With 3 races down, McLaren Honda showing very few signs of improving their race-craft. So far, out of 6 potential chances of finishing a race, the MCL32 has only seen the chequered flag once. Stoffel Vandoorne was the only driver to see the car till the end of the race, which was a 13th place finish in Australia. Fernando Alonso has not survived long enough, although in the last race in Bahrain he was classified as a finisher because he retired less than five laps from the finish.
The only time the McLaren gets some form of media attention, apart from when the car pulls off the circuit to retire, is when Alonso gets involved in various midfield scraps or he provides some ear candy, courtesy of his radio rants. During the Bahrain Grand Prix, amid a battle with the Renault of Jolyon Palmer and the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat, Alonso ws heard screaming “How they can overtake me? They’re 300 metres behind me and they overtake me on the straight, I’ve never raced with less power in my life.”
One of the shareholders of the McLaren group Mansour Ojjeh said that the British manufacturer is in danger of becoming a backmarker team. He believes that it is imperative that the team makes a change to improve their performance to avoid this fate.
“We work on different scenarios, of which I cannot speak right now. But we are spending a lot of time and energy and meetings on finding a solution. And fast. We have a culture of victory and we cannot continue like this. Fernando is a great driver who has suffered for two years. He wants the triple crown. I told him that he is crazy to go to Indianapolis, but we spoke to Juan Pablo Montoya who told us not to worry, that he will adapt easily”. Montoya had made the switch from Formula One to NASCAR and later IndyCAR.