No Favouritism at McLaren, either!

McZiderRed

Champion Elect
Supporter
Following hot on the heels of RickD's thread, there appears to be an opportunity for comparison. Comparing the top team's approach to the thorny subject of favouritism!

As any parent of more than one child will tell you, there is always a favourite. No really! They always have a favourite!! They are just really silly for saying so and saying which one!

And so, after Red Bull have done their utmost in "not" revealing their favourite, we have McLaren's take on the "juggle two team-mates that can win the WDC" merry-go-round.

The BBC's Sarah Holt has written a piece on this very subject, here >>>clickster<<<, hence this article. :embarrassed:

In contrast to the Red Bull disaster waiting to happen, McLaren seem to have a couple of drivers that can work together for the good of the team, whilst still furthering their own championship aspirations. However, this is all well and good now, but what happens as things go on. In a few races time, if Lewis is ahead, then Jenson might get a bit fidgety. If Jenson is ahead, then Lewis might flip a wotsit... :dunno:

Ron Dennis was instrumental in bringing Lewis to McLaren, but he's no longer there. However, Martin Whitmarsh is now the head racing honcho at McLaren and he was allegedly instrumental in bringing Jenson to the McLaren party. A nugget to be worked at?

Just a thought, but at which point does the team choose between the current WDC and an ex-WDC that happens to be a :censored: quick driver!

So far, McLaren have the upper hand, in the 'Family Management stakes', but what are your feelings on how this will progress in the second half of the season?
 

Enja

isn't dead.
Valued Member
The BBC sure love poking a stick in whenever they can.

Either that or they feel that this story is the only one British fans care about.

McLaren know far better than Red Bull how to handle these situations, plus with Martin Whitmarsh they have a far more relaxed chief than Big Ron.

I can't see any real moments of "favouritism" in the season ahead. Yes, there will be a bit of tension towards the final 3rd of the season when they are fighting for the WDC. But there are absolutely no signals of favouritism, and unless one of them strolls a long way ahead in the championship, there won't be.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
One thing, Though we don't see Ron Dennis from day to day at GPs anymore he remains the CEO of McLaren and the man with ultimate responsibility for the team. While Martin Whitmarsh has Ron's old job I still think he (Ron) has a large say in the management of the team.

Despite so many predictions, from Damon Hill to the BBC and back again, the good ship McLaren seems steady as she goes so far. I don't really see why they would need to start to favour either driver unless there is say 3 races to go and one of them can no longer win the title while the other still has a chance, I guess it's reasonable to assume that the one would be asked to help the other.

The difference between McLaren and Red Bull is that in the eyes of the management at McLaren there is no wrong winner of the WDC otherwise there is no way they would have employed Button.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
cider_and_toast said:
The difference between McLaren and Red Bull is that in the eyes of the management at McLaren there is no wrong winner of the WDC otherwise there is no way they would have employed Button.
:thumbsup:

I can't really add to that as it succinctly answers the question.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
McLaren haven't had any problems supplying parts this season, so neither Jenson or Lewis have had cause to fall out over that. Pitstops are no longer a regular bone of contention between teammates with both qualifying and starting the race on the same fuel, so they have had no opportunity to feel aggrieved about that strategic banana skin. That just leaves the feeling of being loved and part of the team... Jenson being brought on board by Martin Whitmarsh meant that he has a vested interest in Jenson doing well and feeling loved. Lewis is a fixture at McLaren and if there are any team members who don't appreciate him then I would be completely flabbergasted! :o So he will never have any of the issues Alain Prost or David Coulthard had with the team. Jenson worked so hard and fastidiously at ingratiating himself with the team and gave them a win so quickly that he too is appreciated by the vast majority of the team.

The rivalry between the Lewis and Jenson camps can only make them go quicker, and realise all of their drivers and mechanics potential. So however fraught things may become at the end of the season, the team as a whole should have no trouble embracing the positives of their battle.

If Lewis and Jenson fall out with one another this season or the next I will eat my pyjamas. :goodday:
 

Wee Scot

Rookie
snowy said:
If Lewis and Jenson fall out with one another this season or the next I will eat my pyjamas. :goodday:
OK, I'll take the bait...

