A strike rate of one victory in every four races, eight Constructors' Championships, a dozen world drivers' pennants, 174 victories and 147 pole positions in 700 races… Phew!

No wonder McLaren is one of the two big teams — the other is Ferrari — which any Formula One driver would want to drive for.

“We have the best of brains, the will to win and the money to spend. We have some of the top class engineers working on our two cars, always looking for ways to optimise their performances,” said Matt Bishop, McLaren's head of communications.

Team McLaren, according to Bishop, is always trying to improve upon their performances, raise the bar as it were.

“That's why we have three world champions — Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Mike Cavendish (the Tour de France winner this year who is sponsored by McLaren-Mercedes Vodafone),” he said, running his thick palm over his clean-shaven head.


McLaren has been very inconsistent this season. Between Hamilton and Button, they have had five victories so far, but the team, caught between two extremes (it has done exceptionally well when things have gone its way, but has been pathetic when things haven't), has more often than not struggled to find the right line.

However, what is remarkable about the team is that it never ceases to surprise. Just as when nobody expected McLaren to even mount a challenge, Hamilton came up with a brilliant victory in China earlier in the season. And then Button pulled out all stops to halt the Red Bull run, albeit briefly, a few races later by winning the Canadian Grand Prix.

McLaren is not the one to rest on past glories, he would have us believe. “We are looking forward to the race on Sunday. We just want to win the Grand Prix of India. It means so much to us,” Bishop said.

He was quick to take up the cudgels for the Buddh International Circuit against criticism that it was very dusty, and that it could hamper the visibility of the drivers.

“You can't really complain about dust. The Formula One teams and the drivers are expected to run on different circuits of different layouts and dimensions, and under different weather conditions. That's what the sport is all about and that's what makes Formula One very interesting. So, why complain?” Bishop argued.

He also came down heavily on people who were critical of the new regulations that would come into force in 2014. One big change as part of the new laws pertains to the engine. The current 2.4-litre normally aspirated engine with a maximum rpm of 18000 will make way for the new 1.6-litre V6 turbo power-plant that will crank up a maximum of 15000 rpm.

Many have criticised this change, saying it would kill Formula One; it would put a kibosh on the sport.

“There will always be criticism about engines. People in the 1990s talked of how the sport was a lot more exciting in the eighties, and people in the eighties spoke of how racing was better off in the seventies, and so on. This will never stop.

Cars improving

“But when you look at it, with each year, the cars have been improving. To tell you the truth, the new turbo-charged engine will be as good as the current one, it will also sound great,” he added.

According to Bishop, McLaren's next big step in terms of technology is to ensure full electronic running of the pit lane.

Veering round to India in Formula One, Bishop said: “All you need is a champion driver. If one of your drivers wins a race, it would change everything for you.”

More In: Motorsport | Sport