MCLAREN can’t take a trick as what was supposed to be a solution to the team’s biggest failing in 2017 has failed to deliver.
MCLAREN’S below-par start to the F1 season continued at the Azerbaijan GP as the team endured their worst qualifying since switching to Renault power, with Stoffel Vandoorne eliminated in Q1.
Fernando Alonso was once again the lead McLaren on Saturday, but even the two-time world champion could only manage 13th — the third time in a row he has qualified in that position.
The performance heaps more stress on an under-pressure outfit who were targeting podiums at the beginning of the year but, while amassing points and sitting fourth in the constructors’ standings, have yet to make it into Q3’s top-10 shootout once this season.
“P13 for the third consecutive race so definitely we need to take a step forward,” admitted Alonso, with the Spaniard hopeful that major upgrades — expected at the next event in Spain — can help McLaren deliver on their pre-season promises.
As the disappointing results on-track persist, McLaren are also beginning to restructure off-track.
Zak Brown has already been confirmed as the team’s new F1 CEO, but Sky Sports also understands that Tim Goss has been removed from his position as chief technical officer.
Goss, who has worked for the Woking outfit since 1990, oversaw work on the new-for-2018 chassis, which the team hoped would see them compete with the similarly Renault-powered Red Bull but has instead seen them lapping around a second behind a team who have already won a race this season.