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Is Whitmarsh up for the job as Mclaren Team Principle? [merged]


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#1 Cramadzy

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:29

Asking the above Q purely because I've been reading many opposing opinions regarding MWs ability to motivate the team, make the correct strategy calls etc etc. At the extreme, there are calls for him to be replaced ASAP because he favours Button over Hamilton (ridiculous IMHO) and/or is incapable of being a team leader that can deliver when it matters.

Mclaren performed dismally in Bahrain this weekend, that simply cannot be denied. The team obviously want to lock out the front row in every Q session and subsequently occupy the top steps of the podium in every race. The team have the resources to bring machinery capable of such objectives to every race, but do they have a TP capable of giving them the best motivation and strategy calls to do so?

Discuss.

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#2 Burtros

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:34

Everything is wrong with your post he doesnt favour Button, thats crap spouted by Hamilton fans. He cant be blamed individually for anything that went wrong in Bahrain.

This is F1, not Football.

Your post is absolutley and utterly ridiculous.

#3 Longtimefan

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:35

I'm tempted to say no, but finding someone as motivated, focused and good as Ron Dennis is very VERY hard imo.


#4 sofarapartguy

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:35

The ammount of despair on this board is shocking. I'm glad I wasn't here at the the end of 2007 - should've been a couple of suicides in here for sure.

#5 tomboyracer

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:38

Everything is wrong with your post he doesnt favour Button, thats crap spouted by Hamilton fans. He cant be blamed individually for anything that went wrong in Bahrain.

This is F1, not Football.

Your post is absolutley and utterly ridiculous.

I thought it was pretty clear that the OP doesn't think that Whitmarsh favours Button, he said it was a 'ridiculous' theory


#6 Cramadzy

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:39

Everything is wrong with your post he doesnt favour Button, thats crap spouted by Hamilton fans. He cant be blamed individually for anything that went wrong in Bahrain.

This is F1, not Football.

Your post is absolutley and utterly ridiculous.


But I said in my OP that the supposed Button bias was 'ridiculous IMHO'. Apologies if it wasn't clear enough, but I honestly share your opinion regarding that tin-foil hat point of view. Why would any team throw away valuable WDC/WCC points because of some spurious personal relationship issue? It just doesn't happen IMO.

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#7 BestCarWins

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:43

When did Whitmarsh take over officially? 2009 wasn't it? Have mclaren really been that bad since then compared to how they were in the previous years?

Some of the people calling for Ron Dennis to return seem to have forgotten the years 2000-2006 where although mclaren were competitive they did not win any of the titles and had to settle for race wins (except in 06 when they didn't even win any races).

Edit:
2007 they went close but ultimately didnt win the titles and then they just managed to win the Drivers title in 2008.
Also, Ron groomed Martin Whitmarsh to take over from him so if Whitmarsh is as bad as some people would have you believe then surely Ron has to take some of the blame?

Edited by BestCarWins, 23 April 2012 - 11:45.


#8 Buttoneer

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:47

Definitely they should give the job to Lewis.

#9 Sakae

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:51

Definitely they should give the job to Lewis.

Notwithstanding I support another team, I do however support your suggestion. It would be very helpful to rest of us.

Edited by Sakae, 23 April 2012 - 11:51.


#10 Cramadzy

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:57

Definitely they should give the job to Lewis.


Personally I think Jenson would do a better job if it came down to it. Butt, they'd lose out if either Lewis or the former weren't on track.

It was a serious Q m8.


#11 Rob

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:57

Whitmarsh is doing fine. McLaren are second in both championships.

#12 Jon83

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:03

What is the rationale for the thinking behind him favouring Button?

I've never once heard him speaking more favourably about one than the other.

However, I am sure that Heikki used to start on a heavier fuel load than Hamilton. Not saying for one minute that Heikki ever really had the pace to make you think this was always the wrong move but did the Hamilton fans who seem convinced that the team have it infor Lewis complain back then?

