McLaren Video Score: four / five
Force India have been one of the ever improving teams in Formula One over the last few years. They finished in the seventh position last season, while they enjoyed a sixth place finish in the constructors championship a year before. The team has set a target of regaining the sixth spot this season, but they have so far exceeded expectations after four races into the 2013 F1 season. The team are currently fifth in the table 3 points ahead of McLaren, who was their main engine suppliers. The Deputy team principal of Force India, Bob Fernley has said that the targets have not changed after the four races of the season.
He has said that it will be difficult finish above McLaren, who have vast financial resources. McLaren also have former world championship winning drivers in the form of Jenson Button. As a result, Fernley reckons that it will be a tough task to finish above McLaren. Hence, the team has not differed from their initial objectives of finishing in the sixth place. Even though Force India have made a strong start in terms of the points secured up until now, Fernley is aware of the fact that the two drivers have been able to secure points together in just one race of the season.
“Our goal was obviously to regain sixth as a minimum. We are fifth, just, and there are three points between us and McLaren. Can we hold them off for the whole season? It will be tough, but we will give it a go. We have to be pragmatic about it, they are a good team. That’s what we have got to do. We have got to be focused and make sure that when the opportunity comes we take it and get both cars in the points,” said Fernley.
McLaren Video clip Ranking: four / five
The McLaren driver Jenson Button has said that his team have made incredible progress with the car at the start of the 2013 F1 season. The Brit has said that the struggles with the car in the first two races of the campaign have been predominantly due to the wet conditions. He has said that the team has made a lot of progress under the dry conditions. McLaren were just a few tenths of a second behind the Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, who won the opening race of the season at Australia. Button has said that it is not as bad a position as the media are predicting.
However, he has admitted that he has struggled to find the right setup for the car in the wet conditions. The lack of grip from the rear at high speeds has been one of the problems for Button. He has said that people should look at the qualifying times from the Q1 and Q2 when the track was relatively dry. The former Honda driver has praised the performance of the team in helping both the cars get into the top 10 of the table. Button has now become the experienced driver within the McLaren set up after the departure of Lewis Hamilton.
“To be two tenths off the guy who won last weekend I don’t think is too bad. It’s funny though because these conditions seemed to really work for us until this point. I couldn’t find a balance in the wet; I struggled with lack of grip at high-speed at the rear, but I’d take that any day of the week for a better car in the dry. If you look through qualifying in Q1 and Q2 on dry tyres we were more competitive. Still nowhere near the top but we’re more competitive,” said Button.
McLaren Video clip Ranking: four / 5
The McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has expressed his concern over the financial state of the Formula One teams by saying that only Red Bull have been doing well over the last few years, while most of the teams are extremely close to packing up. Whitmarsh is the chairman of the F1 teams Association, and he has said that the expensive nature of the sport is proving to be a tough thing in the current economic climate. The world economy has been only slightly improving since the collapse in 2008. Despite the introduction of several cost-saving measures over the years, Formula One continues to be one of the most expensive sports.
Whitmarsh has said that one of the main revenues of F1 comes from advertising, and the current economic climate has meant that the sponsorship revenues have decreased. He has also acknowledged that teams will not find F1 to be a viable form of business at least for the next few years. Even though he did not want to name the teams, Whitmarsh has said that more than half a dozen teams are currently fighting to be self-sufficient. One of the exceptions has been that of the current world champions Red Bull, who have been extremely successful over the last few years.
“It’s tough. We’re in the world of advertising and you only have to see how advertising is worldwide. We have taken some measures, but I think it’s going to be tough for some. I guess at least half a dozen [teams] are likely to be not self-sufficient. The acid test should be if the team is sustainable without support from a shareholder, who are often also sponsors. If the answer is ‘yes’, then the business is healthy,” said Whitmarsh, whose team recently lost the star driver Lewis Hamilton.