The Trouble With McLaren

Bleacher ReportContributor IDecember 6, 2008

Following on from, what can only be described as an amazing finale to the 2008 Formula One season in Brazil, with McLaren’s very own Lewis Hamilton lifting the prestigious drivers world championship you may be forgiven for thinking I’ve gone, for want of a better phrase, ‘apeshit’ with what can only be described as a ‘stupid’ headline. 

Trouble.  McLaren.  Same sentence?!??!?!?!


Has this 24-year-old from Bolton in England dropped some acid, watched Wall-E and then decided to write about F1 all in the space of five minutes? Possibly, but more accurately rather than being a drugged up, childish and uneducated fool, my brain is actually relatively well lubricated today.  Please, allow me to explain.


The main issue I have with McLaren Mercedes is their complete lack of identity.  It’s the general coldness and predictability of the whole outfit that grinds me down. 


Ferrari is an easy example of pure passion, flair, desire to succeed and will to win. Red Bull are all about the fun side of F1….they dressed Coulthard in a superman cape for the podium at Monaco for goodness sake!


Minnows such as Torro Rosso and Force India are all about the hard work and show such wistful optimism  it’s hard not to appreciate them for it. Finally then of course we have the car companies (BMW, Honda, Toyota and Renault) who, although nobody would particularly give a shit if they weren’t there, I think quite a few Honda Civic drivers are probably pretty pleased with the push button start on their latest model so from a technology getting put into production point of view I for one am happy with their existence.


Which leads me in to the main point……if McLaren weren’t successful, who would care.  Williams are the perfect example of a big, cold hearted team that over the past decade have turned from front runners to mid field bums.  And to be blunt about it, nobody cares. 


If Williams weren’t on the grid next year the only people that would raise an eyebrow would be the RBS board because in the current climate they’d rub their hands together and think ‘Christ that was lucky, we don’t have to pay sponsorship anymore!’ 


My main fear for McLaren is that this could be how they’re destined to go.  At management and driver level there’s a certain lack of charisma.  Could Lewis and Heikki be any less dull and predictable in press situations……why Ron Dennis doesn’t just field every question I’ve no idea. 


I mean honestly next time Lewis gets asked ‘what’s gone well this weekend?’ would it not be lovely if he was able to give the honest answer ‘I shagged a PussyCat Doll’.  It would brighten an otherwise very dank team. 


Sadly though it’ll never happen, this is after all the team who nearly sucked the life out of Juan Pablo Montoya because he was disruptive and more recently Fernando Alonso because he had facial hair.  I’m not deluded enough to wish F1 had no control and had a grid full of Eddie Irvine’s because, as much as I loved and was entertained by him, there simply wouldn’t be enough woman at each track to go around! 


I do believe though that if a team doesn’t have anything charismatic about them, and are cold and controlled to the extent of ice forming on their PR wagons, for their own good they should have someone, preferably a driver, who not only has talent but also a personalitywhether it be good or bad—just anything but boring. 


This would ensure interest, not even necessarily support, but interest even if the package was uncompetitive.  Should the worst ever happen, that interest might just be enough to kick start a revival.