#13 jjcale

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:07

The time has come to say it..... WHITMARSH OUT!!

He is not in charge of the design of the car .. or it would be crap too.. He is in charge of on track activites. The buck stops with him on race day. No matter who he delegates this to he cannot escape responsibility for the fact that for the past 18 months or so Macca has been going backwards in this department.

It is not clear what he brings to the team.

#14 velgajski1

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:08

I think to give him 5-6 seasons at least to win one title is a decent amount of time, this is only his 4th season so he still has time.

#15 Jon83

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:09

The time has come to say it..... WHITMARSH OUT!!

He is not in charge of the design of the car .. or it would be crap too.. He is in charge of on track activites. The buck stops with him on race day. No matter who he delegates this to he cannot escape responsibility for the fact that for the past 18 months or so Macca has been going backwards in this department.

It is not clear what he brings to the team.


Did MW cause the pit stop problems that Lewis had yesterday or that JB had last week?


#16 Stormsky68

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:16

I believe MW prefers Button and does not wish to re-sign Lewis - although it may not be down to him.

I don't believe he is deliberately disadvantaging Lewis in terms of the car and opportunties, the team have been cocking up for both drivers.

I do believe he is incompetent, and if Ron no longer has the time or desire, Mclaren should seek an alternative, possibly Flav. I really really dislike Flav, but it can't be argued he does not know how or have what it takes to win WDCs and WCCs.

Edited by Stormsky68, 23 April 2012 - 12:19.


#17 Burtros

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:24

I thought it was pretty clear that the OP doesn't think that Whitmarsh favours Button, he said it was a 'ridiculous' theory


I read it that the OP thought it was ridiculous that Whitmarsh favours Button.

If I was wrong, sorry.

The knee jerk reaction to yesterdays race is hilarious.

Imagine if McLaren had churned out a car as bad as ferrai have?

One race doesnt make a season. four races doesnt make a season. get a grip people.

#18 PMM3

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:32

Asking the above Q purely because I've been reading many opposing opinions regarding MWs ability to motivate the team, make the correct strategy calls etc etc. At the extreme, there are calls for him to be replaced ASAP because he favours Button over Hamilton (ridiculous IMHO) and/or is incapable of being a team leader that can deliver when it matters.

Mclaren performed dismally in Bahrain this weekend, that simply cannot be denied. The team obviously want to lock out the front row in every Q session and subsequently occupy the top steps of the podium in every race. The team have the resources to bring machinery capable of such objectives to every race, but do they have a TP capable of giving them the best motivation and strategy calls to do so?

Discuss.

Are you talking about race strategy or McLaren as a team's overall strategy? If it is the latter, then I dont have any data points to really coment. If it is the former, then we have to first accept that there is something lacking in the race strategy department since MW will be reponsible for making sure the right team is in place and not the strategy calls. I do not see any big issues with their race strategy per se. About motivation, the drivers seem motivated as hell and we dont hear anything from anyone else on the team, so Bahrain has to go down as a one off. Overall Whitmarsh seems to be doing fine from my point of view.

#19 Coops3

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:33

As much as I like the guy, based on what knowledge I have I'm afraid I'm going to have to say "no".

I was thinking about this yesterday, and my memory may be playing tricks here, but it seems to me that the dodgy strategies and pit stop errors have been more commonplace over the last three years than they were prior to that. I don't think this is MW's fault per se, but I do think he's too 'soft' to be an effective team principle.

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#20 Hulkster

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:45

What is the rationale for the thinking behind him favouring Button?


I think it is because Hamilton routinely loses position after a round of pit stops, and Button is usually one of the drivers to get the jump on him.

In the last three races (ie every race where Hamilton has been ahead of Button on track), Hamilton has gone into a round of pit stops ahead of Button and come out behind him.

To some people it therefore appears that McLaren's strategy is working to help Button at the expense of Hamilton, others just see it as a coincidence.


