The last time McLaren were truly competitive seems a long and distant past to their fans. Coming third in the 2012 season, admittedly with seven race wins, is too long ago for everyone connected with the team, most of all Ron.
Dennis’ departure will tell you all you need to know about the feeling in the team. After all, he was the man who made it an MP4 racing car.
They strive for absolute perfection. The hint of a speck of oil in the factory is a failure. We were fortunate enough to experience a tour of the MTC a few years ago and it was everything you hear about. The pristine bays, walls of trophies, sheikh meeting Ron. But the above riding memory we have of our tour, is the ambition of the team.
There was not one member of the team who was anything but upbeat about their chances. Remember, this was when they were battling for ninth int he championship.
What gives us hope for this coming year is the angle of all the news stories emanating from the MTC. Boullier’s take on the more agile development process, Zac Brown thinking McLaren have produced a good car whilst Alonso thinks they will have competitive horsepower.
We dream of having a McLaren back at the sharp end of the grid again. Seeing Jenson legitimately racing in second at the Austrian GP, gave us hope and reminded us what it meant to have the McLaren racing again.
So what will February 24th bring us? Well, after Renault, Force India and Mercedes have shown off their new cars, the body work will not be a surprise. The noises coming out of the social media platforms, are all shouting orange at us, so that wont be a surprise. We know it’s going to be Alonso and Vandoorne driving, with Button on the sidelines, again no surprises.
So the only real surprise would be is Ron was there to whip the cover off.
Which would be something!