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Will they ever catch McLaren and Ferrari?

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#1 SalutGilles 1

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 13:11

McLaren and Ferrari are, as usual, at the top of the food chain in F1. Williams, Jaguar, Jordan, and Benetton all want back into what once was the Big four, but has now shrunk to the big two.

One could argue that once BMW's engine gets better, and Jaguar gets more reliable, and Jordan get better, that they will be challenged.

Will they?

McLaren and Ferrari are in a class of their own. they got there by thinking long-term, and continuing to do so. while everybody plays catch up, these two teams work on bits teams won't know about for years, and then have to catch up in that area.

so unless Mercedes lose their shirts, or Newey dies, things look, at least to me, to be unlikely to change...untill Mika and Michael hang it up..but if good replacements are found (Villeneuve springs to mind, and maybe Heidfeld in the Merc)...

what do you think? Jordan may be good, but it's still a mom-and-pop operation compared to Ferrari. will they ever catch up? will Williams? Jaguar?


#2 Samurai

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 13:14

I think given a year, Honda could catch up.

#3 Nomad

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 13:53

Williams and Jaguar, yes.
Jordan no, not while EJ remains and they continue to struggle for full manufacturer support.

F1 is cyclic and the rise and fall of each teams fortunes is guaranteed.
Expect to see Ferrari plummet when MS leaves with Brawn and Byrne departing shortly after.

#4 Laphroaig

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 16:23

Yep... I agree with cyclic, before '96 everybody wondered 'Will Ferrari ever get back up there?'
And '93-'96 everybody thought 'McLaren isn's a real top runner anymore'
Around that time evrybody thought 'Will Williams ever be beat?'

Oh well.. we'll see :) (That's what makes F1 fun ;)

#5 tifosi

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Posted 07 March 2000 - 19:34


You hit on it about halway through your post. Ferrari and McClaren are Formula One COnstructors. These teams build for now and the future. They are long term operations which focus year after year at winning the Formula One World Championship. They are both outstanding, professional organizations.

The rest of the teams are mere hobby shops. As someone else replied, "If Honda cathces up". These teams just sit around and wait for a super package to hit them over the head or luck into an engine that is so superior that they win. This lasts for a couple of years and then they are right back to the middle of the pack. I respect the Minardis and Arrows of the world, who at least try with their little budgets more than the Williams and Bennetons.
If Ford makes a true commitment to F1, the it is possible they may join the ranks of Ferrari and McClaren. Honda never will since they are merely an engine producer and have shown that to them F1 is merely marketing and will leave the moment things get difficult.
Seeing McCLaren stick with Mercedes through years of failure gave them a little respect. Lets see how long Williams is willing to work with BMW or BAR with Honda when/if the motors begin to blow up ala Meredes in the early years. Anybody remeber which race it was that BOTH Mercs blew up on the green light, that was hilarious.

#6 Psycho

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Posted 08 March 2000 - 04:57

Eddie Jordan said in some magasine I was reading that he thinks Jordan will be challenging Mac and Ferrari for the title this year. Perhaps a little optimistic but the gap between the first two and the next four is steadily closing IMO.

#7 mono-posto

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Posted 08 March 2000 - 05:21

My I suggest a reason for Ferrari's longevitey?

What I see happen over and over again is major global corporations pop-in, dominate, wallow in the success and then pull-out unexpectedly. It's happened in F1 before as well as many other motorsports. Usually this takes the shape of an engine supplier in F1. If Mercedes decided to pull-out of F1, could happen in maybe 4-5 years or sooner, McLaren would be left again looking for an engine. I think Ferrari has the right idea about building their own engines. It takes alot more resources, energy and such but they have fielded competitive cars more often than not, while other makes ride a roller coaster of engine suppliers. Honda was very competive in the McLaren and then left suddenly and are now returning. May have some success and then leave again. It Happens.

And it doesn't really matter that M-B owns 40% of the McLaren group. That could be sold tommorrow if need be.

I think McLaren are at thier peak right now and I think Ferrari will enjoy a few more years of good results but nothing lasts forever and we could see Jag or Jordan dominating in a few years and Mac and Ferrari will be mid-fielders. You just never do know!