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Mclaren Already On The Back Foot?

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After not allowing their drivers to take part in the Pirelli tyre test, McLaren has now announced that they'll only being using a "interim" car for the first test as their brand new car will be revealed on the 4th Feb.

Link.

McLaren must be very confident they have an excellent car or something. Red Bull and Ferrari will have their brand new cars at the first test, and Vettel, Alonso and Massa has also chalked up the miles on the Pirellis already.

I personally think that McLaren will have an awful lot of catching up to do.

What do you think?

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I personally think that McLaren will have an awful lot of catching up to do.

What do you think?

Nope, not so sure.

Either they again have some sort of device they want to reveal as late as possible so they'll keep the advantage a little while, or they simply want to get some things exactly right before putting the car on a track against competition. The only reason RB suffered because of that strategy last year was -to a certain extent only- lack of experience in what it takes to make a car reliable, McL don't have that problem.

Perhaps they are also only trying to put some pre-season pressure by "scaring" the others in thinking that way... I'm not worried at all for McL.

Ferrari though obviously don't have any new tech to hide. They are just as usual, going with perfecting on their basic car making expertise. The sooner on track, the more tuning work can be done to get it moving.

What I do believe is that RB are at this point in time, the better equipped team -Newey and his team as well as general attitude of younger management- to successfully face yearly technical rule changes.

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What do you think?

They'll have a lot of info about Pirelli from Pedro de la Rosa. With an interim car teething problems are unlikely so they'll maximise their track time. If they're on the right track with the new car they'll have plenty of time for tweaking before Bahrain. If the design is bad then they should start 2012 project right now.

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I think all this talk about which teams are on the backfoot already are merely just hopeful wishes as we realy can't tell until those cars actually roll out for testing. Each team has different strategies on what they think is the best solution for a challenging car. Let's wait till testing to make proper assumptions...

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Well RBR missed the first test for two years running now, and look at what complete poop that team brought to the start line....joke of the field, or what?

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There's more than one way to go about winning the title. I wouldn't be concerned with an organization as professional as McLaren-Mercedes, whether you like them or not. A team like that doesn't scramble; this is planned. I think this development will mostly be subject to interpretations that we want to see, since there's no real way to prove what they're doing will help/hurt. Fans will defend their choice, the rest will pretend they'll disappear to mid-pack. End of the day I think it's going to pretty hard to knock them, Red Bull, Ferrari, etc. down. Not impossible, of course.

I think the more important news, albeit old, is that Lewis Hamilton pierced his ear (I only noticed this yesterday). This isn't Ron's McLaren. I am disappoint. Lewis accessorizing, Button with facial hair. Pretty soon women will be leaving the kitchen and showing up to the track wearing dresses that don't cover their ankles. Chaos.

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You have women that cover their ankles? What a sad sad sad country you must live in Mr Loo a Port....

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I am sure that it is not ideal for McLaren to be using an interim car for the 1st test. I didn't understand why at least one of the race drivers didn't do the 1st Pirelli test at the end of the season. However I think these are fairly minor issues and I'm sure the Woking team won't lose much ground.

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Too soon to tell or care... perhaps, if and when they've got yellow goo dripping off during tests there will be reason for concern...

Anyway, in the meantime, I wish them the best. Hopefully they'll come up with something better than the F-duct... that has now been abandoned on account of its danger, which in turn reveals how little FIA cares about safety... depending which teams does what.

Ahhh, the times when improvements like the mass dumper were thrown out mid-season on account of irrelevant technicalities... depending on which team does what...

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McLaren doesn't want to test the new tires with a new car for fear of either missing testing mileage while they sort theusual lnew car's mechanical problems or having to sort out whether the test results are due to the new car mechanics or the new tires. It's easier to use a known factor (an old car) to properly asess the new factors (the new tires). That is the basic idea from McLaren, at least.

Then again, you could say that working on the new tires AND the new car as soon as possible is the best way to sort the problem for both at the same time. Ferrari seemed to think that way.

Different strategies. Perhaps both solutions are ideal (each one for each team according to the individual style of work), maybe none, maybe only one of those works and maybe the one that fails/success does so due to other factors besides this strategic call.

Who knows? Not me.

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I think Mclaren won't have any problem with this, at the first test every team with a new car will have less track time than those with an old car, so Mclaren will get plenty info about the new tire's performance, the rest of the teams already did that but not with the final version of the tire and that is the reason why Mclaren didn't take part in the first Pireli test according to them, in their beleive everybody will be on the same level as Pireli will come with a different product to the first official test, so maybe Mclaren (and all those with an old car) will have actually an advantage in this.

