I said Ferrari would be nowhere this season, 2015 would be a year of rebuilding the team which was placed under new management after the removal of Luca Di Montezemolo and the arrival of Sebastian Vettel.
How wrong an assumption that was. What is clear is that McLaren Honda have struggled severely. The much talked about re-union of two F1 icons has produced little more than embarrassment so far in 2015.
The McLaren Honda has been unreliable, at Bahrain Jenson Button shouldered much of the reliability issues and never even got to start the race. McLaren have been battling hard as back field runners, although last time out they leapt into mid field status.
Does that mean McLaren will move to the front at the next round for the Spanish Grand Prix on May 10th? No, it doesn’t.
However McLaren will be introducing a series of upgrades for the Spanish Grand Prix which will include a new back end, chassis parts and an increase in performance from the Honda engine.
So bad was McLaren’s initial start to the season that the team now considers Alonso’s 11th place finish in Bahrain as a step in the right direction.
Most of McLaren’ issues are to do with the lack of power from the Honda engine. Honda have struggled to come to terms with the new V6 hybrid era, that might change come Barcelona.
Alonso stated at Bahrain that he expected to be fighting for points in Barcelona. Alsono added “We cannot put all the expectations in Barcelona. People will think we will win the race and this is not true,”.“We can talk about Barcelona, but with feet on the ground.“In Barcelona we should see a good step and from that moment we can start enjoying races and doing a normal development phase. This year we started very low but we hope to finish very high.“Hopefully in Barcelona we can enjoy the race a bit more, but when we will fight with the top guys is more long term.” said the two-time champion.
Alonso and Button expect to go better at Monaco, not because they are anticipating more power from the Honda engine, because the street circuit nature of Monaco means a power advantage is less significant.
Will McLaren win a race before the year is out? No absolutely not, but I have been wrong about Ferrari and therefore my opinion is just that, a potentially wrong opinion.