While providing team members a
restorative break, Formula 1’s compulsory
summer shutdown can’t stop restless
minds from working overtime, particularly
if their team’s performance has fallen far
short of expectations.
Number one in this category is surely
McLaren, which went through the first
half of this season without so much as a
sniff of a podium finish for the MP4-28.
Team boss Martin Whitmarsh reflected
on its woes, noting: “Nine, 10 months ago
we had the fastest car, so we looked foolish
at the beginning of this year to have
abandoned quite a lot of the elements of
that car. People say, ‘Why did you do it?’
and I think the simple answer is ambition,
and ambition getting the better of us.
“The feeling was, ‘Let’s try to make a
big step. Let’s incorporate this, this, this
and this.’ We believed all the tests we’d
done validated those concepts and the
best thing to do was bring them together.
“So we brought it together, but it didn’t
come together in a harmonious package.
We lost sight of the overall structure.”
By contrast, Lewis Hamilton’s move to
Mercedes, once questioned by F1 critics,
started to look a lot savvier when three
consecutive pole positions culminated in
The long midseason break gives Formula 1 teams
plenty of time to take stock – or lick their wounds
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After spending much of the first half of
2013 in damage-control mode – literally
and figuratively – Pirelli’s latest tire revisions
smoothed over its F1 program. Drawn-out
contract extension talks still rankle, though.