Grand Prix Driver (2018) s01e04 Episode Script

Shakedown to Break Down

Testing at Barcelona
runs for eight days.
It is the first track
in which the drivers
will run the new 2017 car.
I think, for McLaren-Honda,
it's a very important season,
after two difficult,
2015, 2016.
I think it's the year where
we will find ourselves
hopefully in
a much better position,
ready to fight
for some good things,
and how good will be those
things we will find out.
I can see the Honda engineers
in the garage.
They've got
their headsets on
and their eyes
are glued to their monitors.
ENGINEER: We're pretty much
ready to go.
NARRATOR: The same data
is sent back to mission
control at Woking
Yep, that's loud and clear.
where the McLaren
will also monitor the tests.
So, guys, just stand by.
We should get a green light.
And radio check.
Standby for driver fire-up.
OK, Fernando, drive straight
out, drive straight out.
That's Fernando Alonso
going out in the new MCL32,
with its distinctive
2017 livery.
OK, Fernando. All OK so far.
Gentle braking, turn 4/5.
MARK: Fernando
back off, back off.
Stop the car, stop the car.
TOM: I've just heard that
Alonso is coming back in
after one lap.
NARRATOR: Honda announces
they have found an issue
with the oil system.
It will take several hours
to fix.
so it's absolutely no good
to us, is it?
NARRATOR: Honda decide
to change the engine
to save time while
continuing to investigate
the oil problem.
Seven hours
after testing began,
Alonso heads out for
his second lap of the day.
Alonso is back in the garage
after just one more lap.
That's the end of day one
and Alonso's managed
just 29 laps.
Compare that to Vettel's
128 laps in the Ferrari
and you can see
that McLaren have got a lot
of work to do overnight.
It's Stoffel's turn to drive,
his first day as a full-time
McLaren Grand Prix driver.
So, you feeling good
about today?
Chris, how slow can you
drive? Is this a competition?
SIMON: The idea of
the coach and trainer role,
is to effectively offload
any sort of additional stress
or anxiety
the driver may be under.
Can I have a cappuccino,
please, for Stoffel?
We need to ensure
that the drivers have
plenty of protein.
SIMON: Stoffel's almost had
four months without driving.
So that's quite
a long period of time,
and the physical preparation
is extremely important
for these guys.
As a cricketer,
you can pick up your bat
any time and practise.
These guys
don't have that luxury.
There he is. All right?
-What's that?
Oh, see? See? It's all right.
NARRATOR: Overnight, Honda
discovered a design problem
with the oil tank
and found a workaround.
Stoffel, radio check?
STOFFEL: Yep, radio's good.
Can you hear me?
-Yeah, you're loud and clear.
He's a very
focused young man,
and he's been waiting for
this for a very long time.
Can we get the car
back in the garage?
NARRATOR: He reports
vibrations to the team,
who investigate,
but do not discover anything.
OK, Stoff, you're happy?
You need to come forward.
Box this lap, box this lap.
NARRATOR: The Honda engine
has lost power.
The technicians
don't know why and decide
to fit engine number 3.
How many weeks is it
to Australia?
-Two weeks. Yeah.
Over the next six days,
testing goes
from bad to worse.
I think there are, you know,
maybe a little bit bigger
problems than we expected.
Eric Boullier is looking
like a haunted man.
This was the year it was
all meant to come together,
but it looks like
Groundhog Day for McLaren.
NARRATOR: Honda changes
the third engine
to a fourth power unit that
has been flown in from Japan.
ALONSO: I feel the best
driver out there,
so, you know,
I just need an engine
that can run as quick as
the others on the straights.
He said it was like
driving a Civic.
It might go round
the track faster.
You do get that bit
of frustration.
You're putting
all this hard work in
and all the hours
in every single day,
for effectively
what's not a good car.
And you just want
Even like a podium
or something like that,
just to boost you up a bit,
a bit more morale
round the team.
just didn't sound good.
Walking down the hills, the
cars are coming behind you
That's Fernando.
What's this?
JASON SWALES: And you always
knew when the McLaren was
coming down the pit lane,
or leaving the pit lane, cos
everyone would turn around
with a look of,
"What is that?"
Because it sounded like a bag
of spanners in a dustbin.
It sounded
absolutely terrible.
It must be incredibly
I think the worst thing is
they'd lived through the
horrors of '15 when they knew
the project was near,
they'd made a step last year
and this was thecoincided
with a new era at McLaren,
and for it to be
even worse
But how does that happen,
the journey, you know?
You've got a clear
progression from the first
year to the second.
It just seems so strange to
make that step and then go
We tend to think
McLaren-Honda, if you think
back to the late '80s,
early '90s, when things were
very, very different.
When they came in then, they
didn't have the competition
that they have now.
The technology's nothing like
the same.
They totally underestimated
the challenge that lay ahead
of them.
Things have moved on so much,
I can't see how they can
pull this back.
I have the utmost respect
for Honda.
I mean, you grow up
in motorsport, you love
motorsport like we do.
You know, the fact that
Senna, my ultimate idol,
the greatest hero of all time
a Honda driver, you know.
The story
cannot be written like this.
How could they be,
in 2017, in this situation,
when the history is
so different?