So then what did you make of that brief tussle near the end of the race in Turkey, when Jenson appeared to ignore the team's "back it down, Game Over" instruction and jumped Lewis before being drafted and aggressively repassed at the end of the pit straight? Just good fun!? A bit of a show for the fans? Some Turkish Delight, one might say?

;)
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
The beeb did a good job of twisting MW's comments somewhat in the headline article they wrote about this issue, with the actual question and answer being:

Q. Momentum is clearly with Lewis Hamilton in your team at the moment, is there now a feeling that it's going his way?

MW: Not yet. Jenson is second in the drivers' championship, has had two great wins this year and has proven that he's a great racing driver, a great reader of the race but also someone who could recover from 14th to fourth is a phenomenally quick and adept racing driver, and also has a lot of determination. I'm sure Jenson hasn't given way to Lewis's charge for the championship. He will want to win this weekend, he will want to move that momentum back in his favour, and that's just how it should be.
Netherless I think that McLaren have found themselves in the lucky position of having 2 championship contenders in the same team, that seem able to work well together. Best of all they seem to be able to do this without tripping over each others feet, and seemingly not taking points off one another. Compare this is the RBR situation and the differences are quite amazing.

As such don't think it is really important for McLaren to pick a number one as of yet. Maybe in 4 races time we can talk again :)
 

Enja

isn't dead.
Valued Member
Wee Scot said:
So then what did you make of that brief tussle near the end of the race in Turkey, when Jenson appeared to ignore the team's "back it down, Game Over" instruction and jumped Lewis before being drafted and aggressively repassed at the end of the pit straight? Just good fun!? A bit of a show for the fans? Some Turkish Delight, one might say?
:snigger:


On a serious note, I like to call it racing.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
Wee Scot said:
So then what did you make of that brief tussle near the end of the race in Turkey, when Jenson appeared to ignore the team's "back it down, Game Over" instruction and jumped Lewis before being drafted and aggressively re-passed at the end of the pit straight? Just good fun!? A bit of a show for the fans? Some Turkish Delight, one might say? ;)
Lewis was exceedingly put out and miffed about that, wasn't he? ... :thinking: It could so easily have exploding into an internecine war. However it did show everyone including Jenson just how skilful and totally committed Lewis is to winning. He could have thrown his toys out of the pram with immediate effect. But he had the amazing good sense to force Jenson into late braking for the final turn and compromising his exit, while he executed a perfect entry and exit. You have to be a total loon to overtake through turn one! :o Damned exciting stuff, both drivers put their marker down and they're now in no doubt where the other stands.

Game on :friends:
 

cosicave

Banned
Some super reads since I was last at this thread. None more so than snowy's last. This has all the makings of a truly classic battle for the World Drivers' Championship AND the Constructor's version!

Game on!
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
I agree with Snowy; I remember being quite taken aback at Hamilton's very subdued reaction on the podium at Turkey, having been initially taken aback that Jenson actually made a passing move on him, or was allowed to by the team, after what had just gone on between the two Red Bulls.

Things are fine at the moment between the Mclaren pair, and are unlikely to go bad if Hamilton continues to increase the gap over his teammate. In that instance, Jenson would simply have to accept that he was second best, and the team would have to prioritise Lewis. But what if the Mclaren EBD and other upgrades start to work well and they suddenly find themselves both fighting at the front of the grid (something that hasn't happened yet this season)? If they are ever together on the front row and still close to each other in points, anything could happen. The team's management of them in that situation, and their reaction to any events on track, would be interesting to watch.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I think the McLaren war has not exploded for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I think Jenson Button is chilled at the moment. He's won his World Championship, and I think it is easier to be magnanimous in defeat with one in the bag. Basically, Mark Webber believes that this is his only chance, whilst Button knows that he's on the honours board*.

Secondly, I think Hamilton is a little bit faster most of the time than Button is. Button's two wins were results of excellent strategic decisions which I applaud :goodday: , but Hamilton has been up the road ever since the party returned to Europe, and when one driver is clearly ahead of the other, it reduces needle.

Thirdly, everyone is ahead of Red Bull in both championships, which breeds contentment.

So I think whilst Red Bull are in full-on self-destruct mode, McLaren have learned the hard way that this situation needs to be managed, and have hopefully found a way to do so. And I also echo what everyone else has said.

