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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:29 pm 
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Evening all,

I hope you all had a good Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I am a new member here, however have been an avid reader over the last couple of seasons....so play nicely with me haha :lol: .

Since being an F1 fan, McLaren has been the team I have supported and followed, for which what has happened over the last few seasons (seems to be since Lowe, Hamilton left) has been a tough pill to swallow. Whilst things have started to turn more positive throughout 2016 with the arrival of Hasegawa at Honda and the improvements on the engine front, as a keen supporter of the team are things happening quick enough to return to the forefront of the grid and compete for championships?......Here's to hoping the 2017 regulations play into the hands of the team!

I am interested to know what you guys think is required for McLaren to return to the competitive package which we all hope for to spice F1 up and for the sake of Fernando Alonso? Are some of the following potential problems/solutions:

- Change of management- Whilst we can all agree the ousting of Ron Dennis was on the cards for a while now, does the clear lack of leadership/any form of management hindering performance development? Looking at the recent successes of the Mercedes and Red Bull dominance it is evident to see that the teams all pull in the same direction and have clear leadership. Is Eric Boullier strong enough by himself to do this for McLaren?

- Lack of sponsorship- With the loss of key sponsors over the last 5 years or so (Vodafone, Hugo Boss, Tag Heuer, Exxon to name a few) has this affected the budget that has been given to the team for developmental purposes? Whilst Ron gave us his spiel of the road car side performing well and the group returning to profit, the distinct lack of sponsors and colour to the McLaren car is evident for all to see.

Lack of top quality engineers/technical staff- Over the last few years much like their sponsorship, McLaren have lost a number of key and experienced engineers to their rivals team e.g. Newey, Lowe, Prew. On looking at the engineers currently at McLaren, it appears to me there seems to be a lack of top talent of which are highly respected throughout the paddock, with the exception or Prodromou. Should McLaren be looking at hiring top engineers from their rivals to assist with the progression of McLaren. Personally I feel they missed a trick in not re-signing Paddy Lowe, or even hiring James Allison when he left Ferrari.

Whilst I acknowledge the Honda engine does play some role in this, I feel McLaren should take ownership of themselves before firing cheap shots at the reason for their dismal seasons over recent years at other parties..........plus the discussion of the Honda engine has been discussed at deaths door haha :lol: .


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:52 pm 
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I feel McLaren haven't actually been doing all that badly recently. Clearly they aren't getting the results they want, but by all independent accounts they buit a very decent car last year, which was hampered by the PU. And it doesn't matter how good your car is under the current regs: if you don't have a decent PU you may as well not bother. Now on that front, Honda were always going to struggle, due to starting after all the other manufacturers and being hampered by the idiotic development restrictions, but even there according to reports their PU in its 2nd year was extremely competitive against other 2nd year PUs: trouble is they were competing with 3rd year PUs.

So in summary, their lack of progress on track is largely down to their starting point, not their management. I think many who criticise don't quite understand just how dependent upon a halfway decent PU the teams are. Toro Rosso built a pretty decent car by all accounts, yet their year-old PU meant they were always on a hiding to nothing.

Off track, however, they do appear to be behind. I have a lot of time for Ron Dennis, but the way they've been haemorrhaging sponsors lately is extremely worrying and I'm afraid he has to take the responsibility for that. If reports I've read are true he's alienated far too many parties, so maybe it was a good thing he left. But McLaren need to reverse that pronto if they want to get back to the front (and stay there).


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:56 pm 
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If you think about it they had the best engine in their car and decided to get rid of it and bring in Honda, which had been out of the sport for 6 years, amidst the most complex engine regulations ever. No title sponsors for 4 years. Bringing Alonso in to drive backmarker cars. The recent track record has not been good. I believe they need to overhaul their entire F1 team. I agree with the OP that they missed the ball on Paddy Lowe and feel the same about their technical department. The current drivers are the only ones that should stay. I do not like what I hear from any of the current mclaren bosses at all. Honda I would hope is going to bring the engine up to par. Otherwise it would be truly embarrassing for such a fine company. They are a mess. If they somehow can run at the front next year it would be such a nice surprise but I wouldn't put any money on that.


Last edited by kleefton on Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:57 pm 
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I think Zak Brown will help get some more sponsorship next year with a view to a title sponsor for 2018. How good a deal he gets will come down to how well the car goes in 2017 and whether Alonso stays or they bring in another top driver like Seb for example.

I don't think and haven't read they've cut costs at any point though over the past few seasons so the lack of sponsors hasn't hurt them yet at least in that regard.

I believe they tried to get James Allison at least so there is obviously some feeling they could do with another senior technical engineer to add to what they've got but I'm not that worried about them in that regard, I'd be more worried about Ferrari for example who's technical department is weaker in the sense of big name talent than McLaren's but no-one bats an eye.

Losing Mobil is a big blow to McLaren and especially Honda's hopes for next year, BP isn't going to be working hand in hand with Honda but with Renault, which leaves Honda as the only manufacturer not to have a Fuel partner making bespoke fuel and lubricants for their specific variants of the second chamber combustion technique. That's a massive deal with these PU's as we saw in 2014 when McLaren were 30-40bhp down using Esso/Mobil on a Petronas unit.

That being said there is always the possibility that BP makes an excellent fuel for Renault that is superior to Mobil and it ends up a plus but I'm not sure how likely that is but possible so worth mentioning.

McLaren had the chance to revise these new rules from a Red Bull proposal so it stands to reason that they would be unlikely to steer it in a direction they weren't comfortable with which gives a degree of optimism about the rule change from the car front.

There's also room for optimism on the PU front away from the fuel situation anyway. One team told Amus a few months ago that they expect a 22% increase in performance from the PU and most people seem quite certain it must be Honda's. They've got the reconfiguration and introduction of their version of TJI to come and they've been on the dyno for a while with no horror stories being leaked as of yet unlike 2014.

It's hard to make any kind of concrete prediction because there are so many variables at play with both Car and PU but I've been kind of feeling like the PU will be quick but fragile and I'm sticking with that. As for the car I think they could either surprise everyone and think of something no-one else did when they were forming the rules and nail it or get caught napping like 2009 and need to rely on their development strength like they did in both 2009 and last year.

It's going to be a big year for in season development for everyone so it could be a bit of a up and down season for a lot of teams with cars having differing strengths and weaknesses and varying success depending on track so I wouldn't fall of my chair if McLaren picked up podiums or even a win if Honda can get in the ballpark with their PU.

But I wouldn't fall of my chair if they couldn't either which makes it probably the most exciting pre season testing for a while just to see what the shake up does for McLaren and everyone else for that matter. A big team could easily get it as wrong as they do right and the same for teams like STR.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:10 pm 
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It's a good point about them having helped design the rules in the first place and I'm fairly confident they will be in a good position to take advantage of that. Their design team seems good and I'm not overly worried about them producing a dud. For me it hinges on where Honda are and now they've had a couple of years under their belt they should be in a stronger position. They won't be the only ones to field an entirely new unit, after all.

Another good point about the fuel. That is a concern I have to admit


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:25 pm 
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Something I read in James Allen's McLaren review that I wasn't aware of is that they now have a smaller budget than Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. Zak Brown needs to get them some sponsors.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:39 am 
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Grizzly B wrote:
Something I read in James Allen's McLaren review that I wasn't aware of is that they now have a smaller budget than Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. Zak Brown needs to get them some sponsors.


Hasn't that been the case for a while though with Ferrari and Red Bull, and Mercedes since 2011/12-ish when Mercedes increased spending?.

I think the prize money since 2013 will have hurt more than sponsors thus far but I don't think they've decreased spending, in fact I'm pretty sure they've increased it since 2014.

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"Clark came through at the end of the first lap so far ahead that we in the pits were convinced that the rest of the field must have been wiped out in an accident."
-Eddie Dennis, describing the dominance of Jim Clark in the Lotus 49 at Spa 1967


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:31 am 
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I think the fact they no longer qualify for the historical payments (I think) will hurt them massively and Zak Brown has a big job to do. Having said that, McLaren is a big name so still a very attractive prospect for potential sponsors.

McLaren was in a bit of a mess when Ron took back the reins, but has shown signs of real improvement under his 2nd tenure. As the James Allen article says, their progress last year was easy to chart. It's ironic that just when things looked to be coming good he's been booted out but I hope the journey back to the top he initiated continues unabated. But the fact the new rules are ones which McLaren helped formulate must give them reason to be confident and I think there's a lot to be happy about. I really don't think they are in as bad a place as some make out from a development perspective, but they are in a bit of a sorry spot with regards to sponsorship and it's sad that so many long term partners have been recently alienated. A lot depends on Honda of course but if they get it right at last then I predict McLaren will be challenging at the front next year.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:48 am 
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Zoue wrote:
I think the fact they no longer qualify for the historical payments (I think) will hurt them massively and Zak Brown has a big job to do. Having said that, McLaren is a big name so still a very attractive prospect for potential sponsors.

McLaren was in a bit of a mess when Ron took back the reins, but has shown signs of real improvement under his 2nd tenure. As the James Allen article says, their progress last year was easy to chart. It's ironic that just when things looked to be coming good he's been booted out but I hope the journey back to the top he initiated continues unabated. But the fact the new rules are ones which McLaren helped formulate must give them reason to be confident and I think there's a lot to be happy about. I really don't think they are in as bad a place as some make out from a development perspective, but they are in a bit of a sorry spot with regards to sponsorship and it's sad that so many long term partners have been recently alienated. A lot depends on Honda of course but if they get it right at last then I predict McLaren will be challenging at the front next year.


I am pretty sure that they would get the historical payments as the current agreement goes up to 2020.
I believe you get more cash for every championship you win on going. Eg Mercs WCC win in 2014 might mean an extra 5-10 million per year for 2015, 16 , 17 , 18, 19 and 2020 = 30-60 million extra over 6 years just for winning 1 WCC.
So imagine what Red Bull's 4 and now Merc's 3 in a row has done to their budget.

On topic. It seems McLaren have been pointing the finger for too long at Honda. Rightly so in some respects, but it seems that has clouded part of their judgement on how to move forward with the car.
If they stayed with Merc engines, then they would have had a clear baseline to measure their performance against.
And then made the appropriate changes to the team to get back to the front.
They have said that they believe they have one of the best chassis on the grid. (Much debate about that has been done on these forums)
That mindset is a bit like when Red Bull were pointing the finger at Renault.

The problem they have is how do you measure the team's performance with no one using the same engine and thinking their chassis is great?
If Honda turns around and produces the best engine on the grid next year, and McLaren are still not able to win races, then serious team personnel changes are needed which then could take even more time to bare fruit. (1-2 years = 2018 or 2019)

If they are not quick in 2017, it will be Alonso's last year with them.
James Allen mentioned on his site that he thought longer term that Ricciardo might end up at McLaren.
I found that interesting as I hadn't read it anywhere else.

Ron's experiment to swap to Honda has been his un-doing, I hope it is not the team's as well.
If they don't improve soon, they might be banished to the mid field forever...

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:42 pm 
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List of required things for McHonda to win again:

1) Honda to produce the best engine and surpass the Mercedes one

end of the list

If this would be achieved, all the rest of things would come together... The chasis would be much easier to optimize if you have the best and most powerful engine


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:00 pm 
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Hi all,

Some interesting responses and views regarding my question.

Whilst I agree somewhat with what Zoue stated about having an underperforming engine and its effects on the chassis and how you develop this, how is it that at the beginning of the season to midway that Toro Rosso was outperforming them with a year old spec Ferrari engine, and Red Bull continue to outperform the under powered Renault engine. Red Bull have showed what can be achieved with an underperforming engine.......and whilst its not championships yet, it is still very good results considering.

In regards to the sponsorship side of things, I think the hiring of Zak Brown will have a significant benefit in adding new and key sponsors, the loss of an oil/fuel partner in Mobil AGAIN to Red Bull is huge loss in my opinion especially in todays engine specifications as it has been proven how key an oil/fuel successful partnership can be in producing additional performance. Maybe this should be Zak's priority in the foreseeable future in securing an exclusive fuel partner rather than a title sponsor....only the problem whom is out there for McLaren to seek bar Total? In respects of other sponsorship deals, it is slightly worrying that no names have been rumoured to be joining McLaren since the end of the season as other teams are rumoured to be in negotiations e.g. Toro Rosso with re-branding the Renault engine or Force India in securing Johnnie Walker.....maybe I'm just to hopeful and impatient.

From a variety of sources it appears that McLaren did try and sign James Allison prior to him moving to Ferrari....maybe the Ron micro management did put him off from joining McLaren and from further sources it appears McLaren only made their move for him this time round at a very late period of time, for which his supposed Mercedes contract had been agreed. I cannot see why McLaren would not attempt to re-hire Lowe, surely McLaren is a better option than Williams (with them being a customer team) and with more potential, unless Paddy knows something behind the scenes we don't know?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:07 pm 
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Randine wrote:
Zoue wrote:
I think the fact they no longer qualify for the historical payments (I think) will hurt them massively and Zak Brown has a big job to do. Having said that, McLaren is a big name so still a very attractive prospect for potential sponsors.

McLaren was in a bit of a mess when Ron took back the reins, but has shown signs of real improvement under his 2nd tenure. As the James Allen article says, their progress last year was easy to chart. It's ironic that just when things looked to be coming good he's been booted out but I hope the journey back to the top he initiated continues unabated. But the fact the new rules are ones which McLaren helped formulate must give them reason to be confident and I think there's a lot to be happy about. I really don't think they are in as bad a place as some make out from a development perspective, but they are in a bit of a sorry spot with regards to sponsorship and it's sad that so many long term partners have been recently alienated. A lot depends on Honda of course but if they get it right at last then I predict McLaren will be challenging at the front next year.


I am pretty sure that they would get the historical payments as the current agreement goes up to 2020.
I believe you get more cash for every championship you win on going. Eg Mercs WCC win in 2014 might mean an extra 5-10 million per year for 2015, 16 , 17 , 18, 19 and 2020 = 30-60 million extra over 6 years just for winning 1 WCC.
So imagine what Red Bull's 4 and now Merc's 3 in a row has done to their budget.

On topic. It seems McLaren have been pointing the finger for too long at Honda. Rightly so in some respects, but it seems that has clouded part of their judgement on how to move forward with the car.
If they stayed with Merc engines, then they would have had a clear baseline to measure their performance against.
And then made the appropriate changes to the team to get back to the front.
They have said that they believe they have one of the best chassis on the grid. (Much debate about that has been done on these forums)
That mindset is a bit like when Red Bull were pointing the finger at Renault.

The problem they have is how do you measure the team's performance with no one using the same engine and thinking their chassis is great?
If Honda turns around and produces the best engine on the grid next year, and McLaren are still not able to win races, then serious team personnel changes are needed which then could take even more time to bare fruit. (1-2 years = 2018 or 2019)

If they are not quick in 2017, it will be Alonso's last year with them.
James Allen mentioned on his site that he thought longer term that Ricciardo might end up at McLaren.
I found that interesting as I hadn't read it anywhere else.

Ron's experiment to swap to Honda has been his un-doing, I hope it is not the team's as well.
If they don't improve soon, they might be banished to the mid field forever...

They didn't feel that being a customer team would benefit them in the long run. They knew it would be a long-term investment (although I doubt they considered Honda would struggle quite so much) but were prepared to go through short term pain for long term gain.

As to pointing fingers, I think all they are doing is explaining where their deficit is. Red Bull threw their toys out of the pram and lambasted their engine "partner," while McLaren are simply showing where they are down against the rest. Thing is, last year showed that Red Bull were correct that Renault were holding them back, even if they went about it in a less than tasteful way. But the Honda is down against the other PUs, there's little doubt there. It shows that McLaren itself isn't necessarily a team in crisis, because the signs are that once they get the PU sorted out they'll be competitive again. They are probably saying it as much for potential sponsors' benefit as anything else, because it shows that from an engineering perspective they are not necessarily a long shot.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:37 pm 
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ScottR267 wrote:
Hi all,

Some interesting responses and views regarding my question.

