Ron Dennis, McLaren, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

McLaren-Honda “will win dominantly” – Dennis

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Ron Dennis, McLaren, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015In the round-up: McLaren chairman Ron Dennis insists his team’s collaboration with Honda will pay off handsomely despite their point-less start to 2015.


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Ron Dennis Q&A: Honda innovation should concern rivals (F1)

"Mark my words! We’ll win together and, when we do so we’ll do so dominantly."

Manor might opt to wait until 2016 for new car (F1i)

"We haven’t been in the wind tunnel since October last year but where the car was at that time was still a good step forward from where we are now and then with the engine package I think we would have been certainly near Force India."

F1 must cut costs to bring back the buzz - Brown (Reuters)

"The overall sponsorship economy, while we are bucking the trend, is very down in Formula One. That’s a fact, just look at the cars."

Williams into ‘diminishing returns’ (Crash)

"I would say operationally that we have hit all the big areas that we can and it is all about tuning it."

Big updates unlikely for Toro Rosso (Autosport)

"We are obviously bringing some aero upgrades, but not a lot."

Stirling Moss was so good Ferrari were willing to paint his would-be car blue (The Guardian)

"Like Denis Compton and Stanley Matthews, who were a little older, Moss was a giant figure of the 1950s, a symbol of the spirit of those bleak times, when sport did so much to distract people from the dreariness of post-war austerity."



Honda IndyCar speedway aero kit, 2015

Honda has revealed its IndyCar aerodynamic kit for use on superspeedways, beginning with this month’s Indianapolis 500.

Comment of the day

As the sport discusses yet more changes to the technical rules for 2017, are the cars the one thing the sport is getting right at the moment?

The changes have firmly cemented F1’s place as the pinnacle of motorsport and technology. As the article shows the cars now are not much slower over a quali lap than the V10s of 2004 despite all of the restrictions thrown at them and within a couple of years will probably start matching them. That’s progress and the fact it can be done with smaller engines, less downforce, less sticky tyres, limited fuel etc… is in itself amazing.

Do I wonder what F1 would be like if they had the 1993 regulations in force today – yes I do. Would I like to watch a competition where drivers lost their lives every other week for my entertainment – no thanks. The regular slowing down of cars by regulation and engineering marvels such as the current cars which seek to overcome those regulations is the pattern that works best.

The current faults of F1 are in areas such as DRS, financial distribution models and politics – leave the cars out of it.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

While testing at Mugello on this day in 2012, Romain Grosjean and Kamui Kobayashi set fastest times which were identical to three-thousandths of a second:

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  • 60 comments on “McLaren-Honda “will win dominantly” – Dennis”

    1. Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair)
      2nd May 2015, 0:02

      No they won’t Ron, they won’t in the next few years anyway.

      1. i’ll mark his words as i’ve marked the “we will have a title sponsors in a couple of weeks”. Still waiting!

      2. @ultimateuzair – Not a fan of Ron Dennis, but it would be great for the sport if the McLaren/Honda package can become competitive. The sooner the better. I’d love to see it.

      3. @ultimateuzair don’t complain about what Ron says. That’s true leadership, saying: “we will work our bottoms off but we’ll make it, we’ll get there, and we’ll win in style” instead of “change the regs, we cannot keep up”.

        They know it’s a huge task, but they know the only way to overcome the mountain that lays ahead is working hard, dillingenly and as effectively as possible. Results will come.

        1. @fer-no65 +1 Never a more true word spoken!

      4. Mr Dennis, the problem isn’t the power of the engine, which is probably average for an F1 engine, but the reliability of the engine.

    2. First time in a while that I really agree with COTD.

    3. Graham (@guitargraham)
      2nd May 2015, 0:38

      The McLaren Honda situation reminds me of Honda’s first turbo engine exploits with Williams. That 1984 car was a complete nightmare and blew up more often than any engine i’ve seen (well , maybe this years Renault is running it close). The one win it did get was in Dallas and that was probably due to the fact that the circuit was falling apart so much it became a dirt track enabling Keke Rosberg to shine. Everyone pressed on and by the time everything was sorted out by late 1985 they had a car that dominated the latter part of that season and the next two. Ron has staked his reputation on this entire enterprise and won’t rest until he has achieved his stated aim. i , for one, am indeed expecting the race wins to come…eventually

    4. MB (@muralibhats)
      2nd May 2015, 0:40

      With the number of token available and the ground Honda needs to recover to catch the Mercs, I highly doubt Honda alone can make the improvements for McLaren.

      How many tokens do they have now and do they get any more token in 2016 and beyond?

      1. MB (@muralibhats)
        2nd May 2015, 1:01

        Out of 32 for this year, they have been allotted 9. So 34+9 tokens available till 2017?

        1. @muralibhats don’t forget that the amount of tokens is being reduced from year to year. This year Honda indeed have 9, they’ll have 25 for developing the 2016 unit, 20 for the 2017 unit, 15 for 2018 and after that it’s down to 3.

          Also, for 2016 and beyond the tokens have to be spent and power units have to be homologated and this finalized before the season starts.

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        2nd May 2015, 1:05

        I am not sure if it is tokens they need. @muralibhats
        It is all about reliability (which does not require tokens), and according to them ‘turning up the engine’ (which might need some tokens).
        I think what they need is KMs and Time.

        The car itself seems very fast; it takes the turns faster than most other cars (a bit like the Newey RBRs).

        I am actually quite optimistic about McLaren Honda.
        And even though I have never been a fan, I cannot wait to see a 4-5 constructors fight at the top.

        1. MB (@muralibhats)
          2nd May 2015, 1:18

          As per Ron, there will be only one team at the top :)

        2. @coldfly

          “The car itself seems very fast; it takes the turns faster than most other cars (a bit like the Newey RBRs)”

          How do you know this?

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            2nd May 2015, 3:44

            @jaymenon10, not sure if the question is serious or taking mockingly.

            On tv you can see it when they are close to another car – most clearly in Malaysia’s final turn – that they make up/lose less in the corners.
            It has also been mentioned by some other chasing drivers that the car looks fast in the corners.
            If I have some time I’ll see if I can link in the quotes/references.

            1. yeh, i agree they look superb in the turns, they just seem to be lacking power in every part of the track.

      3. Thing is, the tokens are for making improvements that are not for reliability (or cost). So when the package is good, but they cannot run it to anywhere near its potential because of reliability worries, they can just work on all pieces of the package without even having to bother with any tokens @muralibhats, just like @coldfly mentions.

    5. Hismajesty
      2nd May 2015, 0:53

      Ahh cool, thanks for telling us F1 will be boring in the future, when you are winning by a large margin. I take it you are saying 1988 all over again?

      1. Zak Misiuda (@)
        2nd May 2015, 12:01

        Was 1988 a boring season? I’m not so sure it was.

        1. One team winning 15 out of 16 Grands Prix and 170 DNFs up and down the grid (didn’t include DNQs,would have been cruel)…No bro,by the standards we got spoilt to over the past 15 years it was overwhelmingly boring!Maybe good to look back to through the lens of history and nostalgia but it was abysmal from everyone but Mclaren’s point of view

          1. No it wasn’t. It was a thrilling rivalry.

            1. Perhaps,as a Ferrari fun i didn’t have much fun that year :P anyway Robbie i read your long comment to my post regarding the state of F1 and i get what you mean, did not mean in any way to castigate you or be offensive so hope no offense was taken, i guess i’m too much of an optimist…Funny thing is i agree with 95% of what you say,i simply don’t think the change can be done overnight and some things (even though few) are kind of moving in the right direction, i guess only time will tell

    6. The Honda aero package actually looks pretty good. First off, no coffee table winglets ready to fly off in a stiff breeze or a slight knock causing yellows every few laps. Thank goodness!

