Chandhok: I sense a very different McLaren these days

Karun Chandhok has made a welcome return to Sky F1 as a pundit, his insight and depth of knowledge coupled to unbridled enthusiasm for the sport make him highly quotable and a pleasure to listen to.

Along with Sky F1 colleagues, Chandhok did an excellent job keeping us viewers on F1TV Pro informed. Eight hours of track time and everything in-between and after is a great deal of talking, in fact it is about as close as Formula 1 gets to five-day cricket (those who know the game will understand)…

After the first day in Barcelona, having watched Carlos Sainz pop the McLaren MCL34 into second place on the timing screens shortly before the end of the day, Chandhok said, “I sense a very different McLaren these days. During the Honda era, there was a lot of: we have one of the best chassis and it’s all down to Honda.”

“I think there was a degree of humility that got set in last year and when you listen to people like Zak Brown and Jonathan Neale, once we got to Silverstone onwards, there was a humility of: we haven’t done a good enough job, we need to do better.”

“They understand that, they have a lot of people in there who are solid, grounded people who are newish to the fold. I think the new McLaren here, they’ve lost Fernando Alonso which to me is quite a big blow as that is three tenths of lap time in qualifying. Fernando delivered that sixth place in the constructors’ championship.”

“They are going to miss him but they have two motivated young drivers who are very, very capable. It’s a clean slate and every F1 fan will feel it’s important for McLaren to do well,” added Chandhok.

Barcelona Day 1: Solid performance by Vettel and Ferrari