It's now been almost 20 years since McLaren last won a Formula 1 constructors' championship. It's been 10 years since it last won an F1 title of any description. Five full seasons have passed since this mighty British team last won a grand prix. That's almost 100 races ago. Three seasons have gone by since one of its drivers legitimately stood on the podium.
This is not the track record of a top team. In fact, for the past five years McLaren has been categorically mired in F1's midfield, consistently misfiring in attempts to recapture past glories. One season of underachievement can be considered a blip; two a bump in the road; but how much momentum does it take before this becomes a worrying pattern of decline?
There is a cautionary tale seen in that other great British giant of F1, seemingly stuck permanently in the midfield, dreaming of a return to glory days that may never come again. Two decades ago, Williams won its last championship double with Renault. After subsequently failing to deliver the requisite success with BMW, Williams has spent the last 12 seasons flitting between different customer engine programmes, trying desperately to claw its way back to the front, but never quite making it.