HomeFormula 1A new season and the mega curiosity surrounding McLaren!

A new season and the mega curiosity surrounding McLaren!

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So truly impressive have McLaren been in the last four seasons, particularly speaking, on the Formula 1 grid that one cannot help but wonder as to what might the Papaya-liveried team bring about this year.

It’s a new F1 season and as per normal, there are quite a few expectations that come with it, especially from teams that hold a legendary standing in the annals of the sport.

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To begin with, here’s something that has a little more than a modicum of truth.

While the seasons from the onset of 2016 until the completion of 2019 were, quite simply, bafflingly sad, saddled with doubt and riddled with underperformance, the arrival of Lando Norris and a far more improved engine in the years hence brought back renewed interest to a team that has always been considered legendary.

Long gone are the days of the “GP2 engine” as a frustrated Alonso alleged in that woeful 2018 season; the MCL 33 (the car used in 2018) and others from the English factory reversed the waning fortunes and brought about a fresh wave of interest to  a team that still commands millions of fans.

For a team that did become, unfortunately speaking, a backmarker whether one speaks of the 2015 or the 2016 season, McLaren’s recovery to the frontal end of the grid as seen in the 2021 season, where it stood P4 on the Constructors Standings, was a divine comeback of sorts.

Moreover, you cannot possibly deny or cast a blind eye on a famed marquee, can you, for whom the timeless greats- whether one speaks of Senna, Mika or Alonso have raced in the past?

But with the successful conclusion of the pre-season testing at Bahrain, what also emerged along with the great focus on Oscar Piastri, the rising hot name on the F1 grid, is this doubt about lap times that weren’t quite impressive.

It isn’t that hard to see how or why they are saying that McLaren are facing competitive struggles with the new car.

The team’s woes, if one could call it that, were further highlighted when as of two days back, Lando Norris was seen punching the wall close to the pit wall after completing what was clearly a ‘torrid run.’

The car, as seen in the second test at the Sakhir International circuit, appeared to be too ‘draggy’. And in addition to this strange lagging, there have reportedly been issues with the wheel brows of the MCL 60, the brand new offering from the fabled British icon.

The latter issue plagued the car in that it severely hampered its long running.

This left Lando Norris, who may certainly feel the pressure of expectations this season, furious and hapless at the same time.

For a team that would habitually register the most number of laps contested over the pre-season testing in any event, would therefore, unfortunately clock the lowest number of laps over the course of the three days.

Zak Brown, however, has assured that the technical faults that have clearly afflicted the orange liveried team’s drivers thus far aren’t anything to be really concerned about right now. 

So how might it all be in the near future is the big question?

It, unfortunately, is one for which there aren’t too many rewarding answers, at least, at this point in time.

The phrase “Great Expectations” may never have been truer for McLaren in any previous season than what one expects now, especially with the strangely underperforming Ricciardo out and with two new drivers at the helm.

The only real perspective is this.

Can the McLaren expected to go out there and go hard at racing instantaneously from lap 1 in 2023 be able to outscore the underwhelming feel the previous season’s car offered nearly throughout the season.

Well, we shall get our first reactions this Sunday, which isn’t too long from now!

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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