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F1: McLaren Woes and Unlucky Lows

by on May 29, 2012

Would any of us have believed that McLaren would not be leading both championships after six races this season?  It all started at the launch of the MP4-27 where, when unveiled, McLaren’s challenger was clearly the prettiest car launched (arguably).   Their pace in pre-season testing indicated that they had a solid package married to two former champions and possibly two of the better drivers on the grid.  Yet they fail to lead either championship and are no longer considered clear favorites (although, no one is).

In a similarly confusing turn of events, who would have thought that Fernando Alonso would be leading the championship (albeit narrowly)?  Ferrari have started the season with a handful of a car which has been quite notable when one considers Massa’s early struggles and lack of points.

Somehow however, what many expected and what has transpired has not quite been written with the same ink.  A few botched pit stops, a penalty due to a serious miscalculation on fuel and mysterious lack of pace would give observers the false sense that McLaren is struggling.   I say false sense because they are still second in the Constructors championship.  A warning and word to the wise; we should not so much associate lack of success with struggles.  It won’t be long before the team will transform from woes to wins.

This transformation of form and success needs to happen quickly for McLaren, because although still early in the season, rivals can leap-frog each other in a hurry with the right development.  With only six races run, Red Bull is starting to shine and Ferrari are starting to find their feet.  Historically, June has been Ferrari’s month for steps forward.  The time to start peaking is fast approaching and will make the biggest difference in the final two thirds of the season.

Here is something to keep in mind, McLaren are still perhaps the strongest team in overall performance, once (if) their unlucky streak is over, things will begin to turn around quickly.  Hamilton and Button need to regain some lost confidence which will make all the difference.  Even in an underachieving car, a confident driver can steal points, podiums and wins…just ask Fernando Alonso.

Author: Ernie Black
Twitter: @Goggs_on_F1


From → Formula One

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