McLaren tips Mercedes as 2014 Formula 1 favourite

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh believes Mercedes will be the team to beat when Formula 1's new regulations begin in 2014

McLaren tips Mercedes as 2014 Formula 1 favourite

The German manufacturer and Ferrari will be the only teams racing with engines of their own design, in a season that will mark the return to V6 turbos following the end of F1's V8 era.

Mercedes was Red Bull's main challenger for most of the 2013 season, the team winning three races on its way to second place in the constructors' championship.

Whitmarsh, whose team will end its Mercedes engine partnership after next season as it switches to Honda, reckons the German carmaker has all the ingredients to take advantage of the rule changes and start 2014 as the strongest outfit.

"Anyone who says at any team, even Red Bull, that they are super confident they are going to win the world championship, you cannot be," Whitmarsh told AUTOSPORT.

"My suspicion is that Mercedes will be strongest.

"I am saying it because I am probably a bit biased, but I also have some reasonable knowledge of the budgets of the three companies.

"I think Mercedes has got a good budget, good facilities and good people. I have no real insight and I think nobody has, but I think I have a slightly better insight than most.

"But if you had an absolutely free choice of which one to go for next year, I would say go for Mercedes-Benz next year."

NEW RULES AN OPPORTUNITY FOR MCLAREN

The McLaren boss also reckons the new rules are a good opportunity for his team to getting back to winning after its dismal 2013 season.

"To be honest, do I think we can win next year? Yes," said Whitmarsh.

"Is everything we are doing and everything we are focused on to do that? Yes. So we can do it. Do I know we will? No.

"We like change. I think it is a great opportunity, I see it as an opportunity. It is pretty exciting, very exciting.

"There is always that tingle of what is happening over the winter, but we have really got it this year. When those cars are unveiled, we will all be crawling all over them..."

shares
comments
Mark Webber's top 10 grands prix
Previous article

Mark Webber's top 10 grands prix

Next article

Caterham hoping to land established star for 2014 F1 line-up

Caterham hoping to land established star for 2014 F1 line-up
Load comments
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021