McLaren & [INSERTENGINEPARTNERHERE], what if it is another year of failure? 2018 edition

Current Formula One related news, information and discussion.

What can we expect from McLaren at the start of 2018

- Qualify inside the top 10
5
25%
- At least one car retires in Melbourne
4
20%
- One car finishes in the points in Melbourne
2
10%
- Podium finish
0
No votes
- Reliability issues from winter testing remain unsolved
3
15%
- Worst of the Renault powered teams
4
20%
- Neither car scores points at any of the first few races
0
No votes
- Neither car finishes any of the first few races
1
5%
- Renault get the blame
1
5%
 
Total votes: 20

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Re: McLaren & [INSERTENGINEPARTNERHERE], what if it is another year of failure? 2018 edition

Post by MonteCristo » 2 months ago

Last post from previous page:

kals wrote:
2 months ago
Perhaps McLaren should focus on improving the F1 team before trying something else.
I think, if it happens (which is still very, very much in the air), then it would simply be a separate operation that reports back to HQ.

I do wonder what the motivation would be for running Indycar though. It's not like they've got an amazing sponsor, who might want extra exposure in the US.

Indycar is cheap compared to F1. But at $7-10mil a car, that's not small change if you're just funding it from your own pocket because you like to go racing.
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Post by MonteCristo » 2 months ago

Everso Biggyballies wrote:
3 months ago
Hehe Despite the assertions Latifi jnr is not part of the deal, I bet Lando is not having a good night's sleep!

So is this just an injection of capital, or does it include some corporate sponsorship for the Latifi business? We might actually end up with a driver (Alonso with his Kimoa clothing brand) and now Latifi as a shareholder with his Nitola brand being their sponsors.

Presumably with McLaren having recently restructured as McLaren Group, this capital injection is to the Group (ie that is what he has bought shares in) rather than just the F1 operation.
Rumour is that the Indycar deal would be for Latifi's son to get enough superlicense points to get into F1. Groan.
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Post by kals » 2 months ago

McLaren are not doing anything. They will not be entering more cars into the Indycar Series, no increase of cars on the grid. This is what is puzzling with this Indycar plan. They would essentially be a glorified sponsor.

Zak Brown has a habit of diversifying his businesses into multiple areas. Now he’s looking to the same with McLaren. Yet there are you plenty of challenges to solve at home first. Priorities are clearly in the wrong place.

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Post by MonteCristo » 2 months ago

http://autoweek.com/article/formula-one ... a-american

Interview with Zak Brown.
Autoweek: What brings you to Detroit?

Zak Brown: I’m investigating a potential entry into IndyCar.

AW: What makes you even ponder such a thing? How are IndyCar and McLaren a good fit?

ZB: We have won the Indy 500 three times -- three times as a manufacturer, twice as a team in the ‘70s, so we have a long history in IndyCar. We think when we look at racing outside of Formula 1, which is our No. 1 priority, we have a different criteria. First, that it doesn’t in any way, shape or form compromise our focus on Formula 1. Two, that the racing program is commercially viable. Three, that it fits our brand -- we’ve been in IndyCar before, and we’re about open-wheel racing. And, finally, that we can be competitive and win. Those aren’t in an order of ranking, those are all must-haves. And we think from what we can see -- we dipped our toe back in the water last year at the 500 -- that IndyCar has the potential to tick all those boxes. And therefore, on that basis, we’re exploring whether we should enter (IndyCar) on a full-time basis, which is all about timing.

AW: If you were to enter, would you be supplying your own engines or would you be buying and engine from Chevrolet or Honda?

ZB: We certainly wouldn’t do our own engine before the new rules. It’s unlikely we would do an engine, but never say never.

AW: What is the timing that you think it will go from an investigative role to a yes or no? Weeks? Months?

ZB: Months.


AW: Before the end of 2018?

ZB: If we’re going to enter in 2019, definitely.


AW: There’s obviously other forms of racing that has McLaren's attention. There’s some production-based McLaren GT3 car and these types of things. IndyCar would be in addition to these other forms?

ZB: We’re in Formula E as of next season -- doing the batteries for the entire series -- and that gives us a great presence in Formula E. We have announced we’re doing a new 720 GT3 car, which is for the 2019 season. And we are following closely the new rules that World Endurance Championship are putting together. We’ve also met with IMSA. I think being a racing company, it’s our job to stay current and engaged on any other racing series that we think fit the McLaren brand.

