Reasons for Hope at McLaren After the Ouster of CEO Ron Dennis

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at Internationaled.org

Published: November 16, 2016

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McLaren's boardroom may be in turmoil, with the team announcing the ouster of Ron Dennis as chief executive, but their on-track results, while not near McLaren's historical levels, are starting to show promise.

Glancing down the Formula One drivers' standings, the most surprising thing isn't Nico Rosberg leading Lewis Hamilton in the title race, nor is it Daniel Ricciardo ahead of pre-season championship hopeful Sebastian Vettel. No, the most surprising result with one race remaining in the 2016 season is McLaren's Fernando Alonso leading Williams' Felipe Massa.

That's Alonso, driving a McLaren with a Honda engine that struggled to finish a race last year—13 retirements and two races where a car did not even make it to the starting grid—let alone finish one in the top 10, leading Massa, in a Williams with a Mercedes engine that has powered its factory team to three straight world championships.

Why is that so significant, you might be wondering?

Well, for one, it reminds us of just how damn good a driver Alonso is. He has made more headlines in the past two years for radio rants, lawn-chair sunbathing and fake podium celebrations than for his results on the track, but the two-time world champion is still one of the best drivers in the world. 

The Spaniard has outscored Jenson Button, his team-mate and another former world champ, 53 to 21 this year.



More importantly, though, Alonso's lead over Massa (even if it is just two points) reminds us that McLaren made the right decision in ditching Mercedes engines and bringing Honda back into F1.

With the complexity of the new hybrid, V6 engines introduced in 2014, engine customers—as McLaren was with Mercedes—were always going to be at a disadvantage. History demonstrates that teams who manufacture their own engines usually dominate after a change in engine regulations.

With the abil...
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Formula 1

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