Every year is a big one for all of the teams, but for McLaren 2019 is monumental. It teamed up with Renault last year following three disastrous seasons with Honda, and proved to be just as bad - perhaps even worse - than it had been with its much-maligned previous partner.
During the season, the firing and hiring started. The firing has an immediate effect but the hiring takes a little bit longer. Good people are always tied up in some form of long-term contract, and whoever that contract is with either needs some sort of an incentive to let them go early or the new employer will be made to wait. Both new technical director James Key and team managing director Andreas Seidl are still on gardening leave, so the new McLaren is down to whoever is left at the factory.
McLaren's problems last year are too plentiful to list, but they started in the aerodynamic department. The car was very draggy and lost substantial downforce mid-corner. Neither of these are positive for performance, so the big question must be: has McLaren identified why, and will it turn it all around for 2019?