It’s been a pretty big news day in Formula 1. Apart from the 2014 cars rolling out, we learned that Eric Boullier resigned as Team Principal at Lotus. It’s a fairly shocking development, especially considering most of the teams are scheduled to test at Jerez next week. The rumors have of course been swirling and some project Boullier to succeed Martin Whitmarsh at McLaren. I’ll believe that when I see it.
In the meantime, McLaren’s MP4-29.
The situation has been rocky at McLaren over the last year. The departure of Lewis Hamilton could be considered the beginning of the team’s unraveling and over the next year, they would experience their worst season since 1980. With Vodafone, Sergio Perez and Martin Whitmarsh (presumably) out the door, the team are seeking a fresh start in 2014. Despite this, they’re starting to resemble Williams more and more everyday, but that’s a discussion for another post.
Unsurprisingly, the MP4-29 looks fantastic from the side. However, like some of the other cars we’ve seen, it all goes wrong when the view changes.
The new technical regulations almost make you wonder if Bernie and the FIA are in on a big ploy to outrage fans. I understand that getting the most most airflow underneath the chassis is key, but there must be a more attractive design execution. It’s a shame too because the rest of the MP4-29 is quite good looking, particularly the triangular side pods.
While the new noses are something fans may eventually get used to, it’s a small contribution to the much larger problem of the sport completely losing its identity. Many would argue that Thursday was the day Formula 1 racing died with the implementation of double points at Abu Dhabi. Unattractive cars, environmentally friendly power plants and racing in the name of tire/fuel conservation isn’t what people want to see. Something’s got to give.
With the departure of Vodafone as McLaren’s title sponsor, the MP4-29 looks particularly silver. The car will likely have an entirely different livery come Melbourne, but at the moment it would be hard to tell it apart from the Mercedes Silver Arrows. I wonder why they didn’t opt for orange paint which has always been McLaren’s standby, as the team awaits new sponsorship.
Ultimately what matters most is how fast it is and we’ll all know soon enough.
Photos courtesy of McLaren.