Tag Archives: Lewis Hamilton

McLaren’s Unit 2

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Welcome to McLaren’s Area 51 skunkwerkes facility called Unit 2. A nondescript warehouse in the south of England. A select few of the employees have been taken here to see the history of McLaren. After the merging in 1981, Ron Dennis sorted to never sell McLaren’s race cars, spares, or rather anything from the McLaren Formula 1 team. Everything is stored here, cars, spare cars, wings, wheels, outdated computers for the ECUs, and even tools!

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You can see plenty of everything is stored here, even a nose cone from a testing livery McLaren F1 car. That is probably a nose can used in testing that didn’t carry over to the racing season. It stands out quite nicely against the bright white and day glow red cars of the Marlboro era of the McLaren team.

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What you can see here is the evolution of the McLaren liveries over time. The bright white and day glow red of the Marlboro era to the dull silver and black of the short lived West era and to the present. The almost chrome bright silver and day glow red of the Vodafone era. Ron Dennis has the utmost attention to detail to his cars. It reflects that he loves that silver finish so much he had his private jet painted in that particular finish.

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I can only imagine what kind of stories this warehouse could tell. You have a long history of cars stored in there. Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Lewis Hamilton, Mika Hakkinen, and Kimi Raikkonen all have cars in here. I don’t think you could spend a week in here in order to take in the provenance this warehouse holds in it’s interior. To see Ayrton’s MP4/6 that he took his first Brazilian GP win in. Or the car Kimi Raikkonen took around Giancarlo Fisichella into turn 1 of Suzuka. Or even get a sight of the MP4/13 and MP4/14. The two cars used by Mika Hakkinen to take the fight to Michael Schumacher who claimed Mika was his greatest foe.

While I am a huge Ferrari and Lotus fan, I applaud McLaren’s efforts to keep a running history of their team in a warehouse like this. A place where days gone by can be revisited. Where the spirits of our past live on quite nicely and are taken care of.

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The game of musical chairs begins

First things first, the biggest surprise of the day, Sergio Perez is signed for the vacant seat that Hamilton has left open at McLaren. Surprising because he’s a Ferrari Driving Academy member. You would figure he’s been coached and mentored by one of the greatest teams in racing history, why should he move? Well, for one, he’s going to Ferrari’s biggest rival, and that’s McLaren. Two, he has been ruled out at Ferrari because he’s too young. So of course the McLaren brain trust is going to open their doors for the giant killer that is Sergio Perez.

Secondly, Hamilton signs with Mercedes AMG. Which isn’t a real surprise, it has been hinted at for a few weeks. He’s getting more money, he’s getting number one status, and he’s going to race with one of his closest friends, Nico Rosberg. Hamilton states it’s a fresh challenge, I don’t think he really knows what he’s in for. But the good thing is in 2013, McLaren will no longer be gifted engines from Mercedes AMG, they will have to start buying them. Which is what prompted them to start lowering salaries around. Lewis Hamilton was an obvious salary to lower, but why don’t we see Button’s salary being lowered or talked about it? He’s not in F1 for the money, he’s in it for the racing and the wins. The money is only a bonus to doing what you want.

Now one of my favorite drivers is left with out a driver and faced with a second retirement. I was ecstatic when Schumacher announced he was returning to the craft that made him who he is. It sucks that he didn’t achieve his 8th title that he set out for. But he simply didn’t go into his head for the Schumacher of the past. We saw glimpses of it, Monza last year, the Monaco pole position this year, and the podium finish in Valencia. If he could have channeled his younger prowess, we would have seen the devil may care Schumacher more. But time has humbled him, he’s older and wiser. The sad part is he had nothing to prove and made himself look bad. But he’s still the greatest of all time with a tiny three year smudge on his trophy mantle and record book.

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Sorry about your luck

As much as I don’t like Lewis Hamilton, this generally sucks because Catalunya is a hard track to drive on and because of a team decision, he got stripped of that pole position.

And Pastor Maldonado shouldn’t celebrate like he fought for this pole position. He’s supported by some decent talent and a big bank account.

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