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How Will McLaren Perform In The New Season?

Mar 13, 2008
McLaren have one of the hottest properties in Formula 1 that has brought increased revenues to sponsors, merchandise producers and team bosses alike. Lewis Hamilton is by far the most exciting driver to enter the world of Formula 1 in recent history; a young driver who has been linked to McLaren since his childhood and cart racing days, the impact he has had is extensive. Currently merchandise and sponsorship deals are flooding into the youngster, who despite living life in the fast lane seems to have a wise head on young shoulders.

McLaren had a difficult season last year, blighted by a continuing spying scandal that saw them receive a record fine from the governing body, the FIA. Doubtlessly McLaren will soon recoup these losses through the expansive merchandise and sponsorship deals that are a large part of funding a Formula 1 team. Asides from the astronomical fine, McLaren will be more annoyed by the loss of position in the pit lane that comes as a result of finishing so low down the constructor's table.

Lewis Hamilton had an unbelievably successful debut season in 2007 and sponsorship and merchandise companies will be hoping he can build upon this success. In a recent interview the McLaren driver estimated that a four way race will be evident, not in terms of drivers but in between teams.

Despite the dominance of McLaren and Ferrari last season, the young driver reckons that both BMW and Renault will be competitive. Although first positions may not be forthcoming for the chasing teams, an increase in podium finishes is more likely. Always a racer to downplay his own chances, his modesty is only matched by his sublime racing talent.

This season will hopefully deliver some brilliant races thanks to regulations now banning the use of traction control systems. Merchandise producers and sponsors will be licking their lips over what promises to be the most exciting season in years, the cars will be even harder to control, with starts and overtaking manoeuvres the most likely to feel the effects of the new regulations.

Whether the McLaren car will be easy enough to handle is a current matter of debate; in winter testing, while the McLaren has proved fast, the major rival Ferrari, have shown that in terms of ease of driving, their car is far superior.

The other driver who will be racing for McLaren is Heikki Kovalainen, the hope will be that he can raise sponsorship and merchandise revenues in his native Finland. After the troublesome experience of having Fernando Alonso in the team last year, McLaren will be hoping for a better team dynamic. One thing will be troubling team bosses however; the past wisdom has been that a team has one driver who has experience and one who is learning their trade has been abandoned.

McLaren are pursuing a course of action that sees two drivers who have just two seasons of Formula 1 experience between them. This partnership should definitely increase the excitement of races as the two rookies both have thrilling driving styles.

Merchandise companies and sponsors allied with McLaren will be hoping that last seasons controversies can be forgotten. The 2007 season not only saw the team in the dock over spying allegations but also saw a tempestuous relationship between their two drivers. Getting the balance of competitiveness and team spirit is difficult and last year McLaren failed dismally.

The loss of team boss Ron Dennis will surely help the dynamic as it was believed that his preferential treatment of Hamilton was a major cause of the disputes between the two drivers. Without Dennis a greater balance should be achievable. Whether the new balance of team dynamics and car performance has been successful will only be visible once the 2008 season has begun.
About the Author
Motor sport expert Thomas Pretty looks forward to the new F1 season and has already purchased much of the McLaren merchandise range in anticipation. To find out more please visit http://www.official-merchandise.com/index.htm/act/range/brand/mclaren
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