Current McLaren

Arguably one of the big teams in Formula One but lately they don't seem to be able to get the basics right.
Some of their strategy and decisions in the last few years has left more than a few observers scratching their heads.

Just a few for starters:
  • Leaving Kimi out on a badly flat-spotted tyre, resulting in it exploding on the last lap.
  • Leaving Hamilton out on tyres so badly worn they were down to the canvas; Bridgestone themselves demanded that McLaren bring him in and McLaren refused, keeping him out for a few more laps. That decision arguably cost Hamilton the first rookie WDC and is one which will haunt him and McLaren for the rest of their days.
  • Not sending Button and Hamilton out to get banker laps in during Q1.
  • Sending Hamilton out on used tyres in Q3, with rain forecast, meaning it would be impossible to set a fast lap time on his second attempt on new tyres.
Their major updates seem to send them further down the grid, instead of challenging for pole positions and wins. As the season progresses they tend to get worse before getting better, by which time it is generally too late.

It's often said of them "write them off at your peril", but is this necessarily true?

The last time they won the WCC was in 1998 and their last WDC was 2008, before that 1999.
Their days of regularly winning championships seem to be well and truly behind them.

It's all well and good coming up with reasons why they haven't won championships.
The fact remains though, they have won just one WDC in the last 12 years.

So where to now for McLaren?

(I wrote this in rather a hurry so I will flesh it out when I have more time.)
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I read an interview with RD in the early 80's where he stated that any F1 team principal has "10 aggressive years". The fact that he kept the team at the front for as long as he did is testament to is tenacity and ambition. However, like many in F1 (team principals, designers, drivers, and others), he hung about too long and this tarnished his legacy.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
FB - I'd argue that the great years for RD at McLaren were 1983 - 1991. Following Honda's withdrawal, RD made many mis-steps - first of all my not partnering with Lambo (The engine they built at the end of 1993 was allegedly streets ahead of what McLaren then got - the other Lambo F1 engines were no comparison).

Then there was going with Peugeot. Even the choice to partner with Mercedes in 1995 was a sticky issue for several years...
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
that McLaren in 90s from the outside is confusing because how do you go from domination 88 - 91 to nowhere. they had 10 poles & 8 wins in 91 to 1 pole & 3 wins in 92. then 93 - 96 only senna finished in the top 6 of championship as they had a 66 race drought til the questionable win in jerez

but why they ever left Mercedes for honda will forever baffle people & Ron dennis stubbornness cost him. as the chassis was dreadful but made Honda the scapegoat
 

Dartman

Pole Sitter
The Honda episode was ridiculous, they bought in a driver who trashed them in 2007 in a fit of pique because he didn't want to race as an equal, they somehow conned Honda into paying Alonso's wages at the same time Alonso was publicly criticising them to an extreme degree. Why RD employed him when he had a perfectly capable development driver with a high Japanese respect who could have turned the failure round possibly a year earlier, maybe not a winner but certainly a challenger. One way to upset the Japanese is to publicly tell them their products are crap, I suspect they were looking for an out after the first year, and if Alonso was so good on development how comes he didn't criticise the McLaren chassis, even with a unreliable engine the lap times should have been reasonably competitive until it blew up, if ever there was a smoke and mirrors episode in McLaren this was it, RD more or less bought on his own downfall, he just lost the plot.
 
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