Ron Dennis says Formula One’s “cyclical” nature makes it almost impossible for new pairings like McLaren-Honda to win right off the bat.
Having enjoyed tremendous success together in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the British team and Japanese engine manufacturer joined forces in the hope of emulating their former glory but ended up suffering a torrid 2015 campaign.
While the McLaren Group CEO is confident in the renewed partnership’s ability to reverse its fortunes, he is equally aware of the sport’s history, which shows that success rarely happens overnight.
“Formula One is a cyclical sport. Success is hard-earned,” Dennis told the official F1 website.
“When Michael Schumacher won the drivers’ world championship in 2000, it was the first such triumph achieved by Ferrari since Jody Scheckter had won the drivers’ world championship 21 years before that, in 1979. Okay, that’s an extreme example, but we all know what happened next: Ferrari won world championships in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004.
“Red Bull were very successful a few years ago, winning world championships in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. But, before that, from 2005 to 2009, they hadn’t been particularly triumphant, and, earlier, from 1997 to 2004, during which period the team had been known first as Stewart-Ford and then as Jaguar, they had been less successful still. So the truth is that Red Bull’s recent successes have been a long time coming.
“And even Mercedes-Benz, who have dominated this year and last, took a while to start winning. From 2010 to 2013 they were good but not great, and, before that, from 1999 to 2008, during which period the team had been known first as British American Racing and then as Honda, they hadn’t been at all impressive.”
McLaren’s first association with Honda only lasted for five years (1988-1992) but resulted in one of the winningest collaborations of all time, as highlighted by the statistics below:
Four consecutive world Drivers’ world championships, courtesy of Ayrton Senna (1988, 1990-91) and Alain Prost (1989)
Four consecutive Constructors’ world championships (1988-1991)
44 grand prix wins
53 pole positions
30 fastest laps
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