AW: What’s your overall impression of IMSA?

ZB: I like IMSA. If you look at the grid this year in Daytona, it was stellar. Four or five manufacturers (in the Prototype class), Formula 1 world champions, IndyCar champions, 20-car DPi/LMP2 field, cool-looking cars. I think IMSA is in a great place. I think they’ve done a great job. I wish (IMSA and WEC) could find a global platform between the two of them. I’m not optimistic they will, which is unfortunate, first and foremost for the racing fan. I think sports cars as a whole would benefit. I just think their views are too far differing on what the top class should look like. Obviously, they’re aligned on GTE, LMP2, but not with LMP1 (class). That’s unfortunate. I think that could make sports cars even stronger. That being said, I think the rules that World Endurance are going down will work well for World Endurance. I just don’t think they really work in North America. I think the DPi works really well here. It would work really well in Europe, but they have differing views on what the cars should be.

AW: When you entered McLaren, it was after the ousting of former boss Ron Dennis and plenty of problems on the racetrack. What was it like entering the business at that time, considering all of McLaren’s history?

ZB: Fun. Hard. Exciting. Motivating. I’d been a massive McLaren fan ever since I’ve been following motor racing, really since I began following Formula 1 in ’88. It’s a massive honor, privilege and responsibility to lead McLaren. In it’s long history, there haven’t been that many leaders. It comes with a lot of pressure that I put on myself. It’s a team that everyone has big expectations of, as they should. But I’d rather come into a situation where I’ve got the opportunity to show my stuff, rather than come into a team that is dominant where all I can really do is go backward.

AW: Was there anything when you walked into McLaren that you said, ‘Why is that like that?’ Were there any surprises that really threw you off?

ZB: There’s stuff that I definitely changed. I think they are getting a lot more right than wrong, but definitely some areas that we need improvement, or we’d be winning races today. So, we’re definitely not perfect. I was pleasantly surprised, but not shocked, at how die-hard the McLaren employees are and in love with the brand. Everyone in there is massively passionate about the brand, and all they want to do is get back to winning. What pleasantly surprised me was the motivation is extremely high. You would think, given the decline in performance the team has had over the past five years -- which starts before Honda -- you would think there would be a lot of lack of motivation, frustration. It’s quite the opposite. I’ve never seen a group of men and women work so hard. And that’s because they love the brand.

They take it personally. That was great to see. I think weaker teams, given the five-year run -- really, the decline started in 2013. Martin Whitmarsh was running the team, Lewis Hamilton leaves in 2012, (title sponsor) Vodafone leaves. We didn’t win a race, and we were fifth in the championship in ’13 and ’14, pre-Honda, and then you’ve got the Honda situation that accelerated the decline. The decline really started probably when Lewis Hamiton said, ‘I’m leaving.’ Really it started on Whitmarsh’s watch, in that era.

Now we’re fifth in the championship, were fourth, hopefully we’ll finish fourth and that will be the best season we’ve had in five years. Our sponsorship hit, hopefully, our low point. This year, we’re up on sponsorship, so we’re slowly turning a five-year decline. I think we’ve now got it reversed, but you’re not going to fix five years in one year, but you’ve got to start turning the boat. So, it’s exciting. I think we’re going to do it. It’s going to take a little bit of time.

AW: What is it going to take to end the slide, and what role does Fernando Alonso play in that?

ZB: Well, Fernando is not going to be around forever, and McLaren has always gone after the best drivers they can get. Fernando is currently one of those, if not the best. I think he’s an important part of Mclaren’s future. He needs to decide how much longer he wants to do Formula 1, but we’ll always go for the best drivers and we’ve always been able to attract the best drivers., whether it’s Hakkonen, Senna, Fernando, Lewis, etc. My job now is to make sure we’ve got the right people, whether that’s engineers, technicians, drivers, the right people in the right place with the right process, roles, responsibilities, accountabilities. And then I need to make sure I give them all the right tools so they can do their job. As CEO, that’s no different than any business. This one happens to be motor racing. I think the job of a CEO is to bring leadership, focus and direction and then have all the right people in the right places and give them the right tools to get on and win -- whether that winning is in the boardroom or on the racetrack.