Whilst I agree somewhat with what Zoue stated about having an underperforming engine and its effects on the chassis and how you develop this, how is it that at the beginning of the season to midway that Toro Rosso was outperforming them with a year old spec Ferrari engine, and Red Bull continue to outperform the under powered Renault engine. Red Bull have showed what can be achieved with an underperforming engine.......and whilst its not championships yet, it is still very good results considering.
Look at it this way: at the beginning of the season TR was using a PU which was the product of 2 full years' development, while McLaren only had a year's development behind them. But Honda overhauled that Ferrari engine eventually, which means their rate of development in the same time frame was quicker. It's just that they've been constantly playing catch up.

I don't think you can compare the Red Bull and McLaren situation. All under-performing engines aren't the same and the Renault was still far more advanced at that stage than the McLaren was at the beginning of 2016. Mercedes' Australian pole was 2.5s faster in 2016 than it was in 2015 and much of that will have come from PU development. In fact, neither Merc would have made it to Q3, let alone the front row. Only the Manors and one Haas qualified slower in 2016 than the Q3 cut-off time in 2015. And both McLarens, with a PU a year behind everyone else, qualified faster in 2016 than the 2015 pole time. The point is the rate of development was relentless and Honda had to develop twice as fast as anyone else just to catch up


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:15 pm 
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The rate of development in 2016 by some teams has been remarkable. My ratings for the Red Bull-Renaults for their first four races (Ricciardo paired with Kvyat) compared to their last 17 races (Ricciardo paired with Verstappen) shows a huge, almost unbelievable improvement in speed. I think this has been among the greatest speed increases within a season. By my calcs the McLaren-Honda car at over 2% down on the Mercedes and over 1.5% on the Red Bull-Renault has so much catching up to do.

Apart from the sheer cost of closing this huge gap, is there enough time for Honda? Renault have again showed they know how to design and build engines; this was in a running (temporarily reduced) department; Honda had to start F1 again from scratch.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:39 pm 
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Getting rid of Ron Dennis is a huge gain for them. Guy was hopeless as a team principal.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:45 pm 
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GingerFurball wrote:
Getting rid of Ron Dennis is a huge gain for them. Guy was hopeless as a team principal.


Sarcasm?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:54 pm 
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POBRatings wrote:
The rate of development in 2016 by some teams has been remarkable. My ratings for the Red Bull-Renaults for their first four races (Ricciardo paired with Kvyat) compared to their last 17 races (Ricciardo paired with Verstappen) shows a huge, almost unbelievable improvement in speed. I think this has been among the greatest speed increases within a season. By my calcs the McLaren-Honda car at over 2% down on the Mercedes and over 1.5% on the Red Bull-Renault has so much catching up to do.

Apart from the sheer cost of closing this huge gap, is there enough time for Honda? Renault have again showed they know how to design and build engines; this was in a running (temporarily reduced) department; Honda had to start F1 again from scratch.


When do Honda renew their contract? It occurs that the new leadership might be less hooked on Honda than the previous one. Would they be able to acquire a new deal with one of the existing suppliers?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:24 pm 
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Option or Prime wrote:
POBRatings wrote:
The rate of development in 2016 by some teams has been remarkable. My ratings for the Red Bull-Renaults for their first four races (Ricciardo paired with Kvyat) compared to their last 17 races (Ricciardo paired with Verstappen) shows a huge, almost unbelievable improvement in speed. I think this has been among the greatest speed increases within a season. By my calcs the McLaren-Honda car at over 2% down on the Mercedes and over 1.5% on the Red Bull-Renault has so much catching up to do.

Apart from the sheer cost of closing this huge gap, is there enough time for Honda? Renault have again showed they know how to design and build engines; this was in a running (temporarily reduced) department; Honda had to start F1 again from scratch.


When do Honda renew their contract? It occurs that the new leadership might be less hooked on Honda than the previous one. Would they be able to acquire a new deal with one of the existing suppliers?

I don't see any upsides. They don't have to pay for their PUs as Honda are a partner, which is a huge budgetary benefit. IIRC, they also get money from Honda for drivers, too. Why on earth would they want to give that up to be just another customer team?

Honda are currently behind the curve but have been developing at a faster rate than the others. They've been hampered by development rules which will no longer be a factor. It's doubtful they'll be propping up the back end that much longer. Switching to being a customer of one of the other teams would be accepting mediocrity indefinitely.

Of course, that doesn't mean e.g. Red Bull might not try to pinch the Honda partnership from under McLaren's noses. After all, they've nicked just about everything else from them. But I can't see McLaren voluntarily stepping away from Honda any time soon. It would be suicide IMO


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:51 pm 
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Randine wrote:
Zoue wrote:
I think the fact they no longer qualify for the historical payments (I think) will hurt them massively and Zak Brown has a big job to do. Having said that, McLaren is a big name so still a very attractive prospect for potential sponsors.

McLaren was in a bit of a mess when Ron took back the reins, but has shown signs of real improvement under his 2nd tenure. As the James Allen article says, their progress last year was easy to chart. It's ironic that just when things looked to be coming good he's been booted out but I hope the journey back to the top he initiated continues unabated. But the fact the new rules are ones which McLaren helped formulate must give them reason to be confident and I think there's a lot to be happy about. I really don't think they are in as bad a place as some make out from a development perspective, but they are in a bit of a sorry spot with regards to sponsorship and it's sad that so many long term partners have been recently alienated. A lot depends on Honda of course but if they get it right at last then I predict McLaren will be challenging at the front next year.


I am pretty sure that they would get the historical payments as the current agreement goes up to 2020.
I believe you get more cash for every championship you win on going. Eg Mercs WCC win in 2014 might mean an extra 5-10 million per year for 2015, 16 , 17 , 18, 19 and 2020 = 30-60 million extra over 6 years just for winning 1 WCC.
So imagine what Red Bull's 4 and now Merc's 3 in a row has done to their budget.

On topic.It seems McLaren have been pointing the finger for too long at Honda. Rightly so in some respects, but it seems that has clouded part of their judgement on how to move forward with the car.
If they stayed with Merc engines, then they would have had a clear baseline to measure their performance against.
And then made the appropriate changes to the team to get back to the front.
They have said that they believe they have one of the best chassis on the grid. (Much debate about that has been done on these forums)
That mindset is a bit like when Red Bull were pointing the finger at Renault.

The problem they have is how do you measure the team's performance with no one using the same engine and thinking their chassis is great?
If Honda turns around and produces the best engine on the grid next year, and McLaren are still not able to win races, then serious team personnel changes are needed which then could take even more time to bare fruit. (1-2 years = 2018 or 2019)

If they are not quick in 2017, it will be Alonso's last year with them.
James Allen mentioned on his site that he thought longer term that Ricciardo might end up at McLaren.
I found that interesting as I hadn't read it anywhere else.

Ron's experiment to swap to Honda has been his un-doing, I hope it is not the team's as well.
If they don't improve soon, they might be banished to the mid field forever...


Bingo. They have been trying to tell us all year that they have a championship level chassis and blame everything on the power unit. It is no wonder now that Honda seems to be itching to supply one more team. Because if that team outperforms Mclaren it will help Honda and expose Mclaren.
All sorts of claims have been made by the Mclaren people about fighting Ferrari and Redbull last year. Lately we have heard Bouiller say that they would go as far as win races if they had the best engine. I say no way.

I just shake my head when I hear these things. While Mclaren's chassis is not bad, it is just not a top tier chassis. Otherwise you would have seen them fight for podiums at some venues.

Hate to reopen up a can of worms but it is what it is.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:55 pm 
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ScottR267 wrote:
Hi all,

Some interesting responses and views regarding my question.

Whilst I agree somewhat with what Zoue stated about having an underperforming engine and its effects on the chassis and how you develop this, how is it that at the beginning of the season to midway that Toro Rosso was outperforming them with a year old spec Ferrari engine, and Red Bull continue to outperform the under powered Renault engine. Red Bull have showed what can be achieved with an underperforming engine.......and whilst its not championships yet, it is still very good results considering.

