Motor racing: Ferrari and McLaren have a hard road ahead

Tue Sep 9, 2014 9:41am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Ferrari and McLaren, historically Formula One's two most successful teams, have had little to cheer about on the track of late and it could be some time before things get much better.

If there is less evident concern at Woking than in Maranello, that is because McLaren feel they now have the main pieces of the puzzle in place whereas Ferrari have plenty of uncertainty ahead of them.

"Watch this space," McLaren Group head Ron Dennis, the former principal who regained control of the team from the ousted Martin Whitmarsh in January, said at last weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

"All of the people who were joining or were going to join McLaren are now integrated...and we are now a much more dynamic and focused organization.

"Don't expect it (success) today, maybe not even during the course of this year but I can absolutely and categorically assure you we are back," Dennis told reporters.

McLaren, winners of eight constructors' championships and 12 drivers' titles, are second only to Ferrari in the number of grands prix won over the decades - 182 for the British team compared to 221 for the Italians.

Ferrari, the sport's most glamorous and oldest competitors, have won 16 constructors' titles and 15 drivers' - many of them coming during the 'dream team' era of seven-times champion Michael Schumacher.

But neither team has won a championship since 2008 when Ferrari were the winning constructor and Lewis Hamilton took the drivers' title for McLaren.   Continued...

Ferrari Formula One CEO Luca Cordero di Montezemolo (R) gestures next to McLaren Formula One executive chairman Ron Dennis during the third practice session of the Italian F1 Grand Prix at the Monza circuit September 8, 2012.  REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini