McLaren expect “much more competitive” 2016

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Eric Boullier says McLaren will be “much more competitive” in their second season with Honda.


Comment of the day

Few of you thought the idea Esteban Gutierrez might drive for Ferrari one day should be taken seriously:

I highly doubt Ferrari are giving genuine consideration to Gutierrez as a future driver. The world of F1 is highly political. Token gestures like having Gutierrez as a reserve driver, making him the number two driver of the Ferrari B-Team and news pieces suggesting he has a future as a Ferrari driver are all just empty gestures which make for good headlines and keeps old Carlos Slim happy.

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On this day in F1

The second non-championship South African Grand Prix of 1960 (the first was held on New Year’s Day) was won on this day 55 years ago by Stirling Moss ahead of fellow Porsche driver Jo Bonnier.

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Keith Collantine
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43 comments on “McLaren expect “much more competitive” 2016”

  1. I think they will improve later

    1. The only way McLaren can produce good results is to use the qualities that Fernando have shown before (2007 Hungarian GP qualifying, 2008 Singapore GP race, 2010 German GP race, 2012 US GP grid), otherwise they are wasting the huge talents of Fernando :)

    2. Two steps in the constructors seem possible, would be my wild guess. Sauber and Renault. Also Haas will probably slot in behind McLaren… so nothing of that is sure, they might as well end up last and get overtaken by Manor.

  2. Sauber better watch out, those plucky McLarens might actually be competitive with them next year…

    1. ahahahahaha!


      (Never ever believe anything Ron says.)

  3. So, Schumacher’s manager is moaning to the press because Schumacher’s wife wants some privacy? Here’s an idea: let them have their privacy!

    1. So no-one else that’s been close in his life is allowed to have anything to do with him? There would be plenty more people that care about him and that form a close part of his life than just her. I’d be pretty hurt if my best friend had a serious accident and his wife refused any access. I think she’s protecting her pride, not privacy.

      1. Yeah its not like your life partner would know what you would have wanted and be fiercely protecting the man she loves…. Sheez people, honestly to even things up a bit the wife should release an article now saying an ex employee of Michael’s is stalking them, but I’m guessing maybe she just wants everyone to just leave them alone?? I think he and his family have given enough to the public over the years to be afforded at least that respect.

      2. @selbbin I very much doubt Weber qualifies as a close friend. Schumi made some distance already in the late Ferrari-years, as Mr-10% was keen to get every marketing-euro possible out of Schumachers career.

        1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
          27th December 2015, 17:44

          He was “Mr 20%” I think actually!

          1. Maybe Weber can manage Schumi’s rehabilitation and pay 20% of the costs. @peppermint-lemon, @crammond

      3. So no-one else that’s been close in his life is allowed to have anything to do with him?

        We’re talking about a manager, not an old school friend. And as far as I’m concerned, when it comes to who gets to see Schumacher, Corrina (his wife) gets the final say.

    2. Weber makes Corinna’s point by posting about this on Facebook…

      1. Yep exactly. She doesn’t trust him not to leak the details.

  4. It is a leaner outfit off-track, too, after 93 staff were let go, making a £6.8m saving.

    Sadly, this is the cost of too much debt. I expect all are very competent, well trained, hardworking people, so while there is a saving that has a monetary value, I believe there will also be repercussions, meaning the on-track performance will be less than it would otherwise have been.
    I hope the new Illmore assisted engine will be sufficiently powerful to overcome this deficit.

    1. The Lotus staff have remained loyal while putting up with a lot over the past few years, and most of those folks probably thought if they could just hold on until a manufacturer takes over…

      1. Unfortunately one of the realities of good business is sometimes good staff have to go, and that isn’t a reflection on those staff, it is just that is the cost of keeping the rest employed.

  5. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    27th December 2015, 5:45

    What if F1 was organised like the football World Cup?

    If that were to happen we would race at soulless venues in countries with little to no motorsport heritage based on whoever greases the organ grinder’s hands with the most cash.

    …Imagine that!

