Mumbai: No one had thought that the legendary partnership between McLaren and Honda would go through this turbulent phase. With reliability issues to drivers questioning their slow engines, things are going upside down for the team.
But, as this year, Formula 1 got a new Owner in Liberty Media, it was time to revamp the boring event. With the introduction of new rules and regulations, the main aim was to bring all the teams onto a common competing platform, which was going well for everyone, except, McLaren. The problems started during the pre-testing season where McLaren used five engines – one more than the teams are permitted according to the new rules.
As, this year’s first race commenced in Australia, on March 24, it was a nerve-gripping race for the spectators. The big dog Mercedes, finally found its competitor in Ferrari, but it wasn’t all jolly-good for the Britishers. Sebastian Vettel took the pole position followed by Mercedes team mates Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, taking the second and the third positions respectively.
The struggle in McLaren doesn’t seem to be ending, as it scored nothing in this season’s first race. With the Chinese Grand Prix coming up, McLaren boss Eric Boullier says, “I can predict that we won’t be as fortuitous with our pace, compared to our rivals, as we were in Australia. The characteristics of the Shanghai International Circuit are very different from Melbourne, and its long, fast straights are likely to expose the weakness in our package more than Albert Park did.”
With some new chassis development that McLaren is bringing in Shanghai, it will be under a lot of pressure to prove its mettle. Yet, at times, adversities get the best out of you, and McLaren fans will be hoping for a superb show in the Chinese Grand Prix.