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I do like a good spin on a bad situation. It can lift an otherwise dreary mood. That’s why I was amused at McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh’s comments about why the team missed the target for 2013.

According to AUTOSPORT, Whitmarsh says that the real reason the team missed the mark in 2013 was actually due to last year’s car being such an overperforming. It seems that the car was estimated to performa at one level in the wind tunnel but on track it actually did better than expected.

“That was another thing that caused this: we’re always looking at the correlation between full-scale windtunnel and CFD, and there’s always an offset between those, and we work on that.

“That was another thing that has exacerbated this situation. The real [2012] car was actually better than the windtunnel [model].”

This led to the 2013 underperforming and this befuddled the team sending them off in the wrong direction. If we weren’t so damn good in 2012 we would have been a lot better in 2013…or so it seems.

Now, to be honest, I do believe that the 2012 McLaren was the car to beat last year and only through missteps and team hiccups did they not finish better than they did. The car did look terrific though. Seems Ferrari may not be the only one having issues with their windtunnel if the data is says your car will be decent and it turns out it is exceptional…problem is, Ferrari’s data went the other way.

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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.
  • This is one of those fun times when an explanation that is meant to make you look not as bad, actually makes you look worse.

    So last years car was better on track than the wind tunnel showed. So I guess that means that this years car must have had the aero profile of a rubbish bin in the wind tunnel and McLaren thought don’t worry it’ll be better on track? Yea, that doesn’t make you look any better Martin!

  • Steven

    This guy keeps making himself look less and less adequate for the job. First they squandered a drivers WDC(and teams WCC) opportunities because they couldn’t do a pit stop correctly, they constantly made bad strategy calls, then they angered a top driver so much that instead of doing the smart thing(at least at the time) and staying with the McLaren he signed with a team that was supposed to be way off pace, and now he says that they suck because they’re so good, all under HIS leadership. Its so bad its actually funny. Whitmarsh needs to be fired and someone new needs to come in and right this ship before it sinks…

    • Totally agree! It is amazing the time and money McLaren waste. I think everyone did abandon ship there. I thought soemthign was seriously wrong when no one at the track was allowed to do anything to the car except by remote approval from Woking. I am an old timer and knew the very old school approach at McLaren and its emphasis on hands on engineering, testing and devlopment. I realize that powerful tools have now replaced–but should not entirely replace this. But Whitmarsh–just a public relations man– has to go. .

  • Sudha S

    So now they have the wind tunnel properly correlated or not?
    They have handled the problem and did not know that and thought that like 2012 the car’s performance on the track would be better than in the wind tunnel. But it did not turn out to be the case. That is ace.
    For top teams like McLaren and Ferrari not to get the wind tunnel working properly is shocking. Dont teams like Force India use the McLaren wind tunnel? They seemed to have made better use of it

  • Steve W

    HAHAHA… McLaren keeps shooting themselves in the foot with their calculators. They’re so good at it, they never miss…

  • Rapierman

    That’s the problem with being “too good, too soon”: You end up setting the bar so high that you can’t really make it to that point. Sometimes, a fluke is a fluke and you have to rein yourself back in or risk disappointment.

  • Dave K

    I am a off-and-on McLaren fan since Bruce himself. I’m also a sales manager – I’m used to massaging the facts to fit the situation. If this guy worked for me he’d be jobless. My oath, this is the worst spin I’ve heard since Senna tried to spin his crash with Prost to Jackie Stewart. My bravo sierra alarm is giving me a massive headache!