AW: Do you think Fernando leaves McLaren after the 2018 season?

ZB: I hope not. We want to keep him in the family until he’s ready to stop driving. I don’t think he’s ready to stop driving anytime soon. And even beyond that, (former F1 champion) Mika Hakkonen is a brand ambassador, and I’d like to have Fernando around the team post his driving career.


AW: You have a marketing background, a driving background before that. Given your background, where is the best place for you to be really hands-on at McLaren?

ZB: I’m a racer, first and foremost. I think I have a good understanding of the entire business ecosystem, whether that’s in the garage or in the boardroom or in the driver’s seat -- not that I can help Fernando with driving. I think I’ve got a 360-degree view of the sport and the business. And my business that I sold, I ended up running the entity that bought mine, which had 1,000 people, so I’m used to having 1,000 team members to lead. So I think my job, my greatest strength, is representing the McLaren brand, helping lead its strategic vision, attracting the best people in the business and building the business. Where I’m probably least effective is sitting in an engineering debrief room suggesting wing angles for qualifying.

AW: What do you think about Liberty Media and their direction of Formula 1?

ZB: I think they’re doing extremely well on the focus of the fan in the sport -- digital, social, trying to open up the sport to the fan base. And I think if you can grow the fan base, capture the younger audience, grow geographically, then the rest of the sport kind of takes care of itself. I do think they need to be moving quicker on 2021 rules. I think they’ve identified what they need to do. I think there’s general agreement on the direction that they’re taking the sport. But there’s a lot of key stakeholders, and I think that it was very good that they were consultative in the process. But know I think they need to be more forceful in making decisions because you’re just not going to get everyone to agree. Now they just need to go.

AW: What about the marriage between Liberty Media, Formula One Management and the FIA?

ZB: They need to be aligned. They're not always in agreement or they don’t always align at the same times on the various issues. That definitely adds complexity to the sport. We don’t only have the 10 teams, which sometimes have 10 different views and rarely one single view, but then you also have the partnership between the FIA and Formula 1, which is not always aligned, so that becomes a very awkward situation at times.


AW: How important is it to have an American team or American driver in the series to grow the sport in the U.S.?

ZB: I think it’s very important. I don’t think it depends on it, but I think it certainly helps. It does not hurt. I think a good TV package, which is new with ESPN, I think if a second race for Miami happens, that would be great. You have an American team, Haas, with European drivers, but I think if you have a successful American driver, it helps. The answer is you You need all that stuff. There isn’t a silver bullet where one is going to change the way Formula 1 is in America. It’s all of the above.

AW: What does America have to do differently to produce someone capable of racing in Formula 1? Is it money? Is it talent?

ZB: It’s hard because you need to get started in Europe. It takes commitment from a family to come to Europe. It’s a shame we let, as an industry, Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi, kind of slip through our hands. I think both of those drivers -- obviously Rossi did if for a little bit -- are Formula 1 caliber. You had two Americans there that ended up in IndyCar, which is great for IndyCar, but I think they were good enough to be in Formula 1 for sure.

They came over and ran in the junior formulas. Rossi got into it, but got with a team (Manor) that didn’t make it. Newgarden never got the (F1) opportunity. I wish there was more testing available because I personally would be comfortable with putting some of the IndyCar drivers in my Formula 1 car. The problem is, with the lack of testing, you just can’t take the risk. And the lack of experience -- Formula 1 gives you such a small window to be successful, that if you can’t test, you can’t be successful. When Michael (Andretti) came over, they really minimized testing. Michael was definitely great enough to be a frontrunner in Formula 1, but he was never given the opportunity and was done before the season had ended.

AW: Is there an American driver now who you can point to that is a Rossi- or Newgarden-like talent who is working his way up?

ZB: Not that I’m aware of. You’d look in karts, in Formula Renault, Formula 3, but I’ve not seen anyone who is winning races.

AW: So, going the European route and the junior Formula is really the only way to make it to Formula 1.

ZB: I think you have to. You have to understand the circuits. The technology is different over there. It’s hard with the limited amount of testing. One used to be able to do what (Jacques) Villeneuve did come over here, but he got 20,000 miles of testing. In today’s current Formula 1 environment, you have no choice but to do it that way. If we get back to allowing more testing, I think you could get to Formula 1 through IndyCar.