    1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      27th December 2015, 17:47

      Luca Montezemolo would be good at that…

  6. McLaren should get a big step from Honda using a bigger turbine and MGU-H – IF that’s what they’ve done. I’m worried by the story they’ve tried to keep it Size Zero and just turn it faster.

    But I’m hoping they’re going to have a big fat new MGU-H and be somewhere around the Torro Rossos. Nando vs Max, mmmm … :)

    1. Moving the turbine just to get it bigger is a huge redesign and they would be starting at square one with the same design the others have already perfected for two years. Im pretty sure Honda knows whats to be done but scrapping it all for a makeshift copycat of the others engines seems like the very last way out, not a shortcut to success.

      1. Well @rethla they and some others have been saying it is a redesign too big to have done it in season. There’s a rule limiting them to 125k rpm on the turbo so how much headroom did they have?

        Ferrari caught up precisely by copying Mercedes with a bigger turbo and using their ERS subcontractor. It’s not ‘makeshift’ or ‘copycat’ but convergence.

        As for Honda knowing, well they had all 2014 to see what Merc did, how they used car bodywork as part of the dyno, then when Honda launched they hadn’t done that and OMG the car couldn’t cool the engine they’d built.

        The MGU-H was obviously – as in, obvious to everybody else – woefully under-powered.

        So I hope they’ve become more practical and less inward-looking, and we get to see the Macs racing hard in the midfield.

        1. Well they had/have enough headroom that was never the poblem. They wont have more tokens in 2016 than in 2015 so if they couldnt redesign it during 2015 season then they cant now either. Maybe over 2-3 seasons with the sole goal of copying Mercedes they could make an complete engine redesign but again a commitment like that is no shortcut to success. Meanwhile they would be doing that complete overhaul Mercedes and the others would be using tokens to refining their designs. and Honda would be years behind.

          Sure they had “all 2014 to see what merc did”, so did everyone else and you dont build an engine in one year.

          1. It’s not about tokens @rethla but how many extra rpm they can run before they hit the 125k limit, which is then an absolute ceiling.

            Hopefully the developments are big enough to need a new car.

            AMuS was reporting the Merc dyno at the beginning of January 2014. They didn’t have to design an engine to emulate that, they had to ship over half a chassis and integrate it, to discover some crucial facts that so took them by surprise 13 months later.

          2. @lockup Its all about tokens if you wanna completly redesign your engine.

          3. Check this out @rethla.

            Honda has suggested that only a change of its power unit layout for next year will allow it to address now obvious shortcomings in its performance.

          4. @lockup, the indication is that Honda decided to go for that turbine speed of 125,000rpm from the start.

            It was a decision forced by McLaren’s insistence on a very small packaging envelope – by being forced to reduce the size of the turbine, the team were therefore forced to spin the turbines at higher speed to ensure an adequate airflow through the system. However, there are reports that Honda found that they could not reach their target and could only run at 100,000rpm (which is what Mercedes and Ferrari are thought to run at), which inevitably resulted in a major loss in performance.

            @rethla, with regards to the development period, the indication is that it was longer than you think – if I recall well, Honda were releasing audio clips of their engine being bench tested back in 2013 (leading some to wonder at the time how Honda could be releasing audio clips when Ferrari had not yet revealed their engine).

          5. That makes sense @anon although I doubt McLaren forced anything on Honda, it’d be more like they asked for the smallest package, as they would, and Honda reckoned they had this brilliant concept.

            If they were staying with this concept then they can only speed up by 25% and then they are stuck, and it won’t give a linear improvement either. However ‘changing the layout’ sounds like they have woken up and smelled the coffee, so let’s see what they can do.

          6. @rethla, @lockup its not just about token spend though. Remember the FIA opened up areas of development that were previously already locked down to give Honda and Renault more freedom to work on improving their engines.

            I do agree with @rethla, that improving how their concept works is a better idea than just copying what someone else did (Ferrari still have a different architecture from Mercedes, they only changed part of it too). Off course that does imply that they would actually be capable to up the rmp (they had been running far below maximum rpm on the turbo because of technical issues / heat so far) and make their concept work as envisioned.