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McLaren doesn't want to test the new tires with a new car for fear of either missing testing mileage while they sort theusual lnew car's mechanical problems or having to sort out whether the test results are due to the new car mechanics or the new tires. It's easier to use a known factor (an old car) to properly asess the new factors (the new tires). That is the basic idea from McLaren, at least.

This is likely close to the truth. Also the new chassis rules will have hit McLaren less than other teams, so I'd expect their 2011 chassis to be a close evolution of their 2010 car...which means they won't need as much testing time as some other teams. Also, McLaren were one of the few teams that have data for a non-F-Duct chassis (they ran one a few times late last season). Add to that their superior computer simulations and you get a team that can afford to *not* test the new car right away.

I expect Red Bull and Merc to hit the ground at the first opportunity with their new car.

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Expectations of the Mercedes seem to be very high. What does everyone feel this is based on? You can't just talk up your chances.

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Who knows? Not me.

Yes you do - you're just not telling. Come on. Out with it.

Expectations of the Mercedes seem to be very high. What does everyone feel this is based on? You can't just talk up your chances.

I think they suffered last year for 2 reasons.

First they put a massive push in as Brawn into 2009. 2010 development lacked the early start necessary to make them competitive and before they got taken up by Merc their funding was comparatively minuscule.

Second, the man of shoes. This year will be his real test. He's had time and money from Merc to build a 2011 car to his liking, If he doesn't at least give Britney a run for his money he should retire (again).

The high expectations come from both these factors. Everyone knows Merc financiers want a winner. They will be putting a lot of money into achieving that. Everyone knows that off the back of a poor 2010, they should have had time and money to develop competitive 2011 car. A lot of people expect Schumi to be more comfortable in a car he's helped develop.

Personally, I don't think we'll see a Merc driver win the WDC, but I fancy they might be in the top 3 in both championships.

But then again who knows? Not me.

Edited by snorrisstrags

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First they put a massive push in as Brawn into 2009. 2010 development lacked the early start necessary to make them competitive and before they got taken up by Merc their funding was comparatively minuscule.

Second, the man of shoes. This year will be his real test. He's had time and money from Merc to build a 2011 car to his liking, If he doesn't at least give Britney a run for his money he should retire (again).

and then Kimi will take his place again.... sounds good enough

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I think an 'interim' car is a perfect test bed for new tyres and aero. It will certainly generate a more comprehensive data stream for the engineering and design teams than just slamming new boots on a new car. That said, we have no idea just how 'interim' the car will be. It may be that it is close to the finished article but McLaren have chosen not to play their full hand at this stage.

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Expectations of the Mercedes seem to be very high. What does everyone feel this is based on? You can't just talk up your chances.

Ditto. They have made some complete dogs in recent years. With bunny ears. I don't expect much.

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I think some of it is based on fans wanting Schumi to return to his best. It's hard for us all to believe that Schumi and Brawn don't still have it.

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Yup. They are Mercedes, an automotive giant and the most legendary brand in F1 besides Ferrari. They have Schumi, Penelope Pitstop and Brawn. Their previous incarnation was a 2009 champion. Can't blame the public and media for having high expectations. Pressure is on them to deliver.

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McLaren's approach actually makes sense. If they test more parts in the wind tunnel, they can focus on testing the parts that show most promise on the track. Their engineering department are more than good enough to still deliver a decent car in my opinion.

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Ditto. They have made some complete dogs in recent years. With bunny ears. I don't expect much.

I expect another dog driven by a young Labradoodle and an ageing Schnauzernaughty.gif

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Expectations of the Mercedes seem to be very high. What does everyone feel this is based on? You can't just talk up your chances.

Their 2010 car was designed without regards to an F-duct and lacked the bendy splitter some teams had and their diffuser wasn't as effective as some on the grid. Even without those, the team did alright. With the rule changes removing the bits the Merc wasn't designed for*, I feel that they might have an edge this year. The other teams will need to do more altering of their chassis whereas Merc will be starting from a solid design that fits well with the new rules.

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...Merc will be starting from a solid design that fits well with the new rules.

Or do the new rules fit conveniently well with the merc chasis?

Bring on the conspiracy theorists.

:ph34r:

...but only if they do well.

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Why do people say Merc is this big F1 icon, like Ferrari? Sure, they won a few things in the fifties, but since then have been AWOL....and somehow this "icon" status means they will have a good car? Again, I'll say "Toyota".

Maybe if Vanwall come back next year, they'll be winners too???

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