When we speak of noble Formula 1 teams a few teams come to mind, Ferrari, Williams, McLaren and Lotus. These are the teams that have captivated the world for many seasons and when combined hold an incredible number of wins. First, Ferrari has 16 constructors and 15 drivers championships. McLaren on the other hand has 8 constructors and 12 drivers titles. Today, let’s talk about these to historically important teams. Because it is clear that both in 2015 will have a “year zero” of momentous change that will lay the foundation for future success.
The red squad has been talked about much this season for obvious reason, they’re an Italian team and the most watched and famous motorsport brand in the world and can be considered the Italian National Team. McLaren, after years of success have not been successful in quite a while. The last drivers title dates back to 2008 with Hamilton winning in the last race in Brazil, and the last constructors championship was even further back in 1998. In short, the Woking team has a great desire to be successful,
especially with the return of Honda engines, a combination that has given the British squad titles and fame. From the start of the Japanese relationship with the British squad, the 1988 season McLaren won 15 out of 16 races and only lost at Monza when the two Ferraris of Berger and Alboreto. That car, the MP4/4 (also in successive versions) driven by Aryton Senna became a legend, like the other teams the Brazilian drove for. From 1988 to 1991 McLaren won 4 titles, 3 won by Senna and 1 by Alain Prost. But what was amazing and somewhat unexpected was the success of the first year with the new engineer who replaced the TAG-PORSCHE car that was driven by the English in 1987.
What is in the air in Woking is the desire to chase this record, open a new round supported by those who in the past have allowed incredible performance, a perfect combination of efficiency. It starts from zero, fresh air, engineers new engineers, great computer technology and hi-tech knowledge in many areas such as aerodynamics, important when the performance of the power unit will be leveling off and it will come out who as the most improved aerodynamics and mechanics. In short, Ron Dennis called to revive the team as he did in the early 80s, bringing different working methods and a broader view of the concept car. Formula One is no longer only about the chassis but also in the engines of the highest level.
Honda on the other hand is doing a great job to get back to winning and you can bet that their PU will be up to the task because when the Japanese want to try their hand at something, they have enormous capacity and should never be underestimated.
And I add, the rumor mill has been saying that the Japanese delayed the development of the motor can be misleading. I guarantee you that beyond some lack of ‘youth’ they will be a tough nut to crack in the coming seasons…Is it possible to be as successful now as in 1988?Surely not, others are ahead, but in 2016 must be the year for McLaren, especially if there are drivers up to the task. Fernando Alonso is more than fast enough, he’s a tough opponent that will not be pleasant to drive against.
Already, fans of the English squad liken the trio of Alonso-McLaren-Honda to one of the grandest success of Senna and Prost in a ‘dream team’ that hasn’t been seen in years. We will see whether they will make history of our beloved sport and if they decided to bring in Fernando again, his name has already been linked to the British Team…
Ferrari on the other hand has implemented a counter-revolution which would renew a number of technicians and managers who have won so much in the golden years with Schumacher. Not only new working methods, but new equipment and minds who have a wider vision on how to make hybrid cars. Perhaps it is a sin to presume that the car started with a blank sheet because the current car has probably inherited some of the 2013 defects. The new car should be called the 666 and should be a complete break with the past. It should be designed by James Allison who did so well with Lotus even with its limited budgets. He could finally utilize all his creative ability.
A jump in the dark for the Red? Not really, James has safe technical skills, loves simple aerodynamics just as the grand father of McLaren, Gordon Murray did. Allison worked with Murray twice when he was at Lotus. Imagine finding new solutions and a unique opportunity to work at your own pace for the largest team and budget. You can count of the support of Team Manager, Marco Mattiacci as well as the new President, Marchionne to bring the red back to victory. In short, there is every reason to start on the right foot after the disastrous F14T.
Of course much will depend on power units that recover the power and duty cycles to charge the batteries. Reliability will determine the championship outcome as 48% of the components should be replaced to fill the gap with Mercedes, but certainly this won’t happen at the beginning of the season.
The Germans for their part are working mainly on the thermal part, since the electrics are in place. The Ferrari is going the reverse direction, it has a strong injection device from Magneti Marelli which is the best today in Formula One. Ferrari can be successful if two things are changed. One, an agreement that allows the development of the PU during the season, which the Germans are dragging their feet on. And two, a car that FINALLY has good aerodynamics which plants the car to the ground and uses the tires properly. Allison will have to take care of and solve ‘genetic’ problems at Ferrari in recent years, starting of course, with year zero…