If past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, then it’s quite possible that a familiar face will rekindle its F1 rivalry with the likes of Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari sometime in the next decade.
McLaren will once again use Mercedes power in their Formula 1 cars starting with 2021 and while the German outfit’s boss, Toto Wolff, feels as though the advantages outweigh the risks, we’re not entirely sure that’s true, at least not according to the numbers.
“A new era is going to start in 2021 with compressed grids, with more competition, and we believe that from a PU side there is more learning for us in this exercise, with more competitive customers,” said Wolff.
“And we rate McLaren strongly. The steps that Zak [Brown, McLaren CEO] and Andreas [Seidl, team principal] have initiated certainly look very promising. The advantages outweigh the potential deficits of fighting a hard competitor like McLaren in the future.”
In fact, here’s a quick comparison between Mercedes and McLaren-Mercedes courtesy of Autosport. These stats cover a period of four years (2010 until 2014), before McLaren switched to Honda as their engine supplier.
Wins: Mercedes (20) – McLaren (18)
Podiums: Mercedes (46) – McLaren (49)
Poles: Mercedes (27) – McLaren (10)
Driver titles: Mercedes (1) – McLaren (0)
Constructors’ titles: Mercedes (1) – McLaren (0)
Total points: Mercedes (1,582) – McLaren (1,632)
Care to guess how many wins, podiums and poles McLaren have amassed since 2015? The answer is ZERO.
So while Seidl feels as though his team won’t be able to challenge Mercedes right off the bat in 2021, the history between these two teams suggests that when on equal footing, McLaren is more than capable of keeping Mercedes honest.
So how soon do you figure McLaren will be able to mount a title challenge again?