By Robin Warner
On the Indycar front, I've seen quotes from current teams wondering why anyone would link up with them - effectively help them get a foot in the door. I think they'd have to set up their own base.

I still wonder what the commercial sense is, given their F1 situation.
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Post by kals » 2 months ago

A couple of pieces of ‘news’ about McLaren...

- Eric Boullier has confirmed that McLaren’s struggles in qualifying were because of a compromise where they had to run downforce because of the corners at the Circuit du Gilles Villeneuve :facepalm:
- Zak Brown in a recent interview said that the team having ‘one of the best chassis’ was an internal suggestion to boost team moral, thus confirming that the whole thing was a myth built on a lie. :roll:

Is this an F1 team or the Keystone cops?

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Post by MonteCristo » 2 months ago

kals wrote:
2 months ago
- Zak Brown in a recent interview said that the team having ‘one of the best chassis’ was an internal suggestion to boost team moral, thus confirming that the whole thing was a myth built on a lie. :roll:
And if the team think they have a good car when they don't, that's a bit troublesome...
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Post by MonteCristo » 2 months ago

When asked in Montreal how he feels about having fewer race wins and titles than some of F1's other great drivers, Alonso said: "In a way it's better this way.

"I will not be happy if I have many trophies at home and people think that I don't deserve them. That would be even harder.
https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/alon ... n-1045687/

I bet he won't complain about his Le Mans victory which he'll get by default...
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Post by kals » 2 months ago

MonteCristo wrote:
2 months ago
When asked in Montreal how he feels about having fewer race wins and titles than some of F1's other great drivers, Alonso said: "In a way it's better this way.

"I will not be happy if I have many trophies at home and people think that I don't deserve them. That would be even harder.
https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/alon ... n-1045687/

I bet he won't complain about his Le Mans victory which he'll get by default...
It’s such a clickbait headline. I get what he’s saying and agree somewhat, but at the same time drivers have a certain amount of wins that they don’t deserve as much as someone else or because another circumstance was involved... case in point you could say Bahrain 2010 (Vettel reliability) or Monaco 2007 and Hockenheim 2010 (team orders) or Japan 2006 (Schumi engine failure) or Nürburgring 2005 (Kimi suspension failure).

But yeah, agree with your point about Le Mans plus don’t forget the Spa WEC race where his team mates weren’t allowed to challenge him for the win.

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Post by MonteCristo » 2 months ago

kals wrote:
2 months ago
MonteCristo wrote:
2 months ago
When asked in Montreal how he feels about having fewer race wins and titles than some of F1's other great drivers, Alonso said: "In a way it's better this way.

"I will not be happy if I have many trophies at home and people think that I don't deserve them. That would be even harder.
https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/alon ... n-1045687/

I bet he won't complain about his Le Mans victory which he'll get by default...
It’s such a clickbait headline. I get what he’s saying and agree somewhat, but at the same time drivers have a certain amount of wins that they don’t deserve as much as someone else or because another circumstance was involved... case in point you could say Bahrain 2010 (Vettel reliability) or Monaco 2007 and Hockenheim 2010 (team orders) or Japan 2006 (Schumi engine failure) or Nürburgring 2005 (Kimi suspension failure).

But yeah, agree with your point about Le Mans plus don’t forget the Spa WEC race where his team mates weren’t allowed to challenge him for the win.
Fer sure.

If he said it any other time than a week ahead of Le Mans, then I'd say he's such a nice humble bloke. It's just when he'll be spraying champagne by default a week later that it's funny.

Until the 'Yoda blows up from under him and it's hilarious.
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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 2 months ago

Apparently a number of McLaren employees have been bleating about the recent slump and management of the company, and have sent letters to shareholders. Whitmarsh, a good friend of Mansour Ojeh , the owner of TAG, one of the major shareholders, is also involved.

Whitmarsh, who still lives in the area of the McLaren factory still meets with friends from McLaren....

McLaren employees are particularly upset with some of the directions and potentially F1 diluting projects Zak Brown is talking up. (ie Le Mans, Indy). I think many of us are in agreement they (McLaren should focus their energies on returning to being an F1 force before looking at other projects.
Former team boss Martin Whitmarsh has offered to step in amid a reported staff revolt at McLaren.