In regards to the sponsorship side of things, I think the hiring of Zak Brown will have a significant benefit in adding new and key sponsors, the loss of an oil/fuel partner in Mobil AGAIN to Red Bull is huge loss in my opinion especially in todays engine specifications as it has been proven how key an oil/fuel successful partnership can be in producing additional performance. Maybe this should be Zak's priority in the foreseeable future in securing an exclusive fuel partner rather than a title sponsor....only the problem whom is out there for McLaren to seek bar Total? In respects of other sponsorship deals, it is slightly worrying that no names have been rumoured to be joining McLaren since the end of the season as other teams are rumoured to be in negotiations e.g. Toro Rosso with re-branding the Renault engine or Force India in securing Johnnie Walker.....maybe I'm just to hopeful and impatient.

From a variety of sources it appears that McLaren did try and sign James Allison prior to him moving to Ferrari....maybe the Ron micro management did put him off from joining McLaren and from further sources it appears McLaren only made their move for him this time round at a very late period of time, for which his supposed Mercedes contract had been agreed. I cannot see why McLaren would not attempt to re-hire Lowe, surely McLaren is a better option than Williams (with them being a customer team) and with more potential, unless Paddy knows something behind the scenes we don't know?


I agree with pretty much everything you are saying.

The Lowe thing I really do not understand. Why would Paddy Lowe want to go to Williams and not Mclaren? Williams does not have the resources to be able to fight for championships. Mclaren does, even with the lack of sponsorship. Very strange.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:59 pm 
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GingerFurball wrote:
Getting rid of Ron Dennis is a huge gain for them. Guy was hopeless as a team principal.


It is harsh to say that but I agree. Ron's time has just passed. He should not longer run F1 teams, just like Bernie should no longer run formula 1. . Way too many mistakes in the recent past.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:07 pm 
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kleefton wrote:
Randine wrote:
Zoue wrote:
I think the fact they no longer qualify for the historical payments (I think) will hurt them massively and Zak Brown has a big job to do. Having said that, McLaren is a big name so still a very attractive prospect for potential sponsors.

McLaren was in a bit of a mess when Ron took back the reins, but has shown signs of real improvement under his 2nd tenure. As the James Allen article says, their progress last year was easy to chart. It's ironic that just when things looked to be coming good he's been booted out but I hope the journey back to the top he initiated continues unabated. But the fact the new rules are ones which McLaren helped formulate must give them reason to be confident and I think there's a lot to be happy about. I really don't think they are in as bad a place as some make out from a development perspective, but they are in a bit of a sorry spot with regards to sponsorship and it's sad that so many long term partners have been recently alienated. A lot depends on Honda of course but if they get it right at last then I predict McLaren will be challenging at the front next year.


I am pretty sure that they would get the historical payments as the current agreement goes up to 2020.
I believe you get more cash for every championship you win on going. Eg Mercs WCC win in 2014 might mean an extra 5-10 million per year for 2015, 16 , 17 , 18, 19 and 2020 = 30-60 million extra over 6 years just for winning 1 WCC.
So imagine what Red Bull's 4 and now Merc's 3 in a row has done to their budget.

On topic.It seems McLaren have been pointing the finger for too long at Honda. Rightly so in some respects, but it seems that has clouded part of their judgement on how to move forward with the car.
If they stayed with Merc engines, then they would have had a clear baseline to measure their performance against.
And then made the appropriate changes to the team to get back to the front.
They have said that they believe they have one of the best chassis on the grid. (Much debate about that has been done on these forums)
That mindset is a bit like when Red Bull were pointing the finger at Renault.

The problem they have is how do you measure the team's performance with no one using the same engine and thinking their chassis is great?
If Honda turns around and produces the best engine on the grid next year, and McLaren are still not able to win races, then serious team personnel changes are needed which then could take even more time to bare fruit. (1-2 years = 2018 or 2019)

If they are not quick in 2017, it will be Alonso's last year with them.
James Allen mentioned on his site that he thought longer term that Ricciardo might end up at McLaren.
I found that interesting as I hadn't read it anywhere else.

Ron's experiment to swap to Honda has been his un-doing, I hope it is not the team's as well.
If they don't improve soon, they might be banished to the mid field forever...


Bingo. They have been trying to tell us all year that they have a championship level chassis and blame everything on the power unit. It is no wonder now that Honda seems to be itching to supply one more team. Because if that team outperforms Mclaren it will help Honda and expose Mclaren.
All sorts of claims have been made by the Mclaren people about fighting Ferrari and Redbull last year. Lately we have heard Bouiller say that they would go as far as win races if they had the best engine. I say no way.

I just shake my head when I hear these things. While Mclaren's chassis is not bad, it is just not a top tier chassis. Otherwise you would have seen them fight for podiums at some venues.

Hate to reopen up a can of worms but it is what it is.

BIB: by what logic? You're making an assumption that a chassis can make up for any level of PU deficit? I don't think you understand at all the contribution the PU makes.

All the professional reports, every single one, state that the McLaren chassis is one of the better ones. Not saying it's the best, mind, but certainly above average. The latest report by JA suggests it's the 3rd best behind the Merc and Red Bull, but you know better? There are no grounds whatsoever to assume the PU is capable of delivering podiums to anyone.

I don't know why you insist on contradicting almost every, if not every, professional opinion. It's OK to have doubts about how good they are, but you're adamant they are sub-standard and you have nothing to go on to back that up? It's not so much a can of worms as swimming up river


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:39 pm 
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kleefton wrote:
Randine wrote:
Zoue wrote:
I think the fact they no longer qualify for the historical payments (I think) will hurt them massively and Zak Brown has a big job to do. Having said that, McLaren is a big name so still a very attractive prospect for potential sponsors.

McLaren was in a bit of a mess when Ron took back the reins, but has shown signs of real improvement under his 2nd tenure. As the James Allen article says, their progress last year was easy to chart. It's ironic that just when things looked to be coming good he's been booted out but I hope the journey back to the top he initiated continues unabated. But the fact the new rules are ones which McLaren helped formulate must give them reason to be confident and I think there's a lot to be happy about. I really don't think they are in as bad a place as some make out from a development perspective, but they are in a bit of a sorry spot with regards to sponsorship and it's sad that so many long term partners have been recently alienated. A lot depends on Honda of course but if they get it right at last then I predict McLaren will be challenging at the front next year.


I am pretty sure that they would get the historical payments as the current agreement goes up to 2020.
I believe you get more cash for every championship you win on going. Eg Mercs WCC win in 2014 might mean an extra 5-10 million per year for 2015, 16 , 17 , 18, 19 and 2020 = 30-60 million extra over 6 years just for winning 1 WCC.
So imagine what Red Bull's 4 and now Merc's 3 in a row has done to their budget.

On topic.It seems McLaren have been pointing the finger for too long at Honda. Rightly so in some respects, but it seems that has clouded part of their judgement on how to move forward with the car.
If they stayed with Merc engines, then they would have had a clear baseline to measure their performance against.
And then made the appropriate changes to the team to get back to the front.
They have said that they believe they have one of the best chassis on the grid. (Much debate about that has been done on these forums)
That mindset is a bit like when Red Bull were pointing the finger at Renault.

The problem they have is how do you measure the team's performance with no one using the same engine and thinking their chassis is great?
If Honda turns around and produces the best engine on the grid next year, and McLaren are still not able to win races, then serious team personnel changes are needed which then could take even more time to bare fruit. (1-2 years = 2018 or 2019)

If they are not quick in 2017, it will be Alonso's last year with them.
James Allen mentioned on his site that he thought longer term that Ricciardo might end up at McLaren.
I found that interesting as I hadn't read it anywhere else.

Ron's experiment to swap to Honda has been his un-doing, I hope it is not the team's as well.
If they don't improve soon, they might be banished to the mid field forever...


Bingo. They have been trying to tell us all year that they have a championship level chassis and blame everything on the power unit. It is no wonder now that Honda seems to be itching to supply one more team. Because if that team outperforms Mclaren it will help Honda and expose Mclaren.
All sorts of claims have been made by the Mclaren people about fighting Ferrari and Redbull last year. Lately we have heard Bouiller say that they would go as far as win races if they had the best engine. I say no way.

I just shake my head when I hear these things. While Mclaren's chassis is not bad, it is just not a top tier chassis. Otherwise you would have seen them fight for podiums at some venues.

Hate to reopen up a can of worms but it is what it is.


