When it comes to team pride, you’ll have to give the trophy to Sergio Perez this week as he compares his former team—the one that fired him after just one season—to his current team, Sahara Force India.
It seems that on the measure of it, Force India has as talented engineers as McLaren and Sergio reminds us, McLaren’s engineers are well thought of:
“I think the team itself has great people, big potential, and is very hungry,” Perez said according to AUTOSPORT.
“We’re always willing for success and to be at our best, which gives you a lot of motivation.
“All of the engineers are top class – the same level as McLaren, and McLaren is rated as having probably the best engineers in the sport.”
So at this point, both teams have the best engineers in the business and this has propelled each of them to the midfield. Now that’s something to be a little concerned over isn’t it? In fact, the best engineers in the business had a season with no wins in 2013 and that hasn’t happened in a long, long while.
All of this reminds us on one thing, Formula 1 is really, really difficult to get right. You can have the best engineers and still run mid-pack. We’ve seen for years now how it can take a few seasons to get the chemistry right and the car evolution moving in the right direction.
Mercedes is a good example. They’re winning everything they shake a stick at and this was all started back in 2009 when former team boss Ross Brawn purchased Honda’s assets for $1 having learned the team were turning tail and running from F1. The team was renamed Brawn GP.
Ross sold his team to Mercedes, after winning the world championship in 2009, and set about creating a new team, car and driver lineup as a Mercedes works team. This took time to gel and just as things were getting where they needed to be, the team parted company with the veteran genius in favor of McLaren man Paddy Lowe.
Paddy has taken credit recently for progressing what Brawn began and claims it is his efforts that have the team on song. I won’t begrudge him that because things move quickly in F1 and either Brawn or Lowe would have had to make the right moves to get the team where they are today so good on him.
For Force India, the litmus test isn’t too far removed but of the non-Mercedes teams using Mercedes power units, neither of them is running on all cylinders so to speak. That distinct honor belongs to Williams F1 and they’re terrific performance and the rebuilding they’ve done in 2013-2014.
While McLaren and Force India may have, arguably, the best engineers in the business, it seems Williams has a better chemistry and dynamic that finds them leading both teams by over 30 points in the constructor’s championship race. It’s the finicky way in which F1 works and sometimes the best isn’t always the fastest…just ask Fernando Alonso.