#21 Owen

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:45

yes.

#22 Jon83

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:49

I think it is because Hamilton routinely loses position after a round of pit stops, and Button is usually one of the drivers to get the jump on him.

In the last three races (ie every race where Hamilton has been ahead of Button on track), Hamilton has gone into a round of pit stops ahead of Button and come out behind him.

To some people it therefore appears that McLaren's strategy is working to help Button at the expense of Hamilton, others just see it as a coincidence.


Well if you take yesterday for example, I doubt MW told the team to make a hash of Lewis' stops.

In KL, Hamilton was ahead of Button going into the first round. It would surely have been his call to come in when he did? I'm sure also that Lewis lost time due to having to wait on incoming cars passing his box.

I suppose some do like a conspiracy theory though!

#23 engel

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:50

As much as I like the guy, based on what knowledge I have I'm afraid I'm going to have to say "no".

I was thinking about this yesterday, and my memory may be playing tricks here, but it seems to me that the dodgy strategies and pit stop errors have been more commonplace over the last three years than they were prior to that. I don't think this is MW's fault per se, but I do think he's too 'soft' to be an effective team principle.


Of course, because China 2007 didn't happen under Ron's stewardship :S

#24 Cramadzy

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:51

Are you talking about race strategy or McLaren as a team's overall strategy? If it is the latter, then I dont have any data points to really coment. If it is the former, then we have to first accept that there is something lacking in the race strategy department since MW will be reponsible for making sure the right team is in place and not the strategy calls. I do not see any big issues with their race strategy per se. About motivation, the drivers seem motivated as hell and we dont hear anything from anyone else on the team, so Bahrain has to go down as a one off. Overall Whitmarsh seems to be doing fine from my point of view.


I think it's part race strategy together with his ability to get the best out of the team on race day. It's obvious they have the personnel to deliver a quick car because they've been doing the business in qualy on Saturdays so far this season (although there were a number of errors in Q last year). In short, is there a man management issue pertaining to Whitmarsh' approach that is hampering the team, particularly on race days?

Of course, MW will be giving his all and I believe he strives to adhere to the 'no #1 driver' philosophy at Mclaren. Recent performances, however, beg the question ... is he good enough?

Maybe it is prudent to give him the benefit of the doubt and I sincerely hope that you're right about Bahrain being 'a one off' (although it feels like there have been basic errors made in every race so far this season). He's surely running out of time and excuses though.

#25 Stormsky68

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:52

If it were 1 race I would agree its knee jerk. Look back at 2011 and there have been a catalogue of errors:

Drivers not being sent out at the right Q time (eg Lewis Silverstone 2011)
Fuel levels a constant mess (Lewis at silverstone)
Poor Q communication (eg Button Belgium 2011)
Buttons wheel loose at Silverstone, the nut was actually missed off as I recall
Lets not even go with Monaco - it almost fell into the category of 'self harming'
Regular 'strange' radio conversations from Lewis, as if he doesn't know what is going on wrt tyre choices, strategy etc. Who is actually talking to whom?
Driver behaviour not decisively controlled (Canada anyone, it needed Marshwhit to radio both drivers and lay down the law before a accident in the spray happened)
Not getting control of Lewis when he lost his head at Monaco
Pit stops too early, pit stops too late, drivers dropped back into traffic (example after example)

These are just the ones that come quickly to mind. Jenson Button, always the voice of reason, last year said "We've made too many mistakes this year and haven't got it together on a race weekend, even when we've had the performance,"

Fast forward a season and we have had EDIT 4 cocked up weekends in the first 4 races.

Australia cars are underfueled
Malaysia jack man asleep, 5 seconds wasted with brake duct tape
China (excluding the gearbox) Button's pit stop
Bahrain 2 of Lewis's pit stops, and Button's stops are twice as long as they should be

Someone has to carry the can for that. Why is Marshwhit absolved?

