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Posted 15 November 2018 - 14:01
Bob Fernley has been appointed McLaren's President of IndyCar. He will lead the McLaren 2019 Indianapolis 500 programme.
The appointment is designed to avoid McLaren having to invest any of its energy or people in IndyCar, as the focus needs to be on Formula 1, the company's core business.
Fernley worked in IndyCar back in the 1980s, but has not been involved since 1990. According to a McLaren statement, Fernley will build and lead a technical team entirely focused on the 2019 Indy 500, while helping to evaluate the feasibility of a longer-term McLaren involvement in IndyCar.
One presumes that McLaren has certain engineers already picked out to run things, or that a team such as Andretti will loan the team people with the relevance up to date experience.
Posted 23 November 2018 - 21:05
The McLaren team says that James Key will definitely take up his new role at Woking next season.
The former Toro Rosso technical director was signed by McLaren in July. However the junior Red Bull squad held a long-term contract on Key, and refused an early release.
It's meant that Key has been on indefinite 'gardening leave' since the summer, and his position has remained up in the air with regards as to how long he would have to sit things out on the sidelines.
"James will be with us next year," McLaren CEO Zak Brown insisted on Friday in Abu Dhabi, suggesting that a compromise deal with Key's former employers had finally been reached.
However he couldn't say whether Key's release would come in time for him to make any significant contribution to next year's car over the winter off-season.
Indeed, he couldn't even confirm whether Key would be with them for the first race of 2019 in Australia in March, saying only that Key would take up his post at "some point".
"We knew that was going to be the case," Brown said, insisting that next year's chassis was in good hands in the meantime.
"Obviously we've recruited him cause we think he's immensely talented," said Brown. "We're excited for him to start, but he's had no input or communication as it relates to the 2019 car."
"Pat Fry and Andrea Stella and the whole design team are working really well together," he continued.
"This is part of a recovery journey, and with that is getting the right people in place and that doesn't happen overnight.
McLaren are hoping that Key can help them out of their recent doldrums, just as he has helped to turn around the fortunes of other struggling teams in the past.
Prior to reviving Toro Rosso's form in recent seasons, Key had successful stints as a designer for Jordan, Midland, Spyker and Force India before a short spell at Sauber.
Posted 24 November 2018 - 12:46
Posted 25 November 2018 - 18:08
Na današnji dan 2012. godine u Brazilu, Meklaren je ostvario svoju poslednju pobedu u f1
Posted 26 November 2018 - 21:24
Johnson impresses Alonso with F1 test debut
By: Chris Medland | 3 hours ago
Fernando Alonso was impressed by Jimmie Johnson’s performance on his first time in a single-seater when he tested a McLaren Formula 1 car in Bahrain.
The two champions swapped cars during the event on Monday, with Alonso driving a NASCAR Cup car for the first time, while Johnson got behind the wheel of a 2013 McLaren MP4-28. After training laps in a McLaren road car, Johnson then shook down the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports machine, posting a 2m14s lap time.
Although Alonso wasn’t scheduled to drive the F1 car — having only started his final grand prix on Sunday in Abu Dhabi — he then completed a flying lap and set a 1m40.204s for Johnson to try and better. After an initial delay when Johnson’s helmet was lifting while in the F1 car, both got down to carrying out five-lap runs, with Johnson eventually posting a best lap just 0.2s off Alonso’s time, something the two-time F1 champion described as impressive.
“I think he was really gaining time every run he was going out,” Alonso said. “Sometimes you put new tires on these cars for the very first time and you are not able to extract the grip because you miss the braking point a little bit here and there and maybe you don’t maximize the grip available, but he was able to guess this extra grip that the new tires is giving to you, and extract that grip into lap time so I was very impressed with that.
“He had fun. He took the test very seriously, as I did — probably I was a little bit busier in the last two to three weeks and especially the weekend in Abu Dhabi, but I think both came here with the intention of having fun, yes, swapping the cars, yes, but not a normal swap like we saw in other occasions when it was swapping cars, doing a photograph and have one run and that was it.
“We came for a full day of testing, I used four sets of tires, I think he used three or four sets of tires, and we were swapping the cars, having fun, but also we wanted to feel the new environment in a representative way and in a speed that we could feel something that was close to what they feel normally.”
Johnson admitted the performance of the F1 car exceeded his expectations despite having time to prepare on the McLaren simulator at the team’s factory last week.
“It was mind blowing,” Johnson said. “The sensation of speed… Clearly the speed is so high. The simulator was a really nice experience, a great visual aid, but to have the wind moving by and the sensation of speed and the G-forces, it takes a little while to absorb that and have the newness of that go away and focus on what you’re doing.
“I felt like every time I went out, my surroundings moved slower and it was easier to piece together my braking points. Literally on the first outing, my helmet was trying to leave my head, and I was staring at the microphone in my helmet, it was so high! I was like, ‘I don’t want to stop but I think I should…’
“I got my helmet more under control and then it was really my eyes trying to find their way far enough ahead and far enough around the turns. At the end I really quit focusing on the braking markers themselves and was able to look at the apex and had an idea of when to hit the brakes and was putting together some good laps. It was fun.”