The Daily Mail reports that some McLaren staff, upset about the great British team's current troubles even after the end of the Honda era, have put together a delegation that is reaching out to Whitmarsh.

Whitmarsh stepped down as McLaren team boss in 2014, after 25 years with the Woking outfit.

"People at McLaren said they would send me a letter about the situation. I told them not to send it to me, but to (team shareholder) Mansour (Ojjeh)," Whitmarsh confirmed.

It is believed the disgruntled staff are upset about Eric Boullier's leadership following the latest performance slump, and Zak Brown's forays into the worlds of Le Mans and Indycar.


"I love the team and I am desperately sad to see what it has become," Whitmarsh continued.

"It needs a big change of approach. There is too much politics between the main figures. I think a number of them have to go.

"I have explained my view to Mansour and it is for the shareholders to decide what to do."

Whitmarsh suggested he is siding with those staff who think that Brown in particular is spreading McLaren's interests too far beyond the F1 paddock.

"The team used to be all about winning in formula one," he said. "McLaren going in (another) direction, rather than making grand prix racing their sole priority, makes me shudder."

Whitmarsh said it was the departure of Tim Goss that pushed him "over the edge" in support of a revolt.

"He was scapegoated," he said.

"If a delegation showed up at my door, I wouldn't turn them away," Whitmarsh added. "They know where I am."
https://www.grandprix.com/news/whitmars ... risis.html

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Post by kals » 2 months ago

lol so they think bringing Whitlessmarsh back will improve their fortunes? Short memories?

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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 2 months ago

Its the staff that want him back. Seems strange. But if he is still mates with Ojeh he has obviously been kept in the loop one way or another. Boullier's days could be numbered reading between the lines. As for Zak Brown.... Maybe Whitmarsh will come back and get them the title sponsor the sponsorship king has been unable to secure. Other than Kimoa!

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Post by kals » 1 month ago

One journalist (finally) calls out Alonso’s continual verbal BS - http://www.espn.com/f1/story/_/id/23902 ... lonsospeak

The writer then got attacked by Alonso fans on Twitter :roll:

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Post by John » 1 month ago

Boiuller resigns:
Boullier resigns from McLaren amid leadership changes
MCLAREN
04 Jul 2018 Share
McLaren will go into their home race at Silverstone this weekend without a Racing Director, after Eric Boullier resigned from his position amid a leadership shake-up at the former world champion team.

The performance of the MCL33 in 2018 has not met the expectations of anyone at McLaren, especially our loyal fans.
Zak Brown
Boullier, who had held his position since 2014, leaves with McLaren sixth in the constructors’ standings.

“I am very proud to have worked with such a brilliant team over the past four years," he commented, “but I recognise now is the right time for me to step down. I want to wish everyone at McLaren the best for the remainder of the season and for the future.”

With Boullier’s departure, McLaren Racing’s Chief Executive Zak Brown has announced that the British team with adopt a ‘simplified’ leadership team as they look to arrest a poor run of form which has seen them score just four points in the last four races.

Simon Roberts, COO of McLaren Racing, will oversee production, engineering and logistics. Andrea Stella is appointed Performance Director, responsible for trackside operations, while Gil de Ferran – who had been working at the team as an advisor - takes up the new role of Sporting Director, to maximise the effectiveness of the team’s racing package.

These changes are, according to McLaren: “The beginning of a comprehensive programme of positive changes to the technical leadership of McLaren’s racing organisation. The team will invest to retain and attract the best talent, internally and externally, to return McLaren Racing to the front of the grid.”

Having endured a difficult three years with Honda power, McLaren had high expectations for 2018 after switching to Renault engines. However, Brown says the performance of the MCL33 “has not met the expectations of anyone at McLaren, especially our loyal fans.”

He added: “This is not the fault of the hundreds of committed and hard-working men and women at McLaren.

“The causes are systemic and structural, which require major change from within. With today’s announcement, we start to address those issues head on and take the first step on our road to recovery.

“I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the entire team to thank Eric for his service and contribution to McLaren and wish him well in his future endeavours.”
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Post by Antonov » 1 month ago

it had to happen, even if only symbolic.

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Post by kals » 1 month ago

“Resigns”

Yeah

lol

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