After 1976, everything started to fall apart for McLaren

5. 1978 

A declining James Hunt and Patrick Tambay cannot be called an outstanding team. Both were very good drivers and the former even had a title. However, it was not enough. After the golden year of 1976, things were starting to fall apart for the team. That was the year in which Colin Chapman’s creativity stunned the circus, and not all rivals were ready to respond to the winged car concept. The respected Gordon Coppuck conceived the M26 and it already had a season under its belt and a troubled birth. While Mario Andretti stormed to his only title with the black Lotus, the designer was on the drawing board trying to recover ground, literally. He did what he could to turn his machine into a partial ground-effect car, but the team scored only 15 points and ended the year in eighth place on the Constructors table. Hunt managed to put the car on the podium on home soil, but unreliability and poor overall performance didn’t help.


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