McLaren ends second longest wait between wins for a team RaceFans
Eight years and 291 days since Jenson Button claimed the final victory of his career, McLaren is once again a winner in Formula 1.
It has been a long and fruitless period for one of the most successful teams in F1 history. Only Ferrari have won more races than McLaren, which makes it hard to imagine that almost nine years have passed between their most recent triumphs.
The team has experienced droughts before, but nothing quite like this. They spent three seasons without a win from 1978 to 1980, after which Ron Dennis took the lead and John Watson claimed a long-awaited victory in the 1981 British Grand Prix.
Another barren period lasted 1994-1996 after they lost both Ayrton Senna’s formidable talent and Honda’s mighty engines. David Coulthard restored them to victory in Melbourne in 1997, their first victory with Mercedes engines.
Likewise, the team’s latest reincarnation broke its winning streak by reuniting with Mercedes this year, following unsuccessful tie-ups with Honda (as a factory team) and Renault (as a customer).
This 3,213-day period between wins is the second longest for a team that has been a consistent contender throughout that time. The longest wait between victories came from Ligier. When Olivier Panis won the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix, 14 years and 235 days had passed since the team’s last triumph, courtesy of Jacques Laffite in Canada in the 1981 season.
Ligier’s winless streak is also longer in terms of races, although the difference is not as big as the schedules have increased over the years. They contested 231 races between wins against 171 for McLaren. The team best positioned to beat either streak is Williams, whose last win before this season was, like McLaren, in 2012.
Other teams spent more time between wins while spending periods outside the sport. They include Renault, Lotus, Honda and Mercedes – the latter missing every season from 1956 to 2009 as a full-fledged manufacturer, and ending a 56-year drought when Nico Rosberg won the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo delivered McLaren’s 183rd triumph. Once the most successful team in F1 in terms of total wins, it is now 55 behind the leader Ferrari. However, they have also experienced a relatively dry spell in recent times: two years will have passed since their last victory when F1 meets again in Sochi for its next round. They added 18 wins while McLaren waited for a win.
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It was Ricciardo’s first victory for a team other than Red Bull and the eighth of his career. The now has as many wins as Jacky Ickx and Denny Hulme. Lando Norris has stepped onto the podium for the fifth time, but after leading his home teammate in most races it is certain that Ricciardo took the win first.
Ricciardo and Norris delivered McLaren’s 48th double. Powerful pair Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost produced the most for the team with 14, one more than Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard.
This third place for Ricciardo in the sprint qualifying race and the bonus point for the fastest lap meant McLaren scored 45 points, the second highest ever for a team in a single race weekend. The highest number of teams could score under the current rules, with doubles in sprint qualifying and the race plus the fastest lap, is 49, but the only race remaining where this is possible is the Sao Grand Prix. Paulo.
This exceptional result puts McLaren back in front of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship. The two are now separated by 13.5 points in their fight for third place.
However, there was a huge disappointment for AlphaTauri, 12 months after their surprise home win. Yuki Tsunoda did not take the start and 2020 winner Pierre Gasly was out after three laps. Until last weekend, they were the only remaining team to score points in every race this year.
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Italian Grand Prix 2021
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