I argued back in 2002-3 that the McLaren Technology Center (Paragon) was a real mind-drain on the team and took their focus off of the world championship. Of course it was all rubbish and just coincidentally timed as the team went from champs to chumps int eh same timeframe and it seemed to me, at the time, that head cheese Ron Dennis was really distracted. Hindsight is brilliant isn’t it?
Fact is, I’m not sure how building, what the Financial times called, “the largest construction project in Europe” wouldn’t take your eye off the ball and have an impact on your racing operation. The details, and we know Ron’s penchant for details, would be massive. Dennis told Brad Spurgeon at the time; “Put a man in a dark room, he’s hot, it smells bad, versus a guy in a cool room, well-lit, smells nice… When you throw a decision at those two individuals, who’s going to be better equipped to effect good judgment and take a good decision?” Sure…sounds good Ron.
Now we have a similar case in Ferrari as the company has started construction of their new Formula One building:
“The first excavations have indeed begun of the foundations of the building that will house the offices of the management, engineers and administrative staff along with the working areas of the team,” Ferrari said via their website.
Could building a new spiritual home for the Scuderia cause any focus issue for 2013? The team suffered from a car Fernando Alonso called “complicated” and surely the details of building a new F1 facility will take some input from many team members. Ferrari were involved with the construction of Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi and perhaps president Luca di Montezemolo oversaw that operation but could the team be asked for their input and coordination into the building of a new F1 HQ? If so, could they make another complicated car for 2013?