McLaaren came to Oz with an underdeveloped car because they did not pour 2 years into designing their car from a loophole in the rules. Also they put a lot into KERS, which has shown to be an exciting system and will go down as another mess by the FIA, if it indeed is banned next year.
It's already bad enough talking about the start of this season in hindsight, so lets not go back to what Honda had banned, or we will be talking forever about who got what banned.
I think unless you are a McLaren designer, you really don't know what was up with their car, yes it had underdeveloped aero, which they have said was because they hit a brick wall in their development, because they never developed a DD. Yes they had bad balance because of that and dealing with KERS.
McLaren also had a championship to fight for, so some development of 09 car would have been taken away from.
The bottom line is; If any team leaves a car, doesn't develop it but races it, like Honda did. Concentrate on a car for an extra year, concentrating on a loophole in the rules. While other teams are still developing their current car, e.g, most of the field. Even BMW were developing their 08 car well into the second half of the season, only to be questioned about giving up to concentrate on their 09 car. Even like we see on the Williams and Toyota, with their DD, they were close to Brawn, but not close enough, because Brawn/Honda had been developing for longer than them. MUCH LONGER remember.
So in a way Honda can be blamed for the demise of BMW, because, and I will reiterate, when you develop a car for over a year longer, using a loophole in the rules, while others are still fighting for points and winds and championships, it is a big head start. The big teams can't risk this loophole chasing anymore, there is too much at stake. We expect from the big teams, we didn't expect from Brawn or even Honda anymore, so they could take the risk and FOM and the FIA loved the fairytale of the big teams getting beaten. Especially after all the falling out with FOTA. Toyota ans Williams could afford to take the risk of developing a DD. Williams can survive in F1 wherever they are finishing, so the risk of it being banned was a calculated one. And Toyota need to take a risk. They have been seen to do it before, in rallying they were excluded from the championship all together. So BMW were finishing in a position that they did not see they would, they would and should have been in front of Brawn/Honda, Williams, Toyota and if that was the case they would have stayed in F1. They would probably still be fighting with McLaren and Ferrari and Red Bull, I don't know if the development race would have been the same, but I doubt if McLaren would have pushed as much as they did this year, when you have something to prove, I think teams work faster.
Strange how McLaren have gained more respect this year that the championship winning team, and how Kimi has gained more respect