4 Humiliation for McLaren and Alonso
Meanwhile, it was hard to fathom that Fernando Alonso didn’t even make the grid at The Brickyard, after McLaren’s embarrassing failure to give him what he needed last week to even qualify for the 33-car field.
The lack of preparation for a programme that was signed off many months ago was astonishing, with Zak Brown brazenly admitting to a list of unforgivable oversights and at the same time denying his company had been arrogant in its approach to the great race.
The errors included a late scrabble to source a steering wheel for the car for the team’s single test before Indy in Texas – and the car being painted the wrong shade of orange…
Ex-Force India team boss Bob Fernley, who joined McLaren to run the programme and has previous Indycar experience, left the team the day after the failure and appeared to carry the can, while Brown also made it clear that the partnering British Carlin team struggled to support Alonso’s effort while also running three other cars. It can’t be a coincidence that only one of the four made the race.
But Brown also admitted he was kicking himself for not keeping a closer eye on the effort, after prioritising what was happening in F1. No matter where he tries to shift the blame, he knows it all comes back to his door. As the boss, it always does.
With that in mind, what will McLaren’s Bahraini majority shareholders be thinking? Brown’s response to the Indy debacle was of a man feeling the heat. Meanwhile in Monaco.
Carlos Sainz Jr. finished a decent sixth, with Lando Norris only just out of the points in 11th. Progress has been made in F1, and for Brown that’s just as well. What happens over the course of the rest of this year might just be enough to save his job.
Photography courtesy of Motorsport Images.