Not much was expected from Mclaren’s renewed partnership with engine supplier Honda for 2015. The expectations are in fact lower than first thought. The McLaren Honda partnership has struggled to gain traction even before the season got under way, pre-season testing was all but none existent.
That lack of testing meant McLaren have had to use the opening races of the season as preliminary test sessions. As the old saying goes they started from the top and worked their way down to the bottom. Things are getting better, both McLaren’s were in the points during the Monaco GP, Button finished 8th while Alonso was forced to retire.
But the debate as to whether Alonso was too petulant in moving from Ferrari to McLaren is still raging, after all his replacement, Sebastian Vettel, has already won a race and has finsihed on the podiums so far this season. Ferrari are better off than they were with Alonso and have the second fastest car on the grid.
Alonso didn’t enjoy that status last season and found no evidence to suggest that things would change in 2015. They have, however Alonso’s manager, Flavio Briatore, sees it differently. During the recent Monaco Grand prix Briatore said,
“In qualifying Vettel was seven tenths from Lewis (Hamilton) and last year Fernando was fifth (on the grid for Ferrari) and seven tenths (off pole)”
Briatore’s argument echoes that made by Alonso, yes Ferrari have the second best car on the grid but they are no closer to challenging Mercedes than anytime during the 2014 season. Briatore added.
“Between Ferrari and Mercedes it is the same distance. The problem is three or four teams are not there any more. With Honda and McLaren, we have a better future.”
Alonso is happier at Mclaren reaffirmed Briatore “I believe at one point in Ferrari it was over, from both sides. I believe it was a good change. McLaren is a serious team. Honda we know is a great company and we are there. He is happy to be staying at McLaren now.”