Maclaren and The Bahrain Grand Prix

MacLaren let their drivers down at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Read on to find out more.

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Formula One 2010 Rd.8 Canadian GP: Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button giving 1-2 finish for McLaren. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


                                     Mac Laren and the Bahrain Grand Prix

The Grand Prix took place at Bahrain today, Sunday 22nd April, even though  political unrest has reigned ever since the event was announced. Yesterday it cost one protestor his life, but the  Crown Prince of Bahrain was adamant it should go  ahead in an effort to prove to the protestors that their babaric attempts to cause unrest would not be tolerated.

Vettel led from the outset after starting from pole position. Lewis Hamilton was in second position, with hopes of a podium finish, but it soon became obvious that his car was lacking in pace, as was the other Mc laren driven by Jenson Button.

But the main disaster of the afternoon was the MacLaren pit stops. They managed to get Jenson through his, but 2 out of 3 of  Lewis’s were 9 seconds or more, which is 3 times slower than most others. This wasted time affected  his position on the track, and at one point he came out in 13th place. Being the  trooper that he is, Lewis fought his way valiantly up the field finishing eventually in 8th place, picking up 4 points towards his championship, which brings him down to 2nd place behind Vettel, who was the race winner today.

Jenson Button fared even worse. Although he looked after his tyres, he said after the race, his car lacked pace, too much oversteer, and although at one point towards the end he seemed to be   picking the pace up, he then had to contend with a puncture, and a broken exhaust. After an extra pit stop, he limped home in 18th place

One could argue that a puncture or a broken exhaust is something that is an unfortunate happening, and could happen to anyone in such racing  conditions. However, the pathetic pit stops, where the  mechanics are unable to replace a wheel nut, or jack a car up are totally inexcusable, and they let Lewis down badly, costing him valuable points in the world championship.

It’s no good designing a car that is fast on the track if the team can’t get to grips with something as simple as jacking the car up. It’s pit stops and tyres that can help to win races, it’s not about the fastest  driver any more. The team has to support the driver, and today MacLaren failed miserably on all counts. Martin Whitmarsh, the team principal, has said there will be an investigation as to what went wrong.

Lewis has shown great loyalty to his team over the years, and I doubt he will make much fuss about this. However I would say they don’t deserve him. It will be interesting to see if he renews his contract with them at the end of 2012. If I was in his place, I would go to  a team that can deliver on all counts, because at the moment, unless they learn from this and try to improve, Mac Laren is not that team.

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