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Vital talking point: Can it get worse for McLaren?

Usually Formula One can rely on the Canadian Grand Prix to provide a good memorable race.

Unfortunately this year this wasn't the case.

Up front, despite a difficult Friday and Saturday morning, putting him out of sync for his set-up, Lewis Hamilton dominated from pole position.

Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg was unable to bring the fight to his team-mate at any stage of the Grand Prix. The German driver kept within striking distance whilst managing his brakes, but when the final attack came.. Hamilton had conserved fuel, turned up his engine mode and pulled out a gap of four seconds.

Elsewhere and a mistake by Raikkonen cost him his first podium position with the Williams of Bottas taking full advantage.

Raikkonen in the end finished just one place ahead of his Ferrari team-mate, even though Vettel started the race towards the back of the grid.

The move of the race also came from a driver fighting his way through the field. With Massa and Ericsson impressing with some magnificent driving.

But in a nutshell that was pretty much it.

Apart from the drama at McLaren.

Throughout 2015 two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso and 2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button have remained positive.

Button's frustration has boiled over just once before, but in the main they have towed the party line that 2015 is a testing year for McLaren Honda.

The exciting project providing the only opportunity for another team to break the balance of power between Mercedes and Ferrari, as a customer car with Mercedes or Ferrari power is never going to compete for the Championship and Renault appear in complete disarray.

If you can't finish first, then there is no point in finishing second is the point McLaren have made as they target future championship titles.

That point was hammered home again by Fernando Alonso: 'I was talking to you for five years in third, fourth, fifth place. That was a lot of frustration,'

'To beat Mercedes you need to do something unique and different. I believe in this project.
he told the BBC.

But in Canada those future titles looked a long way a way.

Button missed qualifying due to a technical problem and then both Button and Alonso were forced to retire during the race.

Honda had used two tokens ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and with an upgraded engine, McLaren would have hoped for more, but instead they lacked reliability, fuel consumption and overall race pace.

It's difficult to argue how the trip to North America could have been worse.

Alonso didn't appear to be happy in the race, when asked to aid his fuel consumption the Spaniard said McLaren looked like amateurs.

'I don't want. I don't want. Already I have big problems now. Driving with this and looking like amateurs. So I'd like to race and then I concentrate on the fuel.' he said over team radio mid-race.

After the race Alonso clarified his comments by saying: 'When you are surrounded by cars trying to overtake you and you are in the middle of battles, fuel is a low priority in that moment and you will have time later on in the race to save fuel.

'So after three or four reminders of fuel saving I said: 'Let me race now and have some fun and later I will think about the fuel.''


It was the first time the frustration from Alonso had boiled over and it is completely understandable.

For the sake of Formula One we can only hope that McLaren have not taken a step backwards with their engine development in Canada.








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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday June 8 2015

Time: 11:00AM

 

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