Summer Recess: Miraculous turn around from McLaren
From the moment the MP4-24 hit the track in January it was a dog. The wind tunnel and CFD just didn't show any correlation with reality. They fumbled around testing with 2008 rear wings, front wings, and gallons of aerodynamic paint, nothing seemed to work.
It must have been somewhat embarrassing for new boss Martin Whitmarsh, and that's without any mention of 'liar-gate' that added insult to injury for the Woking team.
Even as recently as the British Grand Prix just 2 races or 7 weeks ago the team were at a loss to make their car competitive, reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton finishing 16th without exceptional circumstance at his home race, all hope looked lost.
Not so. Finally some updates to the car unlocked a glimpse of its potential at the Nurburgring, but an over ambitious move into the first corner scuppered the weekend for Hamilton, but Heikki - who was driving the old spec car – did get a point, finishing 8th.
You'd have been forgiven for not being convinced of the new pace, but who'd have thought a genuine win would have been on the cards in Hungary? Hamilton won fair and square, Alonso was ahead in the opening stages, but only on a compromised strategy that would have seen him overtaken in the first round of pit stops. No fortuitous circumstances, no red cars blowing up, and no stewards decisions, just sheer pace, grit and determination.
Will they be fighting at the front for the rest of the season? Who knows. Mark Webber's Red Bull did opt for a strange strategy that compromised his (long) middle stint, perhaps flattering the pace of the cars in front of him. The Brawns will be back, no doubt. It was nice to see a Ferrari up there at the front, and it would be silly to write off Williams, Toyota or Renault from mixing things up every now and then.
Are McLaren back? They're definitely in the mix, and just that is a miraculous turn around. What do you think?