      Overall I really appreciate the rather simple front wing and that all the parts seem to have a purpose and flow to them. I don’t mind a few extra winglets on the front wings of single seater race cars, but some of the front wing designs are getting way beyond extremely elaborate. Especially in F1. Some of the cars are beginning to look like support systems for the front wing. Just my opinion, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a cleaner look to front wings like this in F1.

      1. Kurt (@dangerpaws)
        2nd May 2015, 3:03

        Yes….much prettier than the road/street course aero setup without the winglet overload! My wife, son & I are going to the Milwaukee race on the mile oval. Too bad we won’t be seeing this aero kit at the track.

        1. @dangerpaws – That is cool, have fun! Hope it’s a good race.

      2. Are you suggesting that some of the winglets on the front wings of F1 cars do not have a purpose? I don’t think any team would run any winglet that didn’t produce quantifiably more downforce for the front of the car, the increased drag of a winglet is a necessary evil when they produce a lot of downforce, if they don’t produce downforce you only lose out.

        1. I’m sure all the winglets have a purpose that ties in with all the other aero components. And I’m sure they meet the regs or they wouldn’t be there. It’s just for a while now it seems like the regs are allowing so many winglets on winglets on flaps and channels and ducts on more winglets, etc. Like I said, at times it almost appears the car is merely a support system for the front wing.

          Part of my complaint is aesthetics, but also this kind of aero tech is certainly part of what keeps F1 costs so high. I’m all for some degree of high tech aero, but how much is too much?

    7. i am still a McLaren fan due to me being a NZer and Bruce starting this team,
      watching F1 since i was a kid even being a track marshal here in NZ when Jimmy Clark, Chris Amon, Denny Holme Keke Rosberg were still driving, these drivers used to come down to NZ to compete in our Grand Prix,
      McLaren have been at the top like a lot of other teams in their day, but in this day and age it takes time to implement change, engines are so much more sophisticated to yesterdays beasts,
      we need them up front along with RBR to make this season even better than it is,
      wish you luck McLaren/Ron Denise.

      1. @lethalnz– I’m here in the US, but have been a McLaren fan since back in the day of Bruce McLaren. Not a Ron Dennis fan, still hoping the team will do better and make things more exciting.

        1. i like Dennis because he looks like Vladamir Putin’s double. Both look like men seriously in charge of their operations.

      2. @lethalnz, yeah! I was watching Formula Tasman in Sydney (Warwick Farm) in those years too.

        1. nice to know some oldies are still interested and understand F1 for what it is,
          yes ok its changed, but ii believe it is still better now than it was,
          but hey that is not to say we cant hang on to the past, we just need to understand yesteryear can not go on forever, do remember it with passion, but you can not compare the two.

          i just watched Aussie V8 racing, awesome looking/sounding cars different makes GM/FORD/NISSAN/HOLDEN/VOLVO all thundering down the track pushing shoving bumping each other 25 laps and maybe 2 passes in the whole race, most of the time they where right up each others bum,
          i couldn’t but think this is what people want from F1?
          yes they were saving tires saving fuel, please leave F1 alone it’s not broken.

          1. everyone is allowed an oppinion, and there is a strong backing for the case of F1 IS broken.

      3. @lethalnz – LOL serious faux-pas for a Kiwi to misspell Denny Hulme’s name! :P

        He was a great driver IMHO

    8. Does anyone think that Europe is close to being ripe for a sister IndyCar series?

      It is great racing, the cars look cool, and it is much more affordable for the teams and the tracks. Carlin’s presence in IndyCar (Lights) intrigues me as well as Bernie’s insistence on moving out of Europe. The GP2 and WSR teams would be vital for this to happen. But you could have affordable races at European tracks that F1 doesn’t compete at anymore. There are no shortage of those. Things like Engine manufacturers and rubber are other issues, but the more F1 leaves its roots, the more I feel like this should happen.

      1. If they were to take such a risk, I would have thought that it would make more sense to expand the existing IndyCar series calendar to include venues in Europe, rather than running the risk of splitting your resources and support base over two series that could fragment the fan base.

