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The Big Team Complex – Everything Counts in Large Amounts

When a legendary team doesnt get the results they want, the entire situation gets pretty complicated. What happens inside those teams?

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The Big Team Complex – Everything Counts in Large Amounts
Fuente imagen: Scuderia Ferrari Media Center

The recent troubles of Ferrari, and seasons-long saga of problems for Williams and McLaren. How such legendary teams, with years and years of presence in F1 can get into situations like this? Many assume that situations like this are not possible to happen, but as we can see, more and more teams struggle to reach (or keep) a desired level of performance.

Ferrari currently holds the second position in both constructors championship as well as the drivers championship. But that's exactly the problem this teams is struggling from. With very high aspirations and pretty chaotic team structure, it is not really possible to truly fight for the title. Especially this season, we could see that despite a little bit better performance of the Ferrari car over the Mercedes one, the team (and the no. 1 driver) and their decisions and way of handling stuff led to basically giving the title to Mercedes for free, for the 5th year in a row. The last ever title that was won by a Ferrari driver was in 2007, thanks to Kimi Raikkonen (who now plays the role of the no. 2 driver in Ferrari, a clear support to Sebastian Vettel). This means that no driver in the Italian manufacturers car obtained a championship for the past 11 years. Because of that, the team pushes blindly into a fighting mode, and their own strategies fail to deliver the desired results. That also puts a great amount of pressure on Vettel, who unfortunately for Ferrari, is not a magician, and he can't pull a win out of his own helmet when the team fails to provide necessary means (such as good strategy) for him to do so. Because of the pressure, Vettel also stumbles on his way and makes mistakes, such as the „controversial” try to overtake Verstappen during the Japanese GP.

It is understandable that a team with such a long F1 history, who had drivers such as Michael Schumacher wants to be on the top again. But instead of falling blindly into the same mistakes over and over again, it is not only important but at this point basically necessary for Ferrari to not only rethink their strategies, but also rethink their structure and focus on a process to achieve good results and perform on a satisfactory level. Because things like this always happen as a long process, not a miracle.

Maybe Williams is not necessarily the best example to show the Big Team Complex, but the saga of this team has been going on for many seasons, for way too long for a team with such a past. The team was founded over 40 years ago by Frank Williams, but they did not win a title in the past 20 years. In the first half of the current 2018 season, Williams was able to obtain only four points, which is a pretty tough thing to watch considering their past with drivers such as Senna or Mansell. The problems the team has struggled with for the past years include messy management, limited budgets as well as problems with drivers. Currently, both of the youngsters driving for Williams are there more due to the financial backup they provide then actual talent or experience they have. With things like this, Williams consistently looses to teams such as Force India, Torro Rosso and Renault.

Lastly, the ongoing saga of McLaren. Out of all of those three teams, their most recent driver with a championship was Lewis Hamilton in 2008. But after that, especially since the season of 2013, McLaren has been falling more and more into a big black hole than before. During the 2013 season, it was the first time since 1980 that McLaren failed to deliver any kind of podium. Afterwards, in the 2015, came one of the most catastrophically times this team has ever seen. At first, the Honda power unit was to blame. But as Honda ditched McLaren and switched to Toro Rosso, it was easy to observe that the problems did not necessarily come out of the power unit itself, but the inability to make all of the parts of the car work in harmony. Since this season of 2018, McLaren drives with Renault power unit, but this did not improve the situation of the team at all. Like in terms of Ferrari, or actually all of the teams mentioned before, McLaren needs to rethink it's initial strategies and structures to make sure the team can come back and fight with others, instead of being the last one on the grid. Even having a driver like Fernando Alonso did not help the team.

As we can see, many of the current-legendary teams are struggling in one way or another: from bad strategies, to pretty chaotic management to financial issues. It is important from those teams to take a step back and rethink what they are actually doing and what they are supposed to do instead, because otherwise the results won’t be satisfactory and they won’t appear out of nowhere. Maybe it is also a time to break with this legendary sentiment and get into a new, fresh and young wave of doing things instead of crying over the spilled milk of the past.


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