McLaren's Formula One Season Is in Flames Already

Illustration for article titled McLaren's Formula One Season Is in Flames Already
Photo: Manu Fernandez (AP)

Do you believe in omens? I like to consider myself something of a skeptic, but some signs are just too damn obvious to pass up. Like McLaren’s garage lighting on fire ahead of the 2019 Formula One season.


Following pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain on Friday, McLaren joined Williams and Racing Point for an extra filming day, where the teams could run their cars under 100km to get some shots of the car in action. (Or, if you’re Williams, to actually, y’know, run your car.)

And then all hell broke loose. According to a McLaren spokesperson:

“There was a small fire in the garage during the team’s private filming day. The fire was quickly extinguished by the team, and circuit emergency services and medical teams attended immediately in support.

“Three team members were taken to the medical centre for treatment and were released shortly after.”

That, my friends, is what the kids call a “big yikes.”

The good part is that it sounds like everyone walked away relatively unscathed. The downside is that this has gotta be one hell of a morale killer. 2018's sixth place in the constructor’s championship was a great result after 2017's ninth place—but things are changing in the McLaren camp. Two new drivers mean nothing can be guaranteed. And starting off the season literally on fire is, well... about as far from a good sign as you can possibly get.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.



To be fair, their 6th place in the wcc for 2018 was largely down to Alonso dragging the car to finishes it had no business competing for in the early season. On performance they were very clearly the 9th fastest (2nd slowest) car. Finishing 8th this year with one average driver and one complete rookie would be a huge result.