Any thing to back that up? Because pretty much everyone in the know disagree's.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:41 pm 
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Option or Prime wrote:
POBRatings wrote:
The rate of development in 2016 by some teams has been remarkable. My ratings for the Red Bull-Renaults for their first four races (Ricciardo paired with Kvyat) compared to their last 17 races (Ricciardo paired with Verstappen) shows a huge, almost unbelievable improvement in speed. I think this has been among the greatest speed increases within a season. By my calcs the McLaren-Honda car at over 2% down on the Mercedes and over 1.5% on the Red Bull-Renault has so much catching up to do.

Apart from the sheer cost of closing this huge gap, is there enough time for Honda? Renault have again showed they know how to design and build engines; this was in a running (temporarily reduced) department; Honda had to start F1 again from scratch.


When do Honda renew their contract? It occurs that the new leadership might be less hooked on Honda than the previous one. Would they be able to acquire a new deal with one of the existing suppliers?


Not going to happen. Mclaren were right to move to Honda in the first place and the reasons for that remain the same.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:15 pm 
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ScottR267 wrote:
Hi all,

Some interesting responses and views regarding my question.

Whilst I agree somewhat with what Zoue stated about having an underperforming engine and its effects on the chassis and how you develop this, how is it that at the beginning of the season to midway that Toro Rosso was outperforming them with a year old spec Ferrari engine, and Red Bull continue to outperform the under powered Renault engine. Red Bull have showed what can be achieved with an underperforming engine.......and whilst its not championships yet, it is still very good results considering.

In regards to the sponsorship side of things, I think the hiring of Zak Brown will have a significant benefit in adding new and key sponsors, the loss of an oil/fuel partner in Mobil AGAIN to Red Bull is huge loss in my opinion especially in todays engine specifications as it has been proven how key an oil/fuel successful partnership can be in producing additional performance. Maybe this should be Zak's priority in the foreseeable future in securing an exclusive fuel partner rather than a title sponsor....only the problem whom is out there for McLaren to seek bar Total? In respects of other sponsorship deals, it is slightly worrying that no names have been rumoured to be joining McLaren since the end of the season as other teams are rumoured to be in negotiations e.g. Toro Rosso with re-branding the Renault engine or Force India in securing Johnnie Walker.....maybe I'm just to hopeful and impatient.

From a variety of sources it appears that McLaren did try and sign James Allison prior to him moving to Ferrari....maybe the Ron micro management did put him off from joining McLaren and from further sources it appears McLaren only made their move for him this time round at a very late period of time, for which his supposed Mercedes contract had been agreed. I cannot see why McLaren would not attempt to re-hire Lowe, surely McLaren is a better option than Williams (with them being a customer team) and with more potential, unless Paddy knows something behind the scenes we don't know?


Because both those engines are/were superior to the Honda one.

You'll notice how Red Bull got an awful lot better after Monaco when they introduced their TJI and got even better throughout the year, as POB points out, when they are able to put on more downforce with the more power they got.

And that was an update on a year 3 ICE for Renault at Monaco. Honda's remained a year 1 ICE until Silverstone,Round 10 2016. And they still haven't added their TJI.

It's just not comparable.

Honda have done a great job to get where they are so quickly but where they are is 1 year behind the weakest competitor PU which was Renault PU(Aus-Monaco 2016).

McLaren's words and people's praise of them and their car last year,Honda's willingness to take the blame no questions asked and lack of desire to supply anyone else on the grid until 2018 makes a lot more sense when that fact is grasped.

And pointing it out shouldn't be viewed as bashing Honda. They started off 2+yrs behind Renault in development with a further 1yr on track running and they're only 1yr behind right now. It's an outstanding job they've done.*

*Assuming Honda start 2017 with a year 3 ICE with TJI variant as has been reported they will do.

And if they do I'm sure Sauber will take a deal for 2018 by the summer as Hasegawa has stated that's the cut off for supplying someone in 2018.

_________________
"Clark came through at the end of the first lap so far ahead that we in the pits were convinced that the rest of the field must have been wiped out in an accident."
-Eddie Dennis, describing the dominance of Jim Clark in the Lotus 49 at Spa 1967


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:25 pm 
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Option or Prime wrote:
POBRatings wrote:
The rate of development in 2016 by some teams has been remarkable. My ratings for the Red Bull-Renaults for their first four races (Ricciardo paired with Kvyat) compared to their last 17 races (Ricciardo paired with Verstappen) shows a huge, almost unbelievable improvement in speed. I think this has been among the greatest speed increases within a season. By my calcs the McLaren-Honda car at over 2% down on the Mercedes and over 1.5% on the Red Bull-Renault has so much catching up to do.

Apart from the sheer cost of closing this huge gap, is there enough time for Honda? Renault have again showed they know how to design and build engines; this was in a running (temporarily reduced) department; Honda had to start F1 again from scratch.


When do Honda renew their contract? It occurs that the new leadership might be less hooked on Honda than the previous one. Would they be able to acquire a new deal with one of the existing suppliers?


It was a 10yr works agreement I believe.

And they won't break it, being a works partner with a company as willing to pump in as many millions as Honda are is gold dust.

_________________
"Clark came through at the end of the first lap so far ahead that we in the pits were convinced that the rest of the field must have been wiped out in an accident."
-Eddie Dennis, describing the dominance of Jim Clark in the Lotus 49 at Spa 1967


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:00 pm 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
GingerFurball wrote:
Getting rid of Ron Dennis is a huge gain for them. Guy was hopeless as a team principal.


Sarcasm?

In the last decade (give or take), on Ron's watch, McLaren have:

Lost Adrian Newey
Lost Fernando Alonso for the peak years of his career
Lost their status as Mercedes' works team
Lost Lewis Hamilton
Lost Vodafone as a title sponsor and not replaced them
Lost their Mercedes engine deal
Won one solitary championship
Slid down the pecking order to the extent that their drivers have been on the podium in one race in the last 4 seasons

Any other achievements I've missed?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:19 pm 
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GingerFurball wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
GingerFurball wrote:
Getting rid of Ron Dennis is a huge gain for them. Guy was hopeless as a team principal.


Sarcasm?

In the last decade (give or take), on Ron's watch, McLaren have:

Lost Adrian Newey
Lost Fernando Alonso for the peak years of his career
Lost their status as Mercedes' works team
Lost Lewis Hamilton
Lost Vodafone as a title sponsor and not replaced them
Lost their Mercedes engine deal
Won one solitary championship
Slid down the pecking order to the extent that their drivers have been on the podium in one race in the last 4 seasons

Any other achievements I've missed?

Martin Whitmarsh was team principal during 2009-2013 seasons though... during Whitmarsh years the team won no championship, lost Hamilton and lost Vodafone.
With Ron Dennis the team won 7 WCC and 11 WDC's if i'm not wrong... I suppose most team principals would want to be as "hopeless" as him.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:28 pm 
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GingerFurball wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
GingerFurball wrote:
Getting rid of Ron Dennis is a huge gain for them. Guy was hopeless as a team principal.


Sarcasm?

In the last decade (give or take), on Ron's watch, McLaren have:

Lost Adrian Newey
Lost Fernando Alonso for the peak years of his career
Lost their status as Mercedes' works team
Lost Lewis Hamilton
Lost Vodafone as a title sponsor and not replaced them
Lost their Mercedes engine deal
Won one solitary championship
Slid down the pecking order to the extent that their drivers have been on the podium in one race in the last 4 seasons

Any other achievements I've missed?

Losing Alonso is entirely down to Alonso, I'm afraid. No way that blame can be laid at Ron's door. And Lewis left during Whitmarsh's reign, so that's not down to Ron, either. While they didn't so much lose their Mercedes deal as replace it with Honda, as they wanted to be a works team. So I'd say it's hard to paint that as a negative. Crystal balls are always wonderful, of course, but few could have imagined how hard it could be for Honda to get competitive. But even there the momentum has been upwards. He just ran out of time, unfortunately for him.

Losing so many sponsors is indeed a negative and it's hard to defend him for that. Clearly he's either clinging to an inflated and unrealistic worth of what McLaren is or his personality has alienated even the longest serving partners, which is not good. I'd agree that he needed someone like Zak to take over the reigns on that score. And as Zak himself has said, he was Ron's hire...

