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Author Topic: Is MP4-26 really a dog or are they sandbagging?  (Read 2712 times)

Offline John S

Is MP4-26 really a dog or are they sandbagging?
« on: February 21, 2011, 11:03:45 AM »

McLaren appears neither fast nor happy this year so what's their real situation? :confused:

Although Fernando Alonso believes Red Bull's RB7 is the car to beat, Jenson Button has a different opinion and he's not singing his own MP4-26's praises, but Ferrari's instead.

"Do you really think the Ferrari is six tenths slower than the Red Bull?" Jenson asked in a BBC interview, in reference to Saturday's timesheets when Vettel was 0.663s up on Alonso. He added "And the Ferrari on the long runs seem to be two seconds quicker than everyone else."

But, having said that, the 2009 World Champion concedes that with teams running different tyres, different fuel loads and different programmes, it's near to impossible to say for sure who is actually on top.

He continued "What is interesting is people's consistency - that's when you can really see if they have a good car. Ferrari does look competitive in terms of consistency but so do a lot of others and the Red Bull looks pretty good but not as good as the Ferrari." No mention of McLaren in this mix leaving a distinct impression that he is uneasy about the MP4-26 being a match for the front runners, especially since their consistency is a bit erratic and laps on track have been well short of other teams.

First it was Jenson downplaying McLaren's pace this year, then Lewis, then Jenson again. Then we have Martin Whitmarsh banging on about other venues, if Bahrain is cancelled, so they have more time testing the new car and talking about how fast the other cars are and moanng about this years MP4-26. ...Hmm McLaren are usually tight lipped about everything at this stage of the year, methinks they doth protest too much and maybe they're sandbagging somewhat

As pre-season testing continues at Barcelona, everyone has an opinion about what is going on out on track, although no one is absolutely sure. Lack of speed in this years McLaren or sandbagging, what does anyone else think?


« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 11:35:28 AM by John S »


Racing is life - everything else is just waiting. (Steve McQueen)

Offline Scott

Re: Is MP4-26 really a dog or are they sandbagging?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2011, 11:39:39 AM »
I fear it's a dog.  Perhaps Newey's philosophies and influence have finally been expelled from the design department.  Too bad for them.  I hope not, for Jenson and Lewis' sake, but it doesn't really look that good does it?
The Honey Badger doesn't give a...

Offline lkjohnson1950

Re: Is MP4-26 really a dog or are they sandbagging?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2011, 06:17:59 PM »
James Allen says that Lewis was unable to get the power down through the final complex of curves and was obviously frustrated in the pits. In addition, he seems to be using the Pirellis up at a great pace, so I think their problems are genuine. JA rates the Ferrari and RB7 near equal, with the midfield tightening up. Renault, Williams, Toro Rosso, and Sauber appear to have improved relative to RB, and Team Lotus has closed the gap to the midfielders. If he's right, it could be a great season.

Lonny
Lonny

Williamsfan

  • Guest
Re: Is MP4-26 really a dog or are they sandbagging?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2011, 08:40:17 PM »
The McLaren isn't looking as good as you would expect at the moment, hopefully they can get it sorted.  Good news though to see some of the midfield teams catching up relatively to the front runners.  STR and the Williams (with Barrichello) look especially good.  The Renault I am still unsure of, it seems fast but neither driver is saying much positive about it.

Offline Andy B

Re: Is MP4-26 really a dog or are they sandbagging?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2011, 09:16:56 PM »
Although its difficult to tell too much from testing I would like to say they are sandbagging but cannot and am worried. We need all the top teams competitive for the racings sake. :confused:
Once you have retired every day is a Saturday!

Offline Jericoke

Re: Is MP4-26 really a dog or are they sandbagging?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2011, 09:58:06 PM »
Although its difficult to tell too much from testing I would like to say they are sandbagging but cannot and am worried. We need all the top teams competitive for the racings sake. :confused:

McLaren has shown in the past that they can develop a car through the season, even without testing.  If other teams split the podiums, and McLaren can put up top 10 finishes in the early season, they should be able to make things interesting at the end of the season.  Assuming they do have problems.

