Are McLaren paying the price for inexperienced drivers line up ?

McLaren Mercedes team are currently at worst the 2nd best team on the grid. The last French GP did nothing to make me feel otherwise. Heikki Kovalainen finished 4th after starting from 10th (following his 5 place grid penalty). Without the drive through penatly Lewis Hamilton would not have finished too far from podium either despite starting from P13…

But yet despite their strength the team lies at 3rd place in constructor standings, 16 points behind 2nd BMW Sauber and 33 points behind Ferrari. Their drivers are currently at 4th and 6th place. Compare it with their standings after 8 races last year. Top 2 drivers at the table, the team leading the constructors table by 25 points ahead of Ferrari…

The car is good, the car is reliable (only 2 retirements, both due to accidents, see the 2008 season stats here), so where is the problem ?


There are many who blame the not-so-good team strategy for McLaren’s shortcomings so far this season. Possible, but is that the root of the problem ? Or does it go back to December 14, 2007 when McLaren confirmed Heikki Kovalainen as their 2008 driver ?

No, I have nothing against Heikki Kovalainen. I do believe he is good enough to deserve a drive with McLaren and so is Lewis Hamilton. But before the 2008 season opener each of them only had 17 race starts to their name … Was it wise from McLaren to enter the 2008 season with two relatively inexperienced drivers ?

The only major difference between McLaren in 2007 and 2008 is that they have no Fernando Alonso this year …

Are McLaren at the moment paying the price for lack of experience behind the wheel ?

Photo: Daimler Media

5 Comments Post a Comment
  1. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    The photo is quite funny, looks like grandpa and grandma going for a ride on sunday with their old Ford T-model :P Specially Heiki’s face! HAHA

    Yeap, that’s right to say about they’re youngseters, not more rookies, but really lacking expirience. Rosberg is beginning to show great pace, and is his 3rd year, but also lacks of much expirience. What did in McLaren expect from a couple of drivers that did their first year with success but with terrible msitakes also. A good driver, more or less is stable. And they’re not…

    Anyway, what McLaren lacks nowadays is freedom of movement, not because of the ban from last year, just because the drivers aren’t such ones which takes the entire development of the car. Thaks god they have Pedro de la Rosa, not the fastest (maters of age), but somebody who works terrible hard to bring the performance. I guess Hamilton and Kovalainen keep doing as last year, study tracks in the simulator and find out their driving style in formula 1, sharing some opinions about their feelings with the car, look telemetry and find out their mistakes and not much more… That’s certainly not enough to develop the car, they should come with their needs, testing components and after showing interest for this one which gave them the best feeling, they should almost work for the engineers understanding during all year, and after this, in some weekends there’re races also.

    Seems the drivers doesn’t even know well the rules of the game. That’s about the ammount of penalities the team already recieved this season.

  2. RichNo Gravatar says:

    Im nopt sure why kovy is not performing so good but hamilton is just a cocky, inexperienced, arogant, stupid, idiotic, person. i hate hamilton but thats just what i think. i wish the best of luck to kovy though

  3. cdNo Gravatar says:

    There is no doubt. Hamilton and Kovalainen both have promise, but are mistake prone.

    Plus, a good driver can win when the car is perfect. A great driver can win when the car isn’t the best. That is what they lost when Alonso left. He could set up a car, and it is obvious Lewis is still learning about that.

    Ron’s mistake was not learning from the past — he should never have let the Lewis/Fernando feud lead to Alonso leaving the team. He was unprepared to replace him, and Lewis wasn’t ready to be a team leader.

    Of course, I don’t think Ron expected Juan Pablo to leave when he did, and thus didn’t expect to have to promote Lewis so soon.

    cd’s last blog post..IndyCar aiming to open up the shop?

  4. [...] Are McLaren paying the price for inexperienced drivers line up ? – F1 Wolf Short answer: yes! (tags: McLaren LewisHamilton HeikkiKovalainen FernandoAlonso) [...]

  5. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Are in Mclaren losted? Seems so, the new technolgy KERS for the next season, seems to display them trouble about their design, they just are planning 2 different cars to be designed!!! They have such time to lose??? Well, let’s see that this news isn’t just a joke fr9om Martin Whitmarsh again.

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