There appears to be little wrong with McLaren's technical ability or chassis; it's the PU which has been responsible for much of their predicament. And right from the start they said it would take a few years to get back to the top, especially given such a heavily PU-oriented formula. I'd say next year's car will probably be the best one to judge Ron by. If it shows continual improvement on the current one, then it will show Ron was on the right path all along. Everybody talks about five year plans to get a team to the front, with Renault being the latest on that score, but Ron is judged for not doing it in two?

McLaren's slide started when Ron handed over the reigns to Whitmarsh. Until 2009 they were unquestionably one of the top teams in F1. So much of what he's done since his return has been rebuilding the team back to the powerhouse it was when he was last in charge. And, given that most experts agree the 2016 McLaren car was a pretty good one, I'd say he wasn't doing too shabby a job in that regard.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:55 pm 
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GingerFurball wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
GingerFurball wrote:
Getting rid of Ron Dennis is a huge gain for them. Guy was hopeless as a team principal.


Sarcasm?

In the last decade (give or take), on Ron's watch, McLaren have:

Lost Adrian Newey
Lost Fernando Alonso for the peak years of his career
Lost their status as Mercedes' works team
Lost Lewis Hamilton
Lost Vodafone as a title sponsor and not replaced them
Lost their Mercedes engine deal
Won one solitary championship
Slid down the pecking order to the extent that their drivers have been on the podium in one race in the last 4 seasons

Any other achievements I've missed?


Yes.

Ron signed Newey
Signed Alonso
Gained another works engine deal - very hard to do, ask Red Bull.
Signed Hamilton (lost by Whitmarsh)
Won numerous world championships

They didn't "lose" the Merc engine deal they gave it up because they new being a customer to Mercedes could only lead them down the Williams road. Ron nipped that in the bud, signed for Honda, and while they have been going through some pain has left them relevant. We are talking about Mclaren being possibly able to win races in the next few years. Are we doing that with Williams?

Also it was Whitmarsh who lost Hamilton and Vodafone.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:20 pm 
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Zoue wrote:
kleefton wrote:
Randine wrote:
Zoue wrote:
I think the fact they no longer qualify for the historical payments (I think) will hurt them massively and Zak Brown has a big job to do. Having said that, McLaren is a big name so still a very attractive prospect for potential sponsors.

McLaren was in a bit of a mess when Ron took back the reins, but has shown signs of real improvement under his 2nd tenure. As the James Allen article says, their progress last year was easy to chart. It's ironic that just when things looked to be coming good he's been booted out but I hope the journey back to the top he initiated continues unabated. But the fact the new rules are ones which McLaren helped formulate must give them reason to be confident and I think there's a lot to be happy about. I really don't think they are in as bad a place as some make out from a development perspective, but they are in a bit of a sorry spot with regards to sponsorship and it's sad that so many long term partners have been recently alienated. A lot depends on Honda of course but if they get it right at last then I predict McLaren will be challenging at the front next year.


I am pretty sure that they would get the historical payments as the current agreement goes up to 2020.
I believe you get more cash for every championship you win on going. Eg Mercs WCC win in 2014 might mean an extra 5-10 million per year for 2015, 16 , 17 , 18, 19 and 2020 = 30-60 million extra over 6 years just for winning 1 WCC.
So imagine what Red Bull's 4 and now Merc's 3 in a row has done to their budget.

On topic.It seems McLaren have been pointing the finger for too long at Honda. Rightly so in some respects, but it seems that has clouded part of their judgement on how to move forward with the car.
If they stayed with Merc engines, then they would have had a clear baseline to measure their performance against.
And then made the appropriate changes to the team to get back to the front.
They have said that they believe they have one of the best chassis on the grid. (Much debate about that has been done on these forums)
That mindset is a bit like when Red Bull were pointing the finger at Renault.

The problem they have is how do you measure the team's performance with no one using the same engine and thinking their chassis is great?
If Honda turns around and produces the best engine on the grid next year, and McLaren are still not able to win races, then serious team personnel changes are needed which then could take even more time to bare fruit. (1-2 years = 2018 or 2019)

If they are not quick in 2017, it will be Alonso's last year with them.
James Allen mentioned on his site that he thought longer term that Ricciardo might end up at McLaren.
I found that interesting as I hadn't read it anywhere else.

Ron's experiment to swap to Honda has been his un-doing, I hope it is not the team's as well.
If they don't improve soon, they might be banished to the mid field forever...


Bingo. They have been trying to tell us all year that they have a championship level chassis and blame everything on the power unit. It is no wonder now that Honda seems to be itching to supply one more team. Because if that team outperforms Mclaren it will help Honda and expose Mclaren.
All sorts of claims have been made by the Mclaren people about fighting Ferrari and Redbull last year. Lately we have heard Bouiller say that they would go as far as win races if they had the best engine. I say no way.

I just shake my head when I hear these things. While Mclaren's chassis is not bad, it is just not a top tier chassis. Otherwise you would have seen them fight for podiums at some venues.

Hate to reopen up a can of worms but it is what it is.

BIB: by what logic? You're making an assumption that a chassis can make up for any level of PU deficit? I don't think you understand at all the contribution the PU makes.

All the professional reports, every single one, state that the McLaren chassis is one of the better ones. Not saying it's the best, mind, but certainly above average. The latest report by JA suggests it's the 3rd best behind the Merc and Red Bull, but you know better? There are no grounds whatsoever to assume the PU is capable of delivering podiums to anyone.

I don't know why you insist on contradicting almost every, if not every, professional opinion. It's OK to have doubts about how good they are, but you're adamant they are sub-standard and you have nothing to go on to back that up? It's not so much a can of worms as swimming up river


Weve been through this so many times and i feel like im arguing with a wall. Then again you must feel the same.

No i do not think that a chassis can make up for any power deficit. But i do know that there are places where a great chassis would be able to shine. It is also not true that all experts think the mp4-31 was a great chassis. Plenty of people have described how those claims are pretty hard to prove.

In fact i was reading a magazine article recently at a book store that described how mclaren's size zero philosophy has limited Honda in their development. Basically mclarens obsession with size zero and the restrictions they have placed on honda for the packaging has been the major reason why the turbine was too small in 2015, why there were so many reliability issues and why they ultimately could not harvest enough energy. Mclaren in my opinion has a huge problem; they think they can beat Mercedes with a smaller is better philosophy. It obviously hasnt worked. But there is nothing to suggest that philosophy has changed. What is the definition of insanity again?

No wonder honda wants to expand their customer base now. Maybe just maybe they feel it is impossible to succeed with mclaren? Oh...and most of the people praising mclaren's chassis are people that work for mclaren. They pretty much have to say that to not alienate sponsors so you cant really blame them.

Until there is another team running the honda engine we will never truly know where the chassis or power unit stack up. But from what ive witnessed all last season i just cant accept that it was a great chassis. I do understand the fact they had to go with a different aero philosophy because of the lack of power but even lowly toro rosso looked faster most of the year with what was an inferior power unit. Does anyone believe toro rosso has a championship level chassis?

If you take the Alonso performances out of the 2016 season mclaren would probably be a back marker team. How did jenson button look in a wet brazil with his championship level chassis? Just imagine if palmer and magnussen were at mclaren last year instead of button and alonso...not a pretty thought.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:27 pm 
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kleefton wrote:
Zoue wrote:
kleefton wrote:
Randine wrote:
Zoue wrote:
I think the fact they no longer qualify for the historical payments (I think) will hurt them massively and Zak Brown has a big job to do. Having said that, McLaren is a big name so still a very attractive prospect for potential sponsors.

McLaren was in a bit of a mess when Ron took back the reins, but has shown signs of real improvement under his 2nd tenure. As the James Allen article says, their progress last year was easy to chart. It's ironic that just when things looked to be coming good he's been booted out but I hope the journey back to the top he initiated continues unabated. But the fact the new rules are ones which McLaren helped formulate must give them reason to be confident and I think there's a lot to be happy about. I really don't think they are in as bad a place as some make out from a development perspective, but they are in a bit of a sorry spot with regards to sponsorship and it's sad that so many long term partners have been recently alienated. A lot depends on Honda of course but if they get it right at last then I predict McLaren will be challenging at the front next year.


