McLaren have been celebrating their 50th anniversary all season long, but today is the day all that celebrating has been for. Employees and drivers gathered at the MTC for a celebration of one of the most storied teams in motor sports history.
Similar to the MP4-28 release event, everyone gathered in the MTC’s lobby for the parade to roll in.
All the major players were in attendance including the MK 8D, M23 and MP4/4.
Jenson Button and Sergio Perez were also on hand. I imagine there was a lot of talk about next season.
The spirits of seasons past.
Button made an entrance in this midnight purple P1.
2013’s Formula 1 campaign hasn’t been good to McLaren. They took a gamble with the MP4-28, which is more of a redesign than an evolution car. Had they done what most of their competitors did and ran an updated version of the MP4-27, we could be having a very different conversation now.
The team has made it abundantly clear that they are focusing all of their current efforts on 2014. While this season will likely be a wash, McLaren won’t stay midfield for long.
It has been an interesting offseason for Mercedes who have seen massive power shifts in both the front office and in the driver’s seat. In what was easily the biggest off track story of 2012, Lewis Hamilton announced that he would leave McLaren and head to Mercedes, to take spot of a retiring Michael Schumacher. Many are still questioning if Lewis’ decision was the right one.
In his first public appearance since joining the team, Hamilton and teammate Nico Rosberg were out to unveil Mercedes’ 2013 contender, the W04.
It’s tough to see any difference between the W03 and it’s successor apart from a slight nose job. Like all of the other teams, the W04 is an “evolution” car and will certainly look different come race day.
According to Mercedes, the W04 is the result of “many thousands of hours of work”.
The W04 may have more of a burden than any other car on the starting grid in 2013. Mercedes have made big claims since acquiring Hamilton. Their 2012 season fell flat after the first few races and much of the responsibility will be on the shoulders of Ross Brawn if this car follows a similar path.
Granted no racing has been done, but I still don’t understand the move from Hamilton’s perspective, apart from having more free time due to less sponsorship constraints. There’s also the strange hiring of Niki Lauda as Mercedes’ special informant. Between Brawn, Lauda and Toto Wolff, this team has way too many captains and I think it’s only a matter of time before this ticking time bomb goes off. There have already been rumblings of a Brawn departure from the team. None of this is good news for Hamilton who left McLaren to get away from the “drama”. I expect 2013 to be a very interesting season for Mercedes and we’ll all be following them closely.
Formula 1 fans will be well aware of Ron Howard’s upcoming film Rush. It chronicles the 1976 Formula 1 season, one of the most tumultuous ever, with a focus on the drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda.
It’s not often that Hollywood ventures into racing territory and when they have, it’s not usually gone well (think Driven).
Rush on the other hand, looks fantastic. Ron Howard is taking it seriously and Formula 1 fans are the ones he’s looking to please. Ron has been spotted at a number of races over the last year, including yesterday’s Monaco Grand Prix. I’m a big fan of the Hunt-Lauda rivalry and I think it’ll provide the perfect storyline for American audiences, to become more interested in the sport.
With Rush coming out in 2013 and the potential for 2 US Grand Prix, things are looking good for Formula 1 in the states.