making winning a science

I was first attracted to Formula 1 in 1998, mostly because of the gripping commentary provided by Overdrive – one of the finest car and bike magazines at the time. Hakkinen won his first F1 driver’s championship that year. Ron Dennis was being considered the shrewdest team principal around. Adrian Newey was on the team. Nine years later, quite a lot has changed – but McLaren is still my favorite F1 team. Since that time, one quote has stayed in mind – not that I remember many quotes, but this one expressed McLaren’s ethos very elegantly. I have no idea who said it or which source quoted it.

We make winning a science.

However, the team’s performance next year and later on made that statement seem like a politician’s election speech. McLaren seemed to lose their grasp of the first principles of racing science. It was Ferrari and lately, Renault carrying the champions while Toyota and Williams provided some side-show excitement.

That is, until this year.

You got to see Lewis Hamilton’s record to believe it. This is one racer that is making winning a science. Four podium finishes in the first four races of his Formula 1 career! And he has eclipsed Bruce Mclaren’s record as the youngest championship leader ever! What is a more fitting way to pay tribute to the creator of your F1 team?

This is one guy I’m betting on. Science rarely goes wrong.

4 thoughts on “making winning a science

  1. Bhim

    What attracted you to Hakinnen was his maiden win in 1998.
    What attracted me to Schumi was his win at the Italian Grand Prix in 1999 – remember that wonderful race?
    “Science never goes worng” – till the time new science is not discovered.

  2. rvbhute

    Arre Bhim, we will be wizened white heads and you will still amuse me with your incredible lack of comprehension.

    I was attracted to the silver and black arrows, to the team in black. It is a loyalty paid to the team, not to any particular driver. Schumi was a genius, true. But look at the cool, mechanistic way Hamilton is going through the racing calendar – the next one is Monaco and all bets are off.

    Oh, and I have already agreed to the possibility of Hamilton screwing it up – being only a human, law of averages, etc. I said “science rarely goes wrong”, not “never”.

    Besides, science is permanent, theories are not. That must have been your point. Hypothesis, experimentation, reformulation – that’s the way the song goes.

  3. Varun

    Personally, I liked Mclaren because of Juan Pablo Montoya. I thought he underachieved while he was at Mclaren(considering the aggression with which he used to race!) and was a very serious title contender for the two years he was at Mclaren.

    Hakkinen still remains one of the selected few people, whom Schumi couldn’t beat when he was at the top of his game… and I hope Hamilton proves that he’s the breath of fresh air that F1’s been neding for a long time to come. Beating the Double world champion still continues to be his biggest challenge, and having two such drivers, is a dream come true for Mclaren fans.

    Monaco Beckons!!

  4. rvbhute

    That’s another thing about McLaren – the world champion and the rookie get equal status, unlike some teams which are notorious for their team orders.

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