Toto Wolff had the foresight long ago to select logical technomanagement people with the ability to delegate. The results are as blatant as those trophies lining the factory’s reception.
Red Bull, however, have slipped backwards. The three wins in 2014 should have been converted into four or ve this year, but only in Hungary did they show the pace to rival Mercedes or Ferrari. Renault, in looking for improvements, found only unreliability in the winter tests; and those failures have led to less relative power on the road. Still the problems continue, and compounding the issue is the slight superiority of the Toro Rosso chassis over the RB11.
Yet none of this compares with the disappointment that has been the rst six months of the McLaren-Honda reunion. Top McLaren management blame Honda, citing a power deciency of at least 150bhp; engineers on the shop oor privately concede that the chassis lacks downforce and accounts for at least half the problems. What is clear is that the MP4-30 is not the most practical prototype and that McLaren’s confusing management system lacks the disciplined autocracy that characterised the Honda eras of John Surtees, Patrick Head and Ross Brawn. The positives are that McLaren benet hugely from Honda’s commercial strength as a team sponsor – and that, technically, Honda will get it right in the medium-term. Are McLaren maximising the powerhouse that is Honda, though? Would another team already have extracted more from one of F1’s greatest engine companies? Though rhetorical, these questions remain current.
Clockwise from right: Mercedes are top of the pile; McLaren-Honda are struggling with power deficiency; win-free Red Bull have slipped backwards; and Vettel is keeping Ferrari in contention