I do hope that last season can be repeated this season.  Having so many competitive teams and drivers is what makes the sport truly a sport.

Offline Scott

Re: Is MP4-26 really a dog or are they sandbagging?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2011, 07:41:36 AM »
Mclaren is a bit like Federer.  They have to start on their back foot - makes them hungrier for the end of the season.

In a final or semi-final, if Federer doesn't lose the first set, he probably won't win the match.   :DntKnw:
The Honey Badger doesn't give a...

Williamsfan

  • Guest
Re: Is MP4-26 really a dog or are they sandbagging?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2011, 10:15:30 AM »
Are you a fellow tennis fan Scott, or a Federer fan due to your location? 

Offline Scott

Re: Is MP4-26 really a dog or are they sandbagging?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2011, 10:35:38 AM »
Not a big fan, but I'll always watch a final or semi-final if I've got the time.  I like Federer though...not too many champions (in any sport) have stayed as real as he has, and watching him beat stronger opponents by outlasting them is a treat to watch.
The Honey Badger doesn't give a...

Williamsfan

  • Guest
Re: Is MP4-26 really a dog or are they sandbagging?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2011, 08:46:09 PM »
Fed to me has lost a little of his humility of late which is disappointing as he was a true model pro, I think Nadal now comes across as more modest but still, both are absolutely incredible role models and would be appreciated in any sport! 

Offline The Cat

Re: Is MP4-26 really a dog or are they sandbagging?
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2011, 01:14:31 PM »
Interesting developments in the last couple of days regarding the issues surrounding the 26.

The whole car is based around its exhaust concept, its a very complicated setup they are trying to get working, and the rival teams know that if between now and Melbourne the Mclaren techies can get it sorted, (and by sorting it, meaning stopping the deformation of their "loophole finder" under intense heat) then the Mclaren will be one of the quickest cars on the grid out of the box, with a heck of a lot of development potential that could (could) make it the stand out car of the season.

This backs up Alonso's seemingly bizarre comments the other day about Mclarens Melbourne pace when you solely look at their awful testing form.

Mclaren have put themselves on a a knife edge, they are either going to be the quickest or the slowest dependent on if they can solve the problem or not.
I was Mclaren when i was born, I'll be Mclaren when I die!

Williamsfan

  • Guest
Re: Is MP4-26 really a dog or are they sandbagging?
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2011, 10:50:03 AM »
Hope what you say is right mate, be good for Jenson and Lewis to have a great car this season.  Don't hold a lot of hopes for Williams so hoping my second team does a good job! 

Offline The Cat

Re: Is MP4-26 really a dog or are they sandbagging?
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2011, 12:57:02 PM »
Hope what you say is right mate, be good for Jenson and Lewis to have a great car this season.  Don't hold a lot of hopes for Williams so hoping my second team does a good job! 

Why dont you have much hope with Williams Luke??

They have shown reasonable pace in testing even though they have been running without KERS and they will be running with it in Australia.

The issue I see for Williams is not having tested KERS too much.

The rear end and packaging on that car is genius work though.


Going back to the 26, If the "Octopus" rumours are true, and Mclaren get this working to anything like its potential, then its very good news for Mclaren fans.
I was Mclaren when i was born, I'll be Mclaren when I die!

Williamsfan

  • Guest
Re: Is MP4-26 really a dog or are they sandbagging?
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2011, 08:20:07 PM »
I am concerned about the reliability of KERS and the car, they have had a few issues (especially with Pastor in control) but also I just have had too many winters of false optimism blown apart when the season starts, so now I just start with lower expectations and see where we go from there!  The back end of the car is incredible, but the main thing is can the team make it work and get a good balance?

I read more about the Octopus pipes the other day, definitely sounds very interesting if they can get it right and in balance with the rest of the car.  McLaren could well be a surprise in Australia! 

 


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