Edited by Stormsky68, 23 April 2012 - 13:35.


#26 Coops3

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 13:01

Of course, because China 2007 didn't happen under Ron's stewardship :S


Well obviously I wasn't suggesting there were no cock ups prior to MW...

#27 mash26

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 13:17

As much as I like the guy, based on what knowledge I have I'm afraid I'm going to have to say "no".

I was thinking about this yesterday, and my memory may be playing tricks here, but it seems to me that the dodgy strategies and pit stop errors have been more commonplace over the last three years than they were prior to that. I don't think this is MW's fault per se, but I do think he's too 'soft' to be an effective team principle.


I agree. They have motivation in spadefulls but the pit stops are sloppy and the strategies sub-standard compared to Red Bull or Ferrari. I think Flavio would do a far better job.

#28 McRules

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 13:27

One bad race(maybe a few bad strategy calls) and we are asking for Whitmarsh's head, by the same token Dominecalli should be dead thrice now.
Mclaren will be fine, am sure they will get on top of the issues. Its better that we had the wake up call in bahrain than somewhere mid-season.

#29 peroa

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 13:33

As much as I like the guy, based on what knowledge I have I'm afraid I'm going to have to say "no".

I was thinking about this yesterday, and my memory may be playing tricks here, but it seems to me that the dodgy strategies and pit stop errors have been more commonplace over the last three years than they were prior to that. I don't think this is MW's fault per se, but I do think he's too 'soft' to be an effective team principle.

Well, he was very serious in the sky interview after the race.
IMHO he's been given an ultimatum last year, remember Silverstone.
He needs to win something this year or it could get very unpleasant for him.

#30 BernieEc

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 13:55

He's a disaster as far as am concerned. These things can happen to any team and I agree with that, the thing is there seems to be no sense of urgency with him. I mean look at what happened to LH in Bahrain witht he pitstops and all Whitmarsh could do was absolve the mechaninc. Am sorry that attitude however magnanimous it seems is the wrong approach. Because you set a precedent that your drivers are just that bit more tepid when coming in for ptistops. That will lead to lack of trust witht between drivers and mechanics.

1 poor pitstop in a race - Australia did notbring Hamilton in on time (Mistake) - Accepted

2 errors in Malaysia and also not bringing LH in at the proper time - poor and quite shambolic - but still forgivable

2 errors in china 1 with Button pitstop and also feeding both drivers back into traffic - poor , a total disaster and unforgivable

2 errors with LH pitstop in Bahrain and less than perfect stops for Button - this seems to be the norm now So Mclaren now have to take pitstop into consideration as it is now envisaged they will lose 10 secs at least per race per driver on each track. - and yet it took a driver to tell the idiot MW that an investigation was required.

These guys are paid. and continously mess up and something should be done about it. MW is team principal and the buck stops at his desk.

Can you imagine a scenario whereby in your office in 3 months your actions cost 4 different projects to be delayed which in turn costs the company money....you most likely will be sacked. why should Whitmarsh be absolved. The guy is an idiot.

#31 Coops3

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 14:04

Something definitely needs to change, I'm convinced of that. Sunday's display was a horror show, as Alan Hansen would say.

#32 taran

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 14:06

But I said in my OP that the supposed Button bias was 'ridiculous IMHO'. Apologies if it wasn't clear enough, but I honestly share your opinion regarding that tin-foil hat point of view. Why would any team throw away valuable WDC/WCC points because of some spurious personal relationship issue? It just doesn't happen IMO.

Friends?



Sigh..

F1 is full with examples of 'teams' undermining their own drivers in one way or another. This is because teams are not monolithic entities but are filled with people who have individual interests which may not necessarily coincide with the good of the entire team.

Example: A company manager might make decisions which optimize his own earnings and bonusses but actually harm the company...Need I explain this one to you or will the last 5 years be enough practical knowledge...?