I am pretty sure that they would get the historical payments as the current agreement goes up to 2020.
I believe you get more cash for every championship you win on going. Eg Mercs WCC win in 2014 might mean an extra 5-10 million per year for 2015, 16 , 17 , 18, 19 and 2020 = 30-60 million extra over 6 years just for winning 1 WCC.
So imagine what Red Bull's 4 and now Merc's 3 in a row has done to their budget.

On topic.It seems McLaren have been pointing the finger for too long at Honda. Rightly so in some respects, but it seems that has clouded part of their judgement on how to move forward with the car.
If they stayed with Merc engines, then they would have had a clear baseline to measure their performance against.
And then made the appropriate changes to the team to get back to the front.
They have said that they believe they have one of the best chassis on the grid. (Much debate about that has been done on these forums)
That mindset is a bit like when Red Bull were pointing the finger at Renault.

The problem they have is how do you measure the team's performance with no one using the same engine and thinking their chassis is great?
If Honda turns around and produces the best engine on the grid next year, and McLaren are still not able to win races, then serious team personnel changes are needed which then could take even more time to bare fruit. (1-2 years = 2018 or 2019)

If they are not quick in 2017, it will be Alonso's last year with them.
James Allen mentioned on his site that he thought longer term that Ricciardo might end up at McLaren.
I found that interesting as I hadn't read it anywhere else.

Ron's experiment to swap to Honda has been his un-doing, I hope it is not the team's as well.
If they don't improve soon, they might be banished to the mid field forever...


Bingo. They have been trying to tell us all year that they have a championship level chassis and blame everything on the power unit. It is no wonder now that Honda seems to be itching to supply one more team. Because if that team outperforms Mclaren it will help Honda and expose Mclaren.
All sorts of claims have been made by the Mclaren people about fighting Ferrari and Redbull last year. Lately we have heard Bouiller say that they would go as far as win races if they had the best engine. I say no way.

I just shake my head when I hear these things. While Mclaren's chassis is not bad, it is just not a top tier chassis. Otherwise you would have seen them fight for podiums at some venues.

Hate to reopen up a can of worms but it is what it is.

BIB: by what logic? You're making an assumption that a chassis can make up for any level of PU deficit? I don't think you understand at all the contribution the PU makes.

All the professional reports, every single one, state that the McLaren chassis is one of the better ones. Not saying it's the best, mind, but certainly above average. The latest report by JA suggests it's the 3rd best behind the Merc and Red Bull, but you know better? There are no grounds whatsoever to assume the PU is capable of delivering podiums to anyone.

I don't know why you insist on contradicting almost every, if not every, professional opinion. It's OK to have doubts about how good they are, but you're adamant they are sub-standard and you have nothing to go on to back that up? It's not so much a can of worms as swimming up river


Weve been through this so many times and i feel like im arguing with a wall. Then again you must feel the same.

No i do not think that a chassis can make up for any power deficit. But i do know that there are places where a great chassis would be able to shine. It is also not true that all experts think the mp4-31 was a great chassis. Plenty of people have described how those claims are pretty hard to prove.

In fact i was reading a magazine article recently at a book store that described how mclaren's size zero philosophy has limited Honda in their development. Basically mclarens obsession with size zero and the restrictions they have placed on honda for the packaging has been the major reason why the turbine was too small in 2015, why there were so many reliability issues and why they ultimately could not harvest enough energy. Mclaren in my opinion has a huge problem; they think they can beat Mercedes with a smaller is better philosophy. It obviously hasnt worked. But there is nothing to suggest that philosophy has changed. What is the definition of insanity again?

No wonder honda wants to expand their customer base now. Maybe just maybe they feel it is impossible to succeed with mclaren? Oh...and most of the people praising mclaren's chassis are people that work for mclaren. They pretty much have to say that to not alienate sponsors so you cant really blame them.

Until there is another team running the honda engine we will never truly know where the chassis or power unit stack up. But from what ive witnessed all last season i just cant accept that it was a great chassis. I do understand the fact they had to go with a different aero philosophy because of the lack of power but even lowly toro rosso looked faster most of the year with what was an inferior power unit. Does anyone believe toro rosso has a championship level chassis?

If you take the Alonso performances out of the 2016 season mclaren would probably be a back marker team. How did jenson button look in a wet brazil with his championship level chassis? Just imagine if palmer and magnussen were at mclaren last year instead of button and alonso...not a pretty thought.


I do agree with you about the chassis being good, my view is that with that belief McLaren might have been able to do more instead of pointing the finger.

The other thing with the Honda engine is that it is more thirsty than the other engines. (From what I have heard on Sky coverage etc) So not only are they able to not harvest enough energy, but also they need to carry more fuel = more weight. At some power intensive circuits it seems they are managing the fuel loads a lot more than other teams.
(Hard to know as they dropped the live fuel graphics off the broadcast in 2014.)

What Red Bull have been able to achieve in the last few years has been pretty amazing. In their glory days, they set the car up (generally) to have high downforce which sacrificed top speed. It was great if you were Vettel that got pole and a good start as you could sail off into the sunset. (Not good being Webber with his terrible starts and dropping back and trying to overtake faster (straight line speed) cars.
Then something happened in mid 2013, they started mastering lower downforce and optimising top speed. Vettel won the last 7 or 8 races. His biggest winning streak ever.
Then with a less powerful engine compared to rivals in 2014, 2015 and especially 2016 they have really mastered working with less power by using less downforce but they are still competitive.

I think for Red Bull if they get a good engine from Renault in 2017, they might run Merc close to a title.
Reason being they can start to add that downforce back on.
(An example is Silverstone, Red Bull with much less downforce than Merc were able to corner just as fast through the quicker sections = Red Bull had possibly the best chassis in 2016)

For McLaren, if you look at what Red Bull have done, maybe they could be further along.
I really hope Honda produce a amwsome power plant for 2017.
How good would it be to have Alonso competitive again fighting with Max, Ricciardo, Ham, Kimi and Vettel.
I have high hopes for 2017. I just hope we don't have another Merc show, and whoever partners Ham can keep him honest...

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:59 pm 
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Randine wrote:

I do agree with you about the chassis being good, my view is that with that belief McLaren might have been able to do more instead of pointing the finger.

The other thing with the Honda engine is that it is more thirsty than the other engines. (From what I have heard on Sky coverage etc) So not only are they able to not harvest enough energy, but also they need to carry more fuel = more weight. At some power intensive circuits it seems they are managing the fuel loads a lot more than other teams.
(Hard to know as they dropped the live fuel graphics off the broadcast in 2014.)

What Red Bull have been able to achieve in the last few years has been pretty amazing. In their glory days, they set the car up (generally) to have high downforce which sacrificed top speed. It was great if you were Vettel that got pole and a good start as you could sail off into the sunset. (Not good being Webber with his terrible starts and dropping back and trying to overtake faster (straight line speed) cars.
Then something happened in mid 2013, they started mastering lower downforce and optimising top speed. Vettel won the last 7 or 8 races. His biggest winning streak ever.
Then with a less powerful engine compared to rivals in 2014, 2015 and especially 2016 they have really mastered working with less power by using less downforce but they are still competitive.

I think for Red Bull if they get a good engine from Renault in 2017, they might run Merc close to a title.
Reason being they can start to add that downforce back on.
(An example is Silverstone, Red Bull with much less downforce than Merc were able to corner just as fast through the quicker sections = Red Bull had possibly the best chassis in 2016)

For McLaren, if you look at what Red Bull have done, maybe they could be further along.
I really hope Honda produce a amwsome power plant for 2017.
How good would it be to have Alonso competitive again fighting with Max, Ricciardo, Ham, Kimi and Vettel.
I have high hopes for 2017. I just hope we don't have another Merc show, and whoever partners Ham can keep him honest...



I don't think Redbull mastered the art of low downforce. What they did essentially in mid 2013 was being able to generate downforce with the car without having to run a lot of wing angle. Their exhaust blown diffuser was the best out there and the engine mapping gave them unbelievable traction out of slow corners. If you remember at Spa 2013 they ran like the smallest rear wing ever seen for that event. It was almost a Monza spec wing. This reduced drag on the car but the rest of the aero package was so good that they were still able to outdo everyone in sector 2.