        I can’t think of many high profile series that have successfully split their series across two different racing scenes – generally, people tend to congregate to one or the other series, and usually it is the stronger parent series (which tends to have an established fan base, sponsors and reputation).

        The Asian GP2 series eventually folded after four years and was always a faint imitator of the main European series, whilst in sportscar racing the Asian Le Mans series is half dead (there are a total of nine teams across all divisions, and only four 3 hour races) and the American Le Mans Series had to merge with the United Sports Car Championship due to a lack of interest from the fans. The decline of national Formula 3 series has also been pronounced – the German, Italian, French and British series are all defunct – with many of those series having either closed for good or having merged into the European series.

        DTM recently considered trying to create a US branch, but with no manufacturers in the US expressing any interest and no enthusiasm from the circuits, that idea has now been killed off. Even F1 tried such an experiment in the past with the British Formula 1 series, aka the Aurora Series, but that also folded after a few years due to a lack of interest from fans and teams.

        Equally, can IndyCar really drum up enough enthusiasm in Europe for such a series to be viable? They still can’t match their historic popularity in their home market in the US, and their international profile is a pale shadow of what it once was as well.
        You would need a substantial and protracted advertising campaign to drum up enough interest to make it viable, I would imagine, and I’m not sure that they have the resources to do that – and that is before you run into the wider logistical issues. All in all, I don’t think that Europe is really a viable market for IndyCar right now.

        1. maybe the IndyCar format with Euro drivers would make more sense? drivers that should be in F1 but cant make it for some reason,
          that would surely shut a few of F1 moaners up, V8s, no DRS, Aerodynamics, run under a Budget cap, on tracks that Bernie has dropped because they dont have the money he wants to pocket. could be interesting i guess.

          1. @lethalnz, the current IndyCar chassis (the DW12) was designed around a turbocharged V6 engine capped at 12,000rpm, which is the engine format they’ve been using since 2012.

            Changing to a different engine would require them to redesign the chassis, which is unlikely to be popular – firstly because such a move could cut out the current engine suppliers, and secondly because it would also increase the cost of the chassis when its cheapness was supposed to be its main advantage.

            Speaking of budget capping, that is only partially implemented – whilst a lower bound is set by capping the price of a chassis and engines, there is no upper bound on what the teams can spend, and some teams do spend pretty heavily.

            Furthermore, the current aerodynamic regulations in IndyCar racing state that, although engine manufacturers can now supply some aerodynamic kits, the entire aero package has to be homologated before the season begins. On top of that, at some venues the teams have to use a mandatory aerodynamic package developed by Dallara, so aerodynamic development is extremely heavily constrained.

      2. I don’t know about Europe, but I am sure that Indycar itself is nowhere near ready to expand. Just look at the current calendar, at the number of race visitors and the TV audiences they are pulling.

      3. Actually a great idea! As Bernie nixes a’ll the great European tracks… Race Indy cars there. Besides , Indy cars are actually interesting on a road course… As interesting as F1 cars … Maybe not… But it would raise the caliber of drivers as well … Turning right AND left, braking , shifting… Imagine that.

      4. Indycar does not need to go to europe to prove itself, it will probably end up like f1 if it does. i remember watching CART in the late 90s and enjoying it more then F1, but didnt care if they went worldwide. maybe the time Indycar was most global was when it had the Surfer’s Paradise round in Australia, people would go to that like they were going to the australian gp in adelaide or melbourne, and it was shown all weekend on tv in AU,just like the F1 race. most casual viewers did not even know the difference between indycar and f1, and didnt care because it put on a good show.

    9. Moss, still an avid follower of Formula One even if his preferred mode of transport these days is a Renault Twizy electric car, expected Hamilton to have his third championship all but wrapped up by the time he returned to Monza.

      “I think he probably will. He’s got the right engine. You’ve got to have a Mercedes to win. He’s got that, he’s got the skill. He has a lot of experience. He’s been around quite a while now,” he said.

