One of the oldest teams in the history of Formula One - McLaren has been caught struggling in the current F1 season. After the end of first eight races this year, they were at sixth spot of the Constructors’ standings and were playing catch-up with a small team like Sahara Force India (SFI). Though they have managed to leave SFI behind, but the absence of a podium finish this season is a mystery for an outfit that finished overall third last year.
Though Lewis Hamilton - the 2008 world champion - left McLaren at the start of the season to join Mercedes, still in Jenson Button they had another World Champion (2009) with them who earned 180 points last season. Along with Button, McLaren also have the young Mexican driver Sergio Perez who impressed everyone last season with his driving skills while driving for Sauber – a less powerful car than McLaren’s.
But this season, McLaren’s disastrous performances have taken many by surprise. As the season comes to an end, McLaren have so far managed to earn only 83 Constructors’ points. From the 19-race long season, Button has 60 points after the end of first 15 races, whereas Perez has earned just 23 points. With only four races left in the season, there is not much that the team can offer now.
Both the drivers must be disappointed with their performances as well as with their cars. In an event preceding the 2013 Indian Grand Prix, Perez looked quite upset while stating: “The most important thing for us is to stand united. It’s been a very disappointed season for the entire team. We might have one of our worst seasons in history of this sport. So it’s been extremely painful for me. But then we have to look forward as a team and make sure that this season can make us stronger for the near future. We have a big challenge for the next season with all the regulation changes; we have to make sure we are on top of it and fight for the Championship next year.”
For the upcoming Indian GP, which is scheduled to take place from 25 to 27 October, the Mexican driver thinks that the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) is quite demanding as far as tyres are concerned.
“Indian circuit is very demanding on tyres, especially the front tyres. It has very long corners, which makes the front tyres work a lot. It has very long straights as well. One of the longest straights in the whole season and that’s on turn 4 to turn 5. I think one or two pit stops should be possible here during the race,” he said.
As India won’t be part of the next year’s F1 calendar Perez too looked quite disappointed. “Yeah, it’s a shame that we are not having a race next year in India. Hopefully in 2015 we will have a race at this circuit. Interest in this country about the sport is surely growing. So that would be the reason we can keep it for 2015 and beyond that,” stated the 23-year-old.
Hopefully, McLaren drivers will put up a good show during the Indian GP to give McLaren fans in India something to cheer for.