How about 2007 when Dennis wanted golden boy Hamilton to win the WDC to the extent that McLaren 'was racing Alonso'....

How about 2004 when Trulli fell foul of Briatore and suddenly was off the pace?

How about 1996-2006 when Schumacher was signed for ridicilous money by Todt and having him consistantly beaten by much cheaper #2 drivers would make that acquisition very questionable so everything was geared towards Schumacher shining (which he did in spades)?

Team principals/managers are people. And people have been known to harbour very illogical motivations. Or simply motivations you might not know. And which thus might make not make sense to you but do for them. And the proof of that are many strange actions which have happened in F1.

#33 RedBaron

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 14:13

He's one of the few who is up to the job as team principle.

#34 Dunder

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 14:13

1 poor pitstop in a race - Australia did notbring Hamilton in on time (Mistake) - Accepted
Agreed on this but if he had pitted one or two laps earlier, he would have been behind Raikkonen. The time lost behind Perez (4 seconds to Button) was because it took 3 laps to get past.

2 errors in Malaysia and also not bringing LH in at the proper time - poor and quite shambolic - but still forgivable
LH opted to stay out "These tyres are OK for now" but yes, the pitstop was slow

2 errors in china 1 with Button pitstop and also feeding both drivers back into traffic - poor , a total disaster and unforgivable
It was IMPOSSIBLE to avoid traffic unless going for a two stopper.

2 errors with LH pitstop in Bahrain and less than perfect stops for Button - this seems to be the norm now So Mclaren now have to take pitstop into consideration as it is now envisaged they will lose 10 secs at least per race per driver on each track. -and yet it took a driver to tell the idiot MW that an investigation was required.
Bahrain was awful but your last sentence is BS.


Sam Michael was recently hired Sporting Director (with responsibilty for trackside operations) and it is fair to say that those operations have not gone as smoothly as they have for our rival teams. Why that is, we don't know and it is true that Whitmarsh has overall responsibility but if it is (as it appears from all the public comments) that the slow stops in China and Bahrain are a matter of 'finger trouble' on the part of the left-rear gun man (as opposed to a design/equipment problem) one would assume that Michael and the Cheif Mech. have a relatively easy decision to make and that a new guy needs to take over that gun starting in Mugello.

Strategies for the most part have been fine.



#35 F1Newbie

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 14:18

All he's been doing since he's a TP is ruin Lewis' career. He should've been gone long time ago.

#36 xAtarigeekx

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 14:32

What did Whitmarsh do wrong in Bahrain? Were the pit stop problems with Hamilton's rear left his fault? Did he give Button and puncture and then break his engine?

#37 dog-y

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 14:58

yes. McLaren is constantly fighting for wins and championships.
generally they have good cars, good pitstops, good strategies, and the team seems more balanced PR-wise than, say, Red Bull, who has an idiot (Marko) who disses his own team, drivers and whatnot in public/to the press.

#38 Andy35

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 15:00

The team always favour the driver you don't support when your driver has a run of bad luck  ;)

Andy




#39 Kelateboy

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 15:01

The ammount of despair on this board is shocking. I'm glad I wasn't here at the the end of 2007 - should've been a couple of suicides in here for sure.

It was not that bad back then..... :D

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#40 tommyhjortasen

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 15:13

Martin is a very good team principle.

Ron a better one?

#41 Fastcake

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 15:14

Yes he's doing fine.

This witch-hunting of Team Principal's is even worse than the Football mob mentality. As bad as it is there, in Football the manager has far less staff and responsibilities than an F1 boss has. Whitmarsh is not personally responsible for every design decision, strategy change, pitstop, development paths, etc, it's why there are design directors, engineering heads, chief mechanics and all the rest. If there's blame to be had for yesterday's shambles, it's on whoever's designed the current pitstop system.

#42 Kvothe

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 15:22

Do we have to have the same thread every year?
By my count this is the fourth thread in as many consecutive years (starting 2009) questioning Whitmarsh's ability to lead.