      “I don’t think Nico will ever beat him, actually.”

      (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)

      1. This is the true headline, while the music comment is just clickbait. How quickly can Lewis wrap up this title, leaving the Ferraris to battle with Rosberg?

    10. Daniel (@dstaplet13)
      2nd May 2015, 6:05

      Ron might be getting a bit ahead of himself but as the leader of that team I certainly don’t blame him for thinking that way. In fact I think his comments reflect the right attitude.

      I also have faith in Honda, they have designed fantasticc engines and I see no reason why that won’t happen here.

      1. Have you seen the technical review of it by Craig Scarborough (on the autosport website)? It is incredibly innovative and looks very promising.

    11. All the pieces are there for McHonda, but somebody should remind Ron – to finish first you have to finish first.

    12. Ron dennis’ recent press releases have the tone of a secret camera filming his morning recital in the mirror sessions driven by a cheap self help therapy book:
      ” we will sign a major sponsor”
      ” we will win dominantly”
      and coming soon:

      ” I am a strong, confident person who does not need to smoke

    13. I don’t understand why so many people “believe” that McLaren-Honda will one day dominate? Remember that there are 4 works teams in F1 : Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull-Renault (although this may change in the near future), and McLaren-Honda. Any of these teams can dominate with the right formula.

      Mercedes in recent years has proven their strength in the PU. Ferrari has a rich tradition of making great engines. Renault helped Red Bull dominated from 10-13. Honda is now facing problems and nowhere near the other 3 engine manufacturers. Although Honda’s domination is obviously possible, I can’t see how many people are so certain about it.

      1. I agree, they have so much catching up to do, I can’t see them winning before 2020.

        It’s not like Mercedes and Ferrari are sleeping at the moment.

    14. Ron has to be nervous about Honda siting their R&D expansion in Milton Keynes. I know it’s attached to an existing Honda facility but still…

      Anyway I really hope it’s going to work for Ron, as a true garagiste and F1 great, and for Alonso who really ought to have a third title before he retires.

    15. Great to see all the recent interest in Moss and Jenks Millie Miglia exploits on this website and others.

      I offered to Keith awhile back to write an article on how Jenkinsons “The Racing Driver” book changed my life and could possible change yours too! The book details their great race there and goes in depth about the techniques of a proper racing driver. He uses the “tenths” example of how fast one is driving at any particular time. I rarely if EVER see anyone use this scale to measure how fast someone is going and it is a shame because for me it really gives you an idea. (eg. Hamilton was driving at 7/10 on Friday. Ayrton Sennas quali lap at Monaco whenever that was, he was at 10/10)

      Keith, my offer still stands! :)

      1. The Racing Driver is STILL my favourite non-fiction book. I first read it when I was 18, over 5 decades ago, and I still today use his”Tenths” scale to estimate when I am reaching, or about to exceed, my personal limit. My favourite quote is about Stirling managing to frighten DSJ on an S bend during the Millie Miglia! A wonderful combination of technical analysis and hair-raising stories. A must re-read every few years.

        1. @ibrahim @mad-eric Nice, I always used to think in terms of tenths and the limit. Now I think I would instinctively go for %.

          1. Double the space :) with 5% notches ;)

    16. THe Honda speedway aero kit looks gorgeous, the standard speedway kit was already gorgeous. The Honda road course aero kit is dreadfull in every sense of the word let’s hope this is better because at the moment Honda is doing a diservice to themselves running iin Indycar, F1 and WTCC.

    17. He knows everythng, it’s very interesting. Where is he know from?

    18. I loved the line where after Ron’s answer, the next question starts with, “Coming back to reality”! :)

    19. My question with the McLaren situation is you would have to think while driving the MP4-30 in the simulator they would have to have an idea of the full performance of the car minus the break downs… engine turned up so the car is getting the full down force and zero heating issues… that’s what I would like to find out, maybe Ron is looking at that and making these wild accusations… cheers all!

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