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McLaren by Laura Marieee

So a new year, and a fresh start for McLaren. 2013 was a bad season for the team, with not even a podium to their name, but enough of the past… It’s time to move on and look ahead to 2014 and what’s to come, with the hope that this season will be better than the last.

I predict it will be. Yeah, I can hear some of you saying ‘well it can’t get any worse than last season, surely?’, which is probably not far from the truth, but with the shake up of the regulations, this season could be anyone’s and with a new boy in the team in the form of Kevin Magnussen, it could be a good year for McLaren. Gary Paffett is already predicting he could very well push Jenson Button if he hits the ground running and has a Hamilton-esque debut season.

First out of the box at the end of the month, the new car will be one of the first on the track when testing begins in Jerez, alongside Mercedes and Caterham who are so far both confirmed to launch in time for the test. So those extra miles on the track compared to Lotus, and anyone else who doesn’t launch in time for the Jerez test, could be beneficial. Although, who knows, with new untested engines, who am I to say the test will help – there’s every possibility the team (or any of the other teams for that matter) could be spending a lot of time in the garage with uncertainty over reliability. The biggest test will of course be Australia in two months time, and like any year that’s when we see what the teams really have.

I don’t see McLaren at the front with the likes of Red Bull, Mercedes and even Ferrari, but I predict they will have a stronger start to the season. With one more year partnered with Mercedes, they will have a good engine, and with rumours that Mercedes will have a good power unit, and uncertainty over reliability among the field, this could be an opportunity for the team. They’re also one of the best at the in-season development race, and with a new driver eager to impress, and apparently quick (although we won’t know until the season begins in Melbourne), and with a champion in Jenson Button, the team has the opportunity to do well in 2014. Will they be in with a chance of either title this year? No, I don’t think so, but I certainly hope we see some podiums and hopefully a win or two. Vettel can’t win them all, can he?

Ferrari by Adam Vella

Ferrari are putting it all on the line this year and making an aggressive bid for the title and to bring them back to the glory years of early 2000.

Fernando in my eyes is a 6 time world champion but just not on paper. To finish second for the past four years with a car that has proven to be a “Piece of Shit” as said by Niki Lauda in the movie Rush, many people are still predicting the same outcome for 2014.

However this may not be the case! Ferrari sprinkled some be back powder on a few ex-employees in 2013 and slowly, slowly they all came back. Including Kimi Raikkonen, James Allison and the ghost in the designing room Rory Byrne who can beat Adrian Newey at his own game.

The only thing that might breakup the reunion are the 2 drivers Fernando and Kimi. Even Luca has recently admitted that this can happen.

“Putting together Alonso and Raikkonen could be dangerous. But in F1… everything is potential danger, I think that Fernando knows that he drives not for himself but for Ferrari. And Raikkonen knows that he is in the second half of his career, two very important years for him, with experience and responsibilities.”

“[Team principal Stefano] Domenicali has spoken very clearly to both of them,” he added. “They have the honour and the responsibility to drive for Ferrari and every driver knows that he has to drive not for himself but for the team. (Unless driver creates the team around himself like Schumacher did)

“If a driver wants to drive for himself, there are many possibilities. They can do their own team, they can go in a different team but in Ferrari these are the rules.”

My insider has said to me that this year is mainly laying the foundation for 2015 but still insist that they will have a crack at 2014 if they get the chance.

My prediction is that second is good first is better but let’s wait till next year to see where Ferrari really is with the new rule changers.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Mansell’s_Stache

    Yeah, yeah…and Massa is a one-time world champion in the eyes of many (delusional individuals).

    The fact is you either are or are not world champion…you can make excuses for Fred all day long but it will still sound like sour grapes to those of us who are not Ferrari fanboys.

    And to say the F138 was a POS is also something of a stretch…not as good as the Red Bull, sure; however, third place is not POS territory and they only lost out on second because Massa screwed the pooch on numerous occasions.

    “…they will have a crack at 2014 if they get the chance.” What the hell does that mean?

    *Changes

  • danfgough

    I’m amused the the format of these articles pairing a little guy with a big guy has led to McLaren and Ferrari together!! Ron Dennis will not like that!

  • danfgough

    I think the summary for both these teams is the same. Its not necesarily about whether it will or won’t be better but simply that for both it MUST be better! These are the grandee teams in formula 1 and yet:

    – McLaren havn’t won a constructors title since Mika was in the car
    – Honda will not tolerate another abject fail like last season
    – Surely a major reshuffle of Mclaren top brass will happen if the 2014 car is not quick out of the box

    For the guys in Red:

    – No championships since 2007 for THE brand in formula 1. Their recent success seems to be increasingly credited to Schumi, Brawn and Todt. Are Ferrari still closer to the team who had a 21 year drought without them?
    – Fernando is in his 5th season with the team and getting itchy feet. Not sure about the ‘6 championships’ line above but it is fair to say the car has not given Fernando the tools he needs on too many occasions.
    – As with McLaren, surely Steffano and co can’t remain in jobs if the car isn’t up to scratch!? So much wind tunnel investment in the last 2 years. Surely they have to get developments on the car that actually work!

  • Very Well put danfgough, The six title comment was more shoudda been than is fact. However I stand by my words that this year Ferrari will struggle with the engine and car package as my guy’s inside are working very long hard hours to get this car ready for the testing season.
    Brawn, Todt and Schumi built the team around one guy that could test for 8hrs straight have a break for tea then test again for 5hrs. As we know and seen to win you need to have a number 1 and a number 2 driver not two drivers on the same level. To have two drivers on the same level you need an amazing car like RBR have done.

    If Ferrari are not in a position to fight for the WC by Monza they will do the same as last year and pull the pin. The only question I have and can’t find the answer is, do Ferrari have a good working platform from the start? if you or someone can answer that please feel free to let me know.