I still think Redbull will overtake Merc as the dominant force in F1 some time next year. I do have my reservations about how the Renault power unit will turn out though. I'm not sure it was really necessary for Renault to start from scratch again and build an entirely new power unit. But the car is going to be awfully good. Newey has been licking his chops at those new regulations ever since they were announced. I expect nothing short of a masterpiece from Redbull's 2017 chassis. The engine might hold them back though. Time will tell.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:55 am 
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Maclaren needs to stop living in the dream world that they have a race winning chassis.
You cannot fix something if you do not admit it needs fixing. Worst still its management that is in denial. How do you expect people on the floor to realize change is needed.

Honda engine clearly needs to improve, but at least there is clear consensus among Honda management that it needs fixing.
With the abolishment of tokens things may improve for Honda, but I got a feeling they will be at a disadvantage supplying only one car. Merc, Ferrari, Renault will at least have the advantage of testing different parts on different cars and will have more mileage between customers to test reliability.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:57 am 
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Is this 2015 we're talking about?. Size-zero?. Can't harvest enough?.

Honda were as much involved in size zero as McLaren were, and it was their idea to go with a split turbo inside the vee to save space but the whole size zero nonsense wen't out the window last winter when they couldn't get the ERS to work.

Since the winter it works and since Canada it's been one of the strongest ERS on the grid. They can harvest energy hand over fist, they don't suffer any form of clipping unlike Ferrari did for example. The reason?.

The turbo is so tiny it doesn't use up all the electrical power spinning it. They have excess energy every lap unlike those with bigger turbos.

The problem is it isn't a powerful turbo because it's small and because it's so small it's inefficient. Which on top of an already inefficient ICE running without TJI has left them up a certain creek with no paddles in sight.

And they couldn't increase the size because someone thought it was a good idea to put it in the bloody vee of the engine.

Which is also why there are teams who would rather run 1 year old TJI engines than approach Honda. The second this re-design is shown to work on track and they implement TJI you will see approaches and Honda accepting instead of saying they aren't ready to supply anyone.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:20 am 
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And just on the talk about Red Bull and what their doing with low downforce.

F1-AT are saying they ran a trick suspension which lowered the rear wing on the straights thus lowering drag and allowing them to run more downforce through the twisty bits with no penalty on the straights. They have already designed their 2017 car incorporating this when another team(said to be Mercedes) spotted the loophole around the mechanics of the rear suspension and asked the FIA to clarify.

Charlie sent a letter out outlawing it and Red Bull are scrambling to re-design the front and rear of the car for the new season.

http://www.f1analisitecnica.com/2016/12 ... ml?refresh

(Usual disclaimer with F1-AT, they're usually spot on with Ferrari but can be hit and miss elsewhere)

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-Eddie Dennis, describing the dominance of Jim Clark in the Lotus 49 at Spa 1967


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:06 pm 
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By continuing getting lapped. Voila!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:09 pm 
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AravJ wrote:
Maclaren needs to stop living in the dream world that they have a race winning chassis.
You cannot fix something if you do not admit it needs fixing. Worst still its management that is in denial. How do you expect people on the floor to realize change is needed.

Honda engine clearly needs to improve, but at least there is clear consensus among Honda management that it needs fixing.
With the abolishment of tokens things may improve for Honda, but I got a feeling they will be at a disadvantage supplying only one car. Merc, Ferrari, Renault will at least have the advantage of testing different parts on different cars and will have more mileage between customers to test reliability.


:thumbup:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:19 pm 
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kleefton wrote:
Randine wrote:

I do agree with you about the chassis being good, my view is that with that belief McLaren might have been able to do more instead of pointing the finger.

The other thing with the Honda engine is that it is more thirsty than the other engines. (From what I have heard on Sky coverage etc) So not only are they able to not harvest enough energy, but also they need to carry more fuel = more weight. At some power intensive circuits it seems they are managing the fuel loads a lot more than other teams.
(Hard to know as they dropped the live fuel graphics off the broadcast in 2014.)

What Red Bull have been able to achieve in the last few years has been pretty amazing. In their glory days, they set the car up (generally) to have high downforce which sacrificed top speed. It was great if you were Vettel that got pole and a good start as you could sail off into the sunset. (Not good being Webber with his terrible starts and dropping back and trying to overtake faster (straight line speed) cars.
Then something happened in mid 2013, they started mastering lower downforce and optimising top speed. Vettel won the last 7 or 8 races. His biggest winning streak ever.
Then with a less powerful engine compared to rivals in 2014, 2015 and especially 2016 they have really mastered working with less power by using less downforce but they are still competitive.

I think for Red Bull if they get a good engine from Renault in 2017, they might run Merc close to a title.
Reason being they can start to add that downforce back on.
(An example is Silverstone, Red Bull with much less downforce than Merc were able to corner just as fast through the quicker sections = Red Bull had possibly the best chassis in 2016)

For McLaren, if you look at what Red Bull have done, maybe they could be further along.
I really hope Honda produce a amwsome power plant for 2017.
How good would it be to have Alonso competitive again fighting with Max, Ricciardo, Ham, Kimi and Vettel.
I have high hopes for 2017. I just hope we don't have another Merc show, and whoever partners Ham can keep him honest...



I don't think Redbull mastered the art of low downforce. What they did essentially in mid 2013 was being able to generate downforce with the car without having to run a lot of wing angle. Their exhaust blown diffuser was the best out there and the engine mapping gave them unbelievable traction out of slow corners. If you remember at Spa 2013 they ran like the smallest rear wing ever seen for that event. It was almost a Monza spec wing. This reduced drag on the car but the rest of the aero package was so good that they were still able to outdo everyone in sector 2.

I still think Redbull will overtake Merc as the dominant force in F1 some time next year. I do have my reservations about how the Renault power unit will turn out though. I'm not sure it was really necessary for Renault to start from scratch again and build an entirely new power unit. But the car is going to be awfully good. Newey has been licking his chops at those new regulations ever since they were announced. I expect nothing short of a masterpiece from Redbull's 2017 chassis. The engine might hold them back though. Time will tell.


On the down force, Webber wanted to win another race before retiring, and went with different set up to Vettel at a few races as a point off difference. I remember one where Webber had a smaller rear wing to Vettel. What resulted was when Webber was behind someone, especially coming onto the straight, he couldn't get the power down as early as Vettel could.
It showed that you can definitely take off too much downforce! Even with their blown diffuser it didn't help the traction with a tiny wing.

Re engines. It is not exactly like starting from scratch for Renault. I think they will be ok.
ILmor have been working behind the scenes since Mid 2014.

One big question mark is how will 4 engines go over a season.
The new 2017 rubber is meant to be able to be pushed lap after lap. So the engines might have to be turned up more than the last 3 years (where the driver was balancing tyre wear) for a car to stay in front.
It might lead to a lot of mechanical failures over the season.
We will soon see just how much they can push if the difference between quali and fastest lap times narrows. (In Mexico I think it was 7 seconds between fastest lap of the race vs quali)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:47 pm 
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Zoue wrote:
I feel McLaren haven't actually been doing all that badly recently. Clearly they aren't getting the results they want, but by all independent accounts they buit a very decent car last year, which was hampered by the PU. And it doesn't matter how good your car is under the current regs: if you don't have a decent PU you may as well not bother. Now on that front, Honda were always going to struggle, due to starting after all the other manufacturers and being hampered by the idiotic development restrictions, but even there according to reports their PU in its 2nd year was extremely competitive against other 2nd year PUs: trouble is they were competing with 3rd year PUs.

So in summary, their lack of progress on track is largely down to their starting point, not their management. I think many who criticise don't quite understand just how dependent upon a halfway decent PU the teams are. Toro Rosso built a pretty decent car by all accounts, yet their year-old PU meant they were always on a hiding to nothing.

Off track, however, they do appear to be behind. I have a lot of time for Ron Dennis, but the way they've been haemorrhaging sponsors lately is extremely worrying and I'm afraid he has to take the responsibility for that. If reports I've read are true he's alienated far too many parties, so maybe it was a good thing he left. But McLaren need to reverse that pronto if they want to get back to the front (and stay there).


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