*What Alonso was playing at :dunno:
 

Wee Scot

Rookie
snowy said:
...it did show everyone including Jenson just how skilful and totally committed Lewis is to winning. He could have thrown his toys out of the pram with immediate effect. But he had the amazing good sense to force Jenson into late braking for the final turn and compromising his exit, while he executed a perfect entry and exit.

Game on :friends:
Yes, that's what I thought, too. Instead of imperiously chopping across like Seb did to Mark ("...and STAY behind me, Old Man!"), Lewis was like a surgeon with a scalpel, beating him with smart and clean counter moves. I only hope Jenson can stay close enough (on the track) the rest of the way to give us some more entertainment. Unfortunately, I don't like his chances. It'll be Lewis vs. Mark and Seb, I'm afraid, with Jenson playing no more than a supporting role.
 

Boyle

Race Winner
Contributor
I also think, to supplement Teabag's argument, that Mclaren, and in particular Hamilton, have learned from the mistakes of the Alonso saga of three years ago. Lewis won't want to look like he is the one being favoured and feels that he would rather win on merit instead of having an 'unfair advantage' over his teammate.

Jenson is also one of the most laid back drivers out of the cock pit which I feel goes well with Hamilton's personality.

Mclaren also have the advantage over Red Bull of having 'been there, done that, and we've got the orange t-shirts to prove it'. They've won their championships while both drivers also don't have a monkey on their backs. Whilst there is certainly a competitive edge between the two, it is not a negative one, which is only natural with two champions.

The Mclaren is also, generally, regarded as being a slower car than the RB6. So even less pressure on the Woking outfit.

So whilst things may change change as the season comes to a close if they are within a few points of each other, I can't imagine things getting near the heights of Alonso-Hamilton, Vettel-Webber or Prost-Senna.
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
Brogan said:
Quick!

Someone hide this thread before Rick sees it :D
Don't worry, i've been following it with interest.. :thinking:

Nah, not too bothered as I will admit that Lewis is faster than Jenson, but I still think Jenson will get the better of Lewis a couple more times this season at least and Hockenheim might spring another surprise..
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Looking at the results, Jenson's main problem/issue/call it what you will seems to be qualifying.

His race pace is comparable to, perhaps slightly slower than Lewis, and he is able to get decent results - after all, he isn't 2nd in the WDC by luck!

But in the last 18 or so races he hasn't qualified above 4th place. In that time both Rubens and Lewis have done so several times.

So perhaps his "smooth" style is a drawback when it comes to switching the tyres on for Q3, which usually involves an out lap and then 1 or 2 hot laps?

Maybe the EBD will help Jenson more as one of the "benefits" of it is it heats up the rear tyres quicker.
 

Enja

isn't dead.
Valued Member
Brogan said:
after all, he isn't 2nd in the WDC by luck!
Some would argue that he is. Not me, but some. They would point to both his victories this year as being lucky..
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
I find it strange that Jenson is not able to switch his tyres on for the qualifying run. You would think that irrespective of his smooth driving style he should be able to push enough on the outlap to get the correct pressures and temperatures.

I think it may be more of the case that he is not able to keep them in the zone, during his qualifying lap. I think in Silverstone it was the case that he was pushing the tyres too hard, he was on pace through the first half of the lap, and then lost it towards the end of the second, and third sectors.

Its a strange problem of his, that I have to say, I don't really understand.

As for a working EBD, logically, an increase in rear downforce should stabilise the rear end, and introduce more understeer characteristics on the car. So I'd say it should benefit Jenson who has aways enjoyed a stable rear end.

I guess any people would say Hamilton prefers the rear end moving about more, but with him I don't think it really bothers him. He will just drive what he is given, and drive it well. More rear end grip however, should further improve the tyre wear on the McLaren.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Enja said:
Brogan said:
after all, he isn't 2nd in the WDC by luck!
Some would argue that he is. Not me, but some. They would point to both his victories this year as being lucky..
I know its not you, but I intend to put this one to bed.

Button got the tyre calls right in both his wet victories. That takes skill and good judgement that others lack. Vettel's exit in Australia is a moot point since to finish first, first you must finish.

Button apparently has a skill in making the right calls which is incredibly important in changeable conditions, and explains how many times Nick Heidfeld*, despite being not-the-quickest got lots of podiums when conditions were changeable and when Safety Cars intervened.

And anyway, it is unimportant. The aim of the game is not to be good, but to be best.

*Yes, I'm still going there
 
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