The new F1 season gets underway next month and already people are clamouring to see just who is going to be challenging this time around.
Most teams always head into the new campaign in the hope of doing better than they did in the previous season and one of those certainly aiming to do that this time around are McLaren. You could say it’s been a bit of a fall from grace for the 20 time F1 world champions, with them now being deemed as a bit of a fallen power but they’re expecting to be back with a bang in 2018.
In 2017, McLaren finished a disappointing 9th out of 10 on the constructors table. Only Sauber Ferrari finished below them but McLaren were well off the pace collecting only 30 points. In stark comparison, Force India Mercedes who finished 4th in the standings had a points total of 187, that’s over 6 times more than McLaren. Their drivers didn’t fare much better either with both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne finishing 15th and 16th respectively.
There’s optimism around the McLaren camp and their chances though ahead of the new campaign and they’re reportedly ready to make a huge leap forward, propelling themselves back into the spotlight. While the signs are promising, people have to remember that McLaren haven’t been a competitive force for the last three years or so and to jump back to the top end of the grid is going to be a huge ask.
McLaren haven’t had an F1 win since way back in 2012 and their failure to be a competitive team recently has seen them make the decision to move from a Honda engine to the power of Renault for 2018. The Honda engine has been blamed by the majority of people for McLaren’s struggles over the course of their three year relationship and with that many are glad that it has now come to an end.
Now McLaren are making use of an engine that has really delivered in F1, especially for Red Bull. McLaren were hugely impressed with how the Renault engine worked for Red Bull in 2017 and made the switch off of the back of it. This is why they now feel that they will be competing at the right end of the grid in the forthcoming season and making a massive just, basically from the bottom of the standings to the top.
If you add the new engine to a team which boasts a world class driver in Fernando Alonso and an unbelievable headquarters in Woking which is like something out of the space ages, you could say that McLaren literally have everything they need to have a competitive and successful season. The engine, the number one driver, the team and the base will all be key ingredients going forward.
While McLaren continue to hype up their chances of success this term, improvement is certainly a realistic proposition. However, if things don’t go to plan and they don’t hit the heights expected, people will be right to ask questions. Let’s just hope the team deliver on their promises and rise to the fore as an F1 superpower once again.