It's no secret that the average Formula One pit crew present a master class in precision and speed. Of course, those talents are only really on display during pit stops, when they're basically just changing tires or making tiny adjustments. Considering this, it's fair to wonder how they'd do in something a bit more... soapy.
The 2014 McLaren Formula One car has officially been unveiled. The new, turbocharged MP4-29 will be piloted by former world champion Jenson Button and Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen. The 2014 F1 season is set to be a challenging one for McLaren, as it attempts to bounce back from its first winless season since 2006 and its first season without a podium since 1980.
When it comes to engine suppliers, McLaren has had more partners than the girl you took home from the bar last night. It was driven by Cosworth for the first seventeen or so seasons on the grid, then switched to TAG-Porsche engines, won a few world championships with Honda, and even dabbled with Ford and Peugeot. But since 1995 it's been exclusively powered by Mercedes-Benz.
McLaren MP4-12C – Click above for high-res image gallery
For the past several years – even more in the case of McLaren – Germany's automakers have been known around the Formula One paddock by their association with two of the sport's most established racing teams. But for the 2010 season, both Mercedes-Benz and BMW have dissolved their partnerships with McLaren and Sauber, respectively. And yet, if you look down this year's roster, you'd swear the associations still stand.
It's not every day that you see two World Champions teamed up together – especially not the two most recent. In fact, that bit has never happened before in Formula One history, but that's exactly what we'll see next year as McLaren has announced the teaming of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton as its drivers for next season and beyond.
According to British newspaper the Mirror, Kimi Raikkonen could be driving for McLaren next year. The Iceman drove for Ron Dennis' outfit from 2002 to 2006 and scored plenty of victories but couldn't get the World Championship. Then he left for Ferrari in 2007 where he promptly won the World Championship the first year.
2009 Hungarian Grand Prix – Click above for high-res image gallery
At this past weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, the Brawn cars didn't just beat McLaren – they lapped them. With both teams running the same Mercedes engines, and reigning champion Lewis Hamilton piloting the lapped McLaren, it was clear that Brawn is simply running a better car. Anyone watching the race had to be wondering what the corporate big-wigs at Mercedes were thinking as the Brawn cars crossed the finish line a full lap ahead of the McLaren. But we can stop wondering now.
McLaren F1 doesn't need to cheat to win, but for some reason they keep on doing it – cheating, that is. The team's most recent snafu is being called Liargate, and it has resulted in a McLaren sporting director being sacked, Lewis Hamilton talking of switching teams, Martin Whitmarsh fumbling to right the ship, and everyone expecting the FIA to sock McLaren with a scorching penalty.
Is Lewis Hamilton really on his way out at McLaren? The Daily Mail think it's a definite possibility. It seems the reigning World Champion still has some issues with his team after the so-called "Liargate" scandal robbed him of his hard-fought third-place finish in the season opener at Melbourne. We explained that scandal in our earlier post about the race, but briefly, Hamilton was allegedly told how to answer post-race questions about a safety-car passing incident by McLaren sporting director
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Last weekend's Australian Grand Prix, the season opener to the 2009 Formula One season, may have ushered in a new era in on-track competition, but the off-track politics are already back up to full swing.
Ron Dennis, the man behind the McLaren-Mercedes F1 team, announced he'll be stepping down from his position on March 1st to concentrate on McLaren's future endeavors. Dennis made it clear during today's press conference that his departure shouldn't be perceived as retirement. On the contrary, Dennis said, "The first thing I'm going to do is work harder." And by "work harder" Dennis means he'll be focusing on the new road-going efforts of McLaren Automotive.
We reported ex-Fiat boss Frank Stephenson was tasked with a clean-sheet redesign of the upcoming McLaren supercar, codenamed the McLaren P11, just two months ago. Now we are hearing word that the exotic has been totally redesigned and is scheduled for a launch in 2010. Prototypes of the two-seat, mid-engined coupe (and convertible) are in testing as you read this.
We're not going to tell you who won yesterday's season finale at the Brazilian Grand Prix. We'll leave that to Noah in his usual race recap. What we will tell you is that Lewis Hamilton bounced back from a scandal-ridden season that saw his McLaren team excluded from the championship in 2007 to capture this year's World Drivers Championship. That makes Hamilton the youngest F1 champion ever in only his second year as part of the grand prix circus. British-born Hamilton won the title 67 days befo