There is a quite interesting take from Jenson Button on the new McLaren MP4-28, a car which is a complete new concept car rather than an evolution of last years car. The majority of teams this season have opted to evolve their 2012 cars however McLaren have went the other way and opted for a complete new design.
Jenson Button said
When we came into the season we wanted to build a car that would be strong throughout the year, and that’s why we have made so many changes to the way the car looks. The reason being is that it’s a very long season and want to be able to develop all the way through the year. Read the full interview here
To me that sounds as though the MP4-27 was nearly at it’s maximum potential and therefore continue to evolve that car through 2013 may have caused them to stagnate and get left behind by their race rivals as the season progresses.
It leaves me pondering just how much room the other front running teams have in the development of their car or whether McLaren may start of a bit behind the pack as we head into Melbourne but begin to improve at a faster rate throughout the season.
When you think back to 2012 and how the Red Bull really came through at the latter part of the season (though they did get some luck with retirements in front of them, notably Hamilton) and whether the McLaren’s Mp4-28 will do something similar.
I struggle to see anyone runaway with the championship this year early on, though I don’t think we will get the 7 races and 7 winners that we had last year from the opening races. It just leaves me wondering how confident Jenson Button is of challenging for a race victory on the opening weekend of the season. Again it could all just be in smoke and mirrors.