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...