Johnson at speed (Image by McLaren)
On getting so close to Alonso’s time, Johnson says the whole day showed him how talented the Spaniard is behind the wheel of any car.
“Inside, it just feels good to be able to go out there and be able to be in the same second bracket as him, it’s very cool. I didn’t know how close I would get — the racer in me was of course focused on that and I was straight away asking: ‘What was his lap time? Can I look at the data and try and piece that together?’
“He had that same opportunity in my car to look at that data and go after it. I honestly think at the end of the day I got a way better swap experience than he did. If we could come for a day or two and get our gearing dialed in and do some suspension changes, with the proper tire, the car could have been quite a bit faster.
“But I rode with him in a car in Abu Dhabi in hot laps and again today, and he should be a dirt racer! He loves to be sideways and smoking the tires and every time I saw him in the Cup car the rear tires were smoking, even on our little laps after for the cameras. I don’t think he was ever straight on any of those laps either! He’s a very talented driver and he can drive anything.”
Alonso admitted the NASCAR was tricky to get to grips with, despite bettering Johnson’s one-lap time by setting a 2m10.830s in the No. 48 Chevrolet.
“I think I was very far away from a very good lap,” Alonso admitted. “Driving style, it was still not very clear to me what is the best way to perform a lap. I found a lot of problem on braking; the car has very poor retardation because of the weight of the car and the steel brakes behave very differently compared to the ones I am used to.
“And traction, these tires with the amount of power that those cars have, it is very difficult to manage so in first gear, second gear, third gear you are still spinning the tires, and I didn’t know if it was better to go full throttle and spin the tires and really move forward or control with the throttle and maybe lose a little bit of performance on exit.
“So in the end, I think it is not so clear for me even after one day what will be necessary on these cars.”
The pair signed off with filming duties in each other’s cars before performing donuts on the pit straight at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Dzimi Dzonson spada u onu malu grupu vozaca koji nikad nisu pokusavali u F1 ili nikad nisu dobili sansu ali imaju i vise nego dovoljno talenta za titulu svetskog sampiona. U neka stara vremena kad je bilo normalno da vozaci u jednoj sezoni skacu iz kategorije u kategoriju, voze F1 sampionat, Indi 500, Dejtonu, Leman, F2, turing i sve drugo sto ima tockove, likovi poput Dzonsona, Diksona, Loterera stajali bi rame uz rame sa Klarkom, Mariom Andretijem, Fojtom, Stjuartom i ostalim legendama. Danas nazalost svako je zatvoren u svoj tor i retko gleda sta ima s druge strane ograde...
Posted 27 November 2018 - 15:49
McLaren chairman: no regrets over 'expensive' Honda split
27/11/2018 at 11:44
McLaren Group chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa of Bahrain has insisted that the team has no regrets about terminating its engine partnership with Honda.
He told the BBC this week that it had been in McLaren's best long-term interests to buy its way out of the deal after three years of disappointing results.
However, the team hasn't fared much better since it switched to Renault power units at the start of 2018. Meanwhile Honda has shown improved form with new partners Toro Rosso, and will take on Red Bull as a second customer team next season.
But Sheikh Mohammed - the representative of the Mumtalakat investment fund of the Bahraini government, which is McLaren's controlling shareholder - said splitting from Honda had still been the right call.
"It was in the long-term interests of the company," he said, admitting that it had been "an expensive decision" at the time.
Sheikh Mohammed reiterated Mumtalakat's commitment to McLaren and to Formula 1, despite having to increase funding for the squad to cover losses stemming from the switch away from Honda.
"We are committed to this," he insisted. "The way we were heading, the change was bound to come.
"Tremendous respect for Honda but the relationship wasn't working and so we had a civilised discussion and we decided to part ways.
"We will see this through," he added. "Frustrating, because we are racers at heart, but you just have to power through."
A tremendous effort from Fernando Alonso during 2018 helped the team hold on to sixth place in the constructors championship. But with the two-time champion now departed, and the team still struggling, it's become clear that there are fundamental problems at Woking that need addressing.
Chief technical officer Tim Goss, engineering director Matt Morris and racing director Eric Boullier have all left the team in 2018. Gil de Ferran came on board as sporting director in July and the team has also brought Pat Fry back as engineering director alongside performance director Andrea Stella.
McLaren hired former Toro Rosso technical director James Key to bolster their development department over the summer, but he remains in limbo with his move currently stalled amid contractual wrangles with his former employers.
"We're confident we know why we haven't been able to develop this year's car," stated Sheikh Mohammed. "There is a fundamental problem, [but] we think we've addressed it."
He said the nature of the problem had not been fully identified until the summer, when it was too late to do anything about in 2018. However it gives cause for optimism for next year's car development.
"Had we discovered that in April we would have had a B car," he admitted. "But it was too late.
"I don't know if we want to disclose what we have discovered and why," he said. "But we have taken steps, and the development of next year's car has helped us understand what went wrong here."
McLaren hopes to have Alonso provide some driver feedback on next year's chassis to help its all-new driver line-up of Carlos Sainz and British rookie Lando Norris prepare for the 2019 season.
Posted 05 December 2018 - 17:06
Brown: McLaren sunk by 'lack of consistent leadership'
05/12/2018 at 11:31
Zak Brown believes McLaren's depressed performance this season was a by-product of the lack of leadership endured by the team in the past years.
A failed three-year partnership with Honda and disruption at the management level left McLaren in a pitiful state at the end of last season.
But under the guidance of Brown, a marketing guru who took the helm of McLaren following the ousting of long-standing boss and shareholder Ron Dennis, the Woking-based outfit's hopes of a recovery were revived when it switched its engine allegiance to Renault.
While progress materialized, the team's performance fell well short of expectations. As he took stock and assessed his team's situation, Brown opened up about the reasons behind McLaren's 2018 shortfall.
"What has taken us here, the problems of this season were in the making for years," he candidly said, speaking to Spain's El Mundo Deportivo.
"My summary would be that we lacked consistency in leadership.
"I don't want to point to anyone, but there was a lack of focus for everything that was going on from the board down: investments, mergers of companies, changes in management, changes in executive directors, and ultimately, lack of attention.
"That is what created the problem. What happened was that people did not have clear objectives, a responsibility."
During the 2018 season, McLaren embarked on a fundamental restructuring at all levels, the fruits of which grew too late to favourably impact its performance. But Brown insists the team will enter the new year now anchored to a solid foundation.
"We created a poor car for 2018," he admits.
"Our company has a lot of individual talent, a hundred people who have been with us for 20 years. We have not had the correct structure. That's what we want to correct.
"Now we are on the road to recovery. As I told the people of McLaren , the feeling will be good before the results will be good.
"The development is going well, the teamwork, collaboration, communication and the responsibilities. Everything that we were short on, now we're doing well," he added.
"But until we get the new car on track, people will not be able to see the improvements we've made. I think this year has been the low point."
"We work hard to recover, but it will take a while," he concluded.
Deckonja, upravo ti si taj lider u timu, ako je liderstvo omanulo ti si omanuo pre svih!
Posted 20 December 2018 - 19:46
McLaren 'cautiously optimistic' as Renault makes engine gains for 2019
Phillip van Osten
20/12/2018 at 12:22
Engine gains from partner Renault and lessons learned from 2018 are helping McLaren cast a 'cautiously optimistic' outlook for next season, says CEO Zak Brown.
The Woking-based outfit's campaign fell short of expectations this year, with McLaren's hopes of leading the mid-field never panning out, a shortfall that resulted in one of the worst seasons for Formula 1's second most successful team.
McLaren is working hard however to revive its performance, having initiated earlier this year a restructuring of its management and technical departments that is still ongoing.
All too aware of the potential pitfalls associated with bullish predictions, Brown won't go out on a limb and deliver a rose-colored projection, but the McLaren boss does see cause for optimism.
"There is a lot of cautious optimism but we don't want to get ahead of ourselves," said the American. "We've done that before and we're not going to make the same mistake twice.
"Development is going well. We're kind of on-track with what we are wanting to achieve.
"We have no idea where the competition is other than speculation. I don't think we will know until we get to [pre-season testing] Barcelona but we are pleased with the progress we have made.
"We have done things differently. Everyone is working well together so it feels like a more quiet confidence but we're on our toes. we know this is an important year for us to show progress and that comes with some exciting nervous energy.
"We know we are not going to get there overnight. It is going to feel good before it looks good, because there is a lag in what we do today doesn't hit the track tomorrow."
While McLaren's engineering team puts the finishing touches on its 2019 MCL34 chassis, engine partner Renault is apparently making some significant strides in Viry-Châtillon in its quest to bridge the gap with Mercedes and Ferrari.
"They are telling us that they are very pleased with their winter progress, that they have found a lot of kilowatts, and think that they will be in the ballpark," added Brown.
"I don't think it's appropriate for me to quote the numbers they have given us but they feel they are going to be very competitive next year."
A new chassis and an improved power unit make up two thirds of the new McLaren package, with the last part represented by the team's fresh tandem of drivers.
Carlos Sainz joins McLaren from Renault while rookie Lando Norris steps into the limelight for the very first time. So far, Brown has been impressed by the Spaniard's "very aggressive" commitment.
"He is very engaged with the engineering team," said the McLaren boss.
"He wants to know. He spends time on the phone, with me, with the engineers. He's had a lot of off-season conversations with Fernando so he's very engaged and I think he's very excited and he's fully up for joining us on our road to recovery.
"He is under no illusions that next year is going to be a tough year."