McLaren about ready to implode?

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McLaren about ready to implode? Empty McLaren about ready to implode?

Post by dyrewolfe on Mon 25 Jun 2018, 9:51 am

Following their dismal showing at the French GP, its clear McLaren's claims about their chassis being one of the best on the grid, couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, given their performances to date, they may as well have stuck with Honda. They are still being out-performed by the works Renault team and are miles behind Red Bull.

The team's continuing failure to produce a car even vaguely worthy of its trophy-laden history will almost certainly see the exit of Alonso, as he chases the third and final piece of his triple crown, (winning the Indy 500), to emulate Graham Hill.

This will leave them without any experienced drivers to help develop future cars and with a design team in utter chaos, who apparently don't even know whats wrong with the car...never mind having any ideas how to fix it.

Now the team have deep pockets, backed as they are by the Bahrain national bank and billionaire Mansour Ojjeh, but you wonder how long they are prepared to keep bankrolling McLaren (or at least the F1 team) for little or no tangible reward. Its another 3 years until the next major regulation changes...which is a lot of money to invest, even for Middle East billionaires. Will they be prepared to essentially write off a few more seasons and hope for a turnaround in 2021? Or could they pull the plug and concentrate on McLaren's road car business instead?

At this point I am genuinely concerned for this once-great team's future. While we're at it I am also worried about how much longer Williams can continue with their current woes.

The decision to cut loose from a factory Honda partnership and choose instead to become a Renault customer came at a net loss of close to $100m. But it would be worth it, McLaren's bosses claimed.

The chassis, they said, was one of the best on the grid and by changing engine they would be able compete this year with fellow Renault customer Red Bull, for podiums and even perhaps the occasional win.

Instead, they are a massive 1.7 seconds off Red Bull's pace on average in qualifying. And that is - to state the obvious - all in the car.

Self-evidently, then, one of two things can be concluded. Either last year's McLaren genuinely was that good, and they have made a dog's dinner of this year's car. Or McLaren's analysis of its own performance was as woeful as the car itself - and they made a dog's dinner of both machines. Most would plump for the latter.

Brown said the car's performance was "frustrating" but insisted: "We will get it right."

He says the problems with the car are "aerodynamic but don't show up in the wind tunnel, so we can't replicate them in the wind tunnel, so we have to try to rectify them on the track."

That analysis raises questions about the very fundamentals of McLaren's design process - and about how the team might possibly be able to fix a problem the causes of which it cannot identify.

Getting a Renault engine this year has meant McLaren no longer have anywhere to hide.

Since it became apparent just how far off the pace they had fallen, McLaren have been undertaking an internal investigation into their technical structure.

The first results of that saw the departure of Tim Goss, the chief technical officer, before the Baku race in April, and Brown promoted to CEO with responsibility for the race team, from his mostly commercial previous role.

Since then, Brown has brought in former Indycar champion Gil De Ferran, Honda's F1 sporting director for a couple of years in the mid-2000s, as a roving adviser. The Brazilian has been keeping a low profile, but has attended every race since Spain early last month, with a remit to offer advice and opinion on whatever areas he sees fit.

Meanwhile, the pressure is building massively on Boullier, who set up the technical structure that is under review. The Frenchman has been asked in both Canada and France whether he should resign. He said that he wouldn't.

The jungle drums in the paddock are suggesting Boullier might not last much longer.

Whether that is the problem or even the solution is a different matter. McLaren need a technical director of the highest level, and a real shake-up, if this famous name is not to continue an already worrying decline.

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McLaren about ready to implode? Empty Re: McLaren about ready to implode?

Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Wed 27 Jun 2018, 5:15 pm

I think the writing was on the wall when Hamilton jumped ship to a midfield Mercedes searching for the right car. Secondly ditching their Mercedes hybrid engines for the obsession for a 'works partnership with Honda'. And the final nail was the removal of Ron Dennis

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