I think they just need to be
a bit more open-minded,
and a bit more relaxed
about their procedure
and the Honda way
of doing things.
I think it's got to
the point where
they need to ask for help.
For their sake
as well as McLaren's.
But the big question mark
is Alonso.
You know, is Alonso still in
a McLaren-Honda come
Abu-Dhabi in November?
Or has he already decided
that he's going to sit it out
and wait and see what
happens? We'll see.
For the McLaren team,
2017 is beginning
to look like a re-run of
the past two seasons.
The performance of that car
is directly related to
all our livelihoods.
It's been really
disappointing, to be honest.
You've got to have
a reliable car,
and if you've got
a reliable car,
then you can make
a reliable car fast.
What you don't want
is an unreliable, slow car.
And, unfortunately, that's
what we've kind of got.
So this is Chassis 4
and this is going to Honda
in Japan.
So this is going to be
their car,
so they can obviously
bolt the engine on
and test their dyno.
The hopes for the season
aren't straightaway,
you know,
"Are we gonna be winning?"
It's more so, you know,
"Is it gonna be an
embarrassing season for us?"
It's quite hard, you know,
to read stuff and think,
you know,
this is essentially what
the year could be like.
NARRATOR: Eric has
returned from Barcelona
having faced
the motor racing media
who are reporting
a crisis for McLaren-Honda
and questioning Alonso's
future with the team.
Welcome back. How are you?
-What's your take?
How much trouble are we in?
have to ask some questions
"How did we get to this?"
Because what happened
was not what we expected,
or were led to believe.
We need to get into talk with
Matsumoto-san in Tokyo,
-OK. You and I need to be
contingency planning.
Of course,
Fernando's comments
are pretty challenging.
-You've got dinner with
Fernando on Saturday night?
-Friday night.
Friday night, OK, and
you're flying out beforehand.
Yeah, I think so.
JONO: "What's happened
to McLaren? Why aren't
McLaren winning?"
You tell people you work for
McLaren, you get a reaction
every time.
You know, people wanna know,
"Wow, you work for McLaren!"
What I'm sick of,
the next question is always,
"Why aren't you winning?"
JONATHAN: People come here,
they give of their best.
When things don't go well,
it's our duty to make sure
that they understand
that we have a plan, and we
are going to do something
very different
to put ourselves in a
different part of the grid,
and quickly.
ZAK BROWN: Our on-track
results are gonna make
getting sponsorship
a lot more difficult.
Sponsors, partners, wanna
buy into successful teams
that are doing well, that are
getting positive media.
Sitting here right now,
er, today, we're not getting
much of that.
JONATHAN: I don't think
anybody who knows me
would ever say that
I've ever done anything
other than front up
to what needs to be faced
or needs to be worked on.
Good morning, everybody.
After the disastrous testing
that we've just been through,
we're gonna brace ourselves
for what could be
a very painful Australia.
It was a shock to us, er
it was a shock to all of us
erm, and I want to apologise
to you for that.
And we set clearly
competitive targets
for what we believe
was gonna take to be
competitive this year.
And I'm very pleased to say
that, from a McLaren
the engineering team
largely hit all of
the McLaren targets.
So, as far as I'm concerned,
the McLaren team got the job
done through the winter.
A line has been crossed.
We're done.
We've done that experiment
about just trusting
what is gonna happen,
so we need to find a new way,
we need to find a new plan.
McLaren will not travel,
hopefully, during
the course of this season.
During the 2017 season,
Honda engines failed
to meet the benchmarks
agreed with McLaren
and the team slumped
to second-from-last
in the championship.
Can you see your future
with McLaren next season?
So, what is yours? (GIGGLES)
How much is it dependent
on the engine?
true you've officially ended
the relationship with Honda?
it's been widely reported.
It is something
that is a bit overdue
and really excited for our
our future with
our new partner.
No. But, you know,
we've won so many races, 182,
and 183 wasn't looking likely
any time soon,
so we had to make a change.
Does that mean Alonso's
staying, presumably?
Well, we hope so.
Obviously, Fernando's been
really good for us.
The last three years have
been incredibly challenging
and he's been really good
to us and for us,
so we'd like to keep him,
but there's
a little way to go yet.
Let's get this stuff cleared,
give ourselves a clear path
and then we'll talk to him.
-Anyway, we'd better run.
-Nice one, guys. Thank you.
-Cheers. Thank you.
NARRATOR: An hour later,
Zak and Jonathan
officially announced the end
of the McLaren-Honda
and a new three-year deal
with Renault engines.
JONO: When I was on
the race team in 2010,
Monaco Grand Prix,
we were leading
the World Championship.
We left a bung in
the side pod
when the car left the garage,
and the engine overheated
and the car retired
from the race.
You know, that's
That was down to me,
you know.
It was my job
to check the car before
the car left the garage.
I missed it
for whatever reason
and sent the car to the grid
with it in and
I don't think I'd be
where I am today
if it wasn't for that,
cos you learn from it
and it makes you stronger.
You just pick yourself up
and move on
and everyone was quite
supportive at the time.
It's that sort of atmosphere
that keeps you going.
I work with
some amazing people
who all have the same
mindset, and that's
that's what's key.
It's the people that
makemake McLaren
what it is.
NARRATOR: In 2018, Stoffel
will join Fernando again
and drive for team
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