Yes he's up to the job. :up:

He may be a Twitmarsh but he's our...um Twitmarsh!

Edited by Kvothe, 23 April 2012 - 15:27.


#43 Craven Morehead

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 15:23

Martin W. is a fine team principal. Macca is a great team who have, once again, delivered a great race car for their fine drivers. They had a couple unlucky pitstops. So what?

Should Ross Brawn be fired because Mercedes have had trouble finding the Pirelli sweet spot? Because Michael's wheel fell of a couple weeks ago? Of course not.

Should Eric Broullier be fired because they screwed up Kimi's first qualifying? Because their tire gamble backfired in China? Of course not.

Should Christian Horner be fired because their new car isn't up to the same standard of domination as their previous car? Of course not.

Should Stefano Domenically be fired because they delivered yet another howler of a car? Err, quite possibly. I wouldn't be surprised if Luca installs Flavio there.

The sheer number of overthetopkneejerkreactions on this board is remarkable.

Edited by Craven Morehead, 23 April 2012 - 15:24.


#44 Gareth

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 15:33

F1 2012 punishes any mistake more than it would have done in previous years. Look at the points Mercedes or Renault have got from their first 4 races compared to the pace of their car, should we be questioning Brawn or Bouillier's places in their teams?

Every team is going to make errors over the course of a season. It's unfortunate for McLaren that their errors may have come at the time in the season when they had their best pace relative to the field, but I'm sure there will be races where other teams gift McLaren points.

#45 as65p

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 15:40

F1 2012 punishes any mistake more than it would have done in previous years. Look at the points Mercedes or Renault have got from their first 4 races compared to the pace of their car, should we be questioning Brawn or Bouillier's places in their teams?


Of course. I can't stand him.

 ;)

Every team is going to make errors over the course of a season. It's unfortunate for McLaren that their errors may have come at the time in the season when they had their best pace relative to the field, but I'm sure there will be races where other teams gift McLaren points.


Exactly.

#46 Stormsky68

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 15:56

Martin is a very good team principle.

Ron a better one?


IMO yes he is

How many world championships has MW won as team principle?

Edited by Stormsky68, 23 April 2012 - 16:00.


#47 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 16:48

Whitmarsh seems to be a perfect match for Maclaren. Both are almost always competent, but find a way to not be exceptional.

#48 Cavani

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 17:33

why is mw is to blame for the failure in Malaysia,china and bahrain . pitstop errors are common and it is damn unlucky that they had 3 in a row in 3 races . and then the slow stops (4 - 5 secs) came because the mechanics were under much pressure that they took it easy and slow to minimize the chances of error. in addition to that , lewis couldn't pass neither massa not alonso on track !! a car that is 1 sec off the pace in qualy cannot be passed by the pacesetter ?

#49 ForzaGTR

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 17:55

Can we not make this solely about Lewis.

There has been many strategy cock ups for both drivers and the pit errors are an embarrassment for such an established team. Surely these things can be improved with Mclaren's resources, Whitmarsh must take some blame.

Things should run alot smoother than they have been.

#50 Crafty

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 18:09

Ok, so lets say McLaren dump Whitmarsh. Who is going to replace him ? Sam Michael ? :rotfl:

Brawn can't get on top of tyre wear issues
Domenicali can't get a performant car and keeps a average (at best) 2nd driver.
Boullier is just a chancer
Horner can't deal with Webber
.. I could go on.

I know, maybe they should hire Flav ? :rotfl:

Seriously, all the issues here (and for the guys I mentioned) are TEAM issues. Its down to the TEAM to improve and work together to fix their issues.
The job of the team manager is to provide an environment where that can happen.

Imagine it like this - get the best 11 footballers in the world together and form a team - no matter how good they are and how much the manager shouts from the touchline if the players don't work together they're gonna lose.

Edited by Crafty, 23 April 2012 - 18:09.