What is going on at McLaren?
At the end of 2014, McLaren as a former pinnacle F1 team said good bye to their long term engine partner and supplier Mercedes. This of course meant that Honda were back on the fold to deliver what was hoped to be the real deal of power units for 2015? Of course in reality it wasn’t to be. Maybe Ron Dennis would still hold a different view. But, truth be told what was delivered was a donk that was suited for use as a boat anchor for one of the yachts parked in the Monaco harbour. It was under powered, the turbo was crammed into a space referred to as ‘space zero’ to meet with the chassis requirements, a match not made in heaven.
Even with a Honda engine, you can’t put a square peg in a round hole
You mean cleanskin, like a cheap wine bottle?
Over time McLaren or McHonda as they’ve become known as this year, there was of course lost some of their major sponsors or in the terms of ‘Ron Speak’ partners. They lost ‘Santander’, ‘Vodafone’ and now ‘Tag Heuer’ as major partners. There is of course a lot of misguided information circulating that ‘Santander’ had re-signed with McHonda for another multi year deal but this was determined as being false as the logo has appeared on the Scuderia tubs over recent years. So the question has to be asked, is it time for McLaren to rebrand itself or for Ron Dennis to say he can no longer steer the ship safely into port. They’ve lost Martin Whitmarsh as team principal and parachuted Eric Boullier in who is as useless as a bag of tomatoes at running a successful F1 team.
Can McLaren regroup and find its passion again?
McLaren or the McLaren group is it is actually known because of its car manufacturing interest needs to do something. At the moment, it is beginning to look a lot like so many other regional English car manufacturers like Catherham, TVR and Noble. They make a product, but can they make it in F1? Of course Williams did this reinvention of themselves but their only product was the F1 team and the engineering division. The engineering division within itself being pretty well self sufficient. I’m sure that McLaren with the Honda power unit can come back to the fore front of what is meant to be the pinnacle of motor sport. The question is how and when? Is it time for Ron to again step back and leave the decision making to someone like Ross Brawn. Pay him what he wants for say three seasons and tell Eric there is some freshly made bowl of Soupe à l’oignon waiting for him in the hospitality area.
The MP4/30 – less branding than a prized bull
In conclusion, as a long term McLaren fan since the early 1980’s I can only hope.
-by Anthony Durkin