McLaren not making bold 2014 predictions
24 January 2014 – McLaren has described 2014 as a year of "growth and regrowth" as it attempts to return to winning ways.
The Woking-based outfit endured a particularly challenging 2013 campaign, during which it failed to record a race victory for the first time in seven years and also missed out on the podium for the first time since 1980.
In a bid to recover, Ron Dennis has returned as CEO of the McLaren Group, while former Lotus Team Principal Eric Boullier is being widely tipped to replace Martin Whitmarsh, whose future at the team is in doubt.
There have also been key technical signings in Peter Prodromou and Dan Fallows, both from reigning quadruple World Champions Red Bull, and Ettore Griffini and Ciaron Pilbeam from Lotus, ahead of the new season.
Reflecting on the developments, and discussing McLaren's ambition to fight for titles once more, Sporting Director Sam Michael said: "We've made no secret of our disappointment at how the 2013 season turned out. The aim now is to get back to winning – that's what McLaren exists to do – but there’s a certain amount of growth and regrowth that needs to take place before we return to a position where we can challenge for the World Championship.
"The good thing is that we've acknowledged that, and we've actually been working towards that goal for many months now. We have Honda waiting in the wings [as an engine partner from 2015], we have a number of key technical staff bolstering our existing design and engineering teams, and we are fostering the careers of our young drivers, all of whom have an incredible amount of potential.
"The future for McLaren is bright, and we're putting in place the processes that will move us closer to our goals."
Michael went on to explain that the upcoming season will be one of rapid car development, with the team constantly uncovering new concepts and improvements under the latest technical regulations.
"For 2014, our aim is for continuous development," he commented. "We'll be refining and strengthening the car and the organisation throughout the year, so you'll see a rapid turnover of parts and ideas on the car as we, like every team, wrestle with the many unique challenges of these new regulations.
"More immediately, our aim is to enjoy a smooth winter at all three tests, hopefully learning a lot as we go, and hopefully developing MP4-29 into something consistent, useable and quick."
Also on Friday:
- McLaren presents its 2014 F1 challenger
- Button motivated by new regulations
- Magnussen: Rule changes will help me