          7. Let’s see what they’ve done @bascb. Merc and Ferrari decided a big turbo turning at 100k is better than a small one at 125 (or whatever a smaller turbine would allow). I can only fly on instinct but that feels right to me, for harvesting on part throttle especially.

            I don’t believe tokens were ever a limit, except in Honda’s minds – I think FIA would have waved through anything on the reliability/cost exemption. It was Merc and Ferrari whom Charlie had to rein in on the exemption development, not Honda or Renault. That is a mindset thing.

          8. @lockup Hondas problem is not whether a big turbo at 100k or a small turbo at 125k is better but that they cant get their current turbosetup to run at the speeds they need. Right now they have a small turbo at 100k. Honda still belives a small turbo at high speed is the better choice but it remains to be see if they can get it done or if they will have to revert to something simpler and less efficient but doable.

          9. Honda’s problem @rethla was that 100k is not an awful lot slower than 125k, and 125k is an absolute limit even if they could achieve it, and on top of that the others can keep moving their big turbos up through 105k, 110k or whatever.

            This is why I was pleased to see as I quoted

            Honda has suggested that only a change of its power unit layout for next year will allow it to address now obvious shortcomings in its performance.

            Ferrari increased the size of their turbo, and it worked, didn’t it? This what I mean, that I hope Honda are being practical.

        2. There’s a rule limiting them to 125k rpm on the turbo

          I had never heard this rule. 125k RPM is not much in excess of a run-of-the-mill turbo used on a road car, and I had heard that Honda had tried to run the turbo at a much higher speed to get the same performance from a smaller compressor. If this rule is in place, there would be no headroom, so this plan would have been a non-starter. I was confused, so I looked it up.

          From the technical regulations article 5.2.4:

          The MGU-H must be solely mechanically linked to the exhaust turbine of a pressure charging
          system. This mechanical link must be of fixed speed ratio to the exhaust turbine and may be
          The rotational speed of the MGU-H may not exceed 125,000rpm.

          This limits the speed of the MGU-H, but this can be linked to the turbo by a “fixed speed ratio”. Therefore, the turbo itself can spin faster, as long as this is geared down when linking to the MGU-H. I cannot find a regulation which limits the actual turbo’s speed.

  7. TheF1Engineer (@)
    27th December 2015, 10:31

    I find it interesting Cowell’s response to BoP was to say no for “political” reasons, not to say no for “technical” or “sporting” reasons.
    It’s entirely possible, it’s just a case of a) the manufacturers don’t want it, and b) it needs to be explained in casual terms

  8. McLaren also expected to win races in 2015. Until i see results on track, i refuse to day-dream about a third world title. 2016 has to be a season similar to what Lotus had in 2015 if Mcca’s bid for 2017 is to be achieved.

  9. Look at the difference between McLaren this year and Ferrari last year.
    Both had just had their worst years and Ferrari was cautious about all it said to the media about how 2015 is a rebuilding year and everything. McLaren on the other hand seem to be living in their own bubble where somehow they are going to make up 2.5 seconds in 2.5 months.

  10. Trying to fit into McLaren or Renault shoes….what is the use of spending (wasting) resources for a 2016 car when rules will be scraped in 2017? If successfull teams such as Mercedes Benz, Ferrari and RedBull lose money on winning years….is it woth it to spend millions to get to be 5th or should a team focus in 2017? This token system failed. This turbo hybrid engines failed. How long will Mercedes last in formula 1 without winning?

    1. Given how long they were powering McLaren before buying out Brawn, they’ll be around a while.

  11. Lol, good for McLaren. To be honest I like them now. They are trying everything within reason, to get ahead. They are now a proper nonwhining sportsman racing team.

    Granted all teams are like that in general. except sometimes Red-Whiners… but they to will change.

    Rules of F1 need to change, but meanwhile do your best.

    There is no shame in being second to Mercedes right now… But if you are not within 1s per lap… then you have work to do.

  12. I don’t expect fourth place from Force India…

  13. Dozens of times? What, like, more than twenty?

    Probably time to take the hint.

  14. It would be great for the F1-show to have 3-way battle at the front between mercedes, ferrari and williams.

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