McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh says his team’s fall from grace this season is proof that dominance in Formula 1 is not guaranteed to continue.
Red Bull’s run of nine consecutive victories has left rivals pondering whether the reigning world champions can continue in such form at the start of 2014. But Whitmarsh, whose team ended 2012 on a high before suffering a lackluster campaign this year, says there is no reason why a similar fate cannot befall Red Bull when F1’s new regulations come in next year.
When asked if it was feasible that Red Bull could extend its victory run, Whitmarsh replied: “It is foreseeable it could, because they have done a good job. But at the same time, sadly, I can give the McLaren example of this year.
“We didn’t decimate the opposition but we were dominant in the last few races of last year, and we certainly weren’t this year. Maybe though, they are cleverer than us.”
Whitmarsh thinks that one of the factors that will count against Red Bull is that the engine will become more important next year, and some competitiveness may be taken out of the team’s hands.
“Recently I don’t think the engine has been a performance differentiator, or a reliability differentiator,” explained Whitmarsh. “But the power train, fuel efficiency, heat rejection, the overall power of it, the efficiency of ERS, the packaging, and all those things surrounding it means you would imagine it might be now. So that might be a differentiator that is to some extent out of their hands.”