McLaren: Red Bull could falter like we did

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McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh says his team’s struggles this year show how easily Red Bull’s dominance of Formula One could come to an end.

Whitmarsh told Autosport it was “foreseeable” Red Bull could remain the team to beat next year, “because they have done a good job”.

“But at the same time, sadly I can give the McLaren example of this year,” he said.

“We didn’t decimate the opposition but we were dominant in the last few races of last year, and we certainly weren’t this year. Maybe though, they are cleverer than us.”

McLaren won the final two races of last year and were on course for victory in Abu Dhabi when Lewis Hamilton’s car broke down.

But this season has been one of the worst in the team’s history as they failed to claim a place on the podium all year long, something they last failed to do in 1980.

Red Bull ended the 2014 season with nine consecutive victories. Sebastian Vettel won his fourth consecutive drivers’ title and the team wrapped on their fourth constructors’ championship in a row three races before the end of the season.

While Red Bull used a car which was closely based on their 2012 machine this year, McLaren were more aggressive with their 2013 chassis, but struggled with it from the beginning of the season.

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.