookie
Lewis Hamilton missed a podium today because his car was under fueled.

Jenson went out due to pit crew error, the Lolipop man was too gittery and mistook a non standard movement by the wheel gun person as a release, people make mistakes but there are too many of these mistakes this season.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Anyway what people are criticising is more the decisions they make outside of the race
It's more than that though.
They seem to be more focussed on the corporate/PR side of things these days, rather than racing.

Both Lewis and Jenson have said the PR demands which are part of their contract are excessive and wearing.
I'm not sure how it is with other teams but McLaren seems to do more than their fair share of extra-curricular activities.

Today was a case in point regarding the soulless, corporate behaviour.
Lewis gave a highly amusing interview about him having a platinum card to the stewards room, etc. which even Mansell (the driver steward) found amusing, yet McLaren asked the BBC not to air it.

They seem to be so focussed on corporate responsibility and results, they've forgotten how to be a racing team.
 

TN23

Rookie
There are a lot of things that have gone on at McLaren that I wouldn't have expected.

This is just for 2011:

  • Building such a hopeless car that they were forced almost to build a new one (They have recovered this situation very well, mind you)
  • Not putting Lewis out for a banker at Monaco of all places (However, if McLaren didn't work that out for themselves, surely Lewis should have been making that point pretty forcefully)
  • Lewis' Malaysia strategy (I probably would have made the same decision as McLaren not to use the flat-spotted tyres, but in hindsight, it would have been a better idea)
  • Sending drivers out on slicks in the pouring rain
  • Making Hamilton do what was a great possibility of the only dry time in the session on poor tyres (On the other hand, what was Lewis' contribution to the decision?)
  • Not fitting a tyre to Button's car (The hand movement of the mechanic to fetch the spare might have distracted the front jack and lollipop people)
  • Underfilling Hamilton (Although it was difficult to know what the consumption would be)
But there have been other mistakes.
  • The god-awful thing that they started 2009 with
  • The safety car decision for Hamilton at the 2008 German GP
  • Being overcautious at the 2008 Brazilian GP
  • The management of the Alonso/Hamilton situation in 2007, and their poor management of Kovalainen
  • Hamilton's delaminated tyre at China 2007
  • The decision on Raikkonen's tyre in Europe 2005
  • Their woeful 2004 season
  • The failure to race a blisteringly fast car in 2003.
However, McLaren still contribute to F1, and still do fantastic work.
  • Bringing Jenson Button into the team successfully to create a harmonious, but still competitive atmosphere within the team.
  • The clever F-duct device (Which no-one apart from Renault late on managed to get to work as well)
  • Great turn-arounds on poor cars in 2009 and 2011
  • General wet/dry strategy (Excluding Brazil 2008)
  • Race winners in every season since 1996 (Only Ferrari have a better record)
  • Stability of engine deal (Mercedes engines since 1995)
  • Best exponents of KERS in 2009 by a long distance
Ultimately, I think that McLaren, because of their monumental achievements in the past, will be under intense scrutiny unless they aren't absolutely at the front, fighting for wins and poles every race (The last time McLaren made the best car on the grid was, in my opinion, 2005- and then the engines were unreliable!)
 
McLaren didn't wn in '06, Raikkonen had three poles and they finished runner up 4 times, with Raikkonen twice - Montoya and Pedro de la Rosa once.

Still an impressive record.
 

TN23

Rookie
McLaren didn't wn in '06, Raikkonen had three poles and they finished runner up 4 times, with Raikkonen twice - Montoya and Pedro de la Rosa once.

Still an impressive record.
I try to forget 2006 as a year to be honest (Well apart from the Hungarian, Chinese and Brazilian GP's). Sorry for the silly error!
 

sushifiesta

Champion Elect
Contributor
I'm getting more and more worried about the rate of development on this year's car. It seems that they bring something new to every weekend only to discard it for "reliability reasons". Forgive me for being ignorant but surely an aero part either works or it doesn't, they're not making these decisions because they think the new front wing is going to fall off...

To me it sounds like they are trying hard to cover up the fact that the new parts simply aren't working, whether that's because the wind tunnel isn't set up quite right or whatever I don't know but it's not good news. Perhaps they've chanced upon the best aero setup they can extract from what was a distinctly average car during testing.

On a more positive note, although the McLaren currently seems to have dropped to 3rd fastest I do wonder how different the championship might be if their qualifying pace matched their race pace. This year the Pirelli tyres have seemingly meant that pole isn't as important any more, but if Hamilton, for example, had been on pole for the majority of the races so far this season I think he would have had the race pace to bring home a decent number of victories. Perhaps the only mystery McLaren need to solve is why Red Bull are so fast in qualifying.
 

Sarinaide

Banned
It really is strange to see how backwards the team is going, particularly after the Spain/Monaco races where they seemed to be right on RBR six.

Set up and race strategy is quite amatuer at times, from slow pit stops, confusing tyres, wheel nuts..sure these things happen but it is when it happens that is costing the team. Then the under fueling of LH that should not really happen.

McLaren seem at this point to be like a Heavy Weight boxer that has been rung up and now trying to regain senses without getting KO'd, sure it is a long season yet but this is kind of the point when McLaren fell of last season, yet it has happened sooner. Perhaps a little pep talk is in order as any fan of a contending team will not be happy with the show by McLaren.

Without the troubles I reckon McLaren looked good for a 4-5 finish, possibly higher with LH on the podium.
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
McLaren are not doing too badly, sometimes I think you guys are a tad too harsh, the team doesn't help themselves, but neither do the drivers at times. It happens...they are always there or there abouts, the last time Ferrari won a title was in 2008, same with McLaren.

This thread reminded me of the "McLaren in crisis"
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
It's more than that though.
<snip......> Both Lewis and Jenson have said the PR demands which are part of their contract are excessive and wearing.
I'm not sure how it is with other teams but McLaren seems to do more than their fair share of extra-curricular activities.
Pretty much word for word to an article that appeared in The Times today, the only thing missing was that in the article it was suggested that Whitmarsh's job could well be on the line over the summer break and that Lewis was due to fly out to India for one day of PR/Sponsor duties and that he was happy that it was cancelled so he could prepare for Germany.
 

Sarinaide

Banned
McLaren have kind of left me confused again, the upfront blinding pace seems to have been curtailed and fizzled out, I still see the team competing but for some perplexing reason have really fallen off the tracks in a big way, up until the recent races McLaren looked a shoe in on the podium, now the fans and probably the team and drivers are scratching their heads wondering "how the blazzers did it come to this".
 

Quintessentially

-
Contributor
It's a shame the Whitmarsh thread has been closed but it is worth mentioning that for the second season in a row they've been overtaken by Ferrari as Redbull's main rivals. And let's be honest, the main reason why they managed to turn around that dog of a car at the start of the season is because they effectively reproduced Redbull's exhaust layout. This is McLaren's forte and they have the resources to do that. After being lapped at Barcelona, Ferrrari have been pursuing an aggressive development strategy to the point of bringing blatant rule bending components to free practice only to be turned away by the regulator. The pace of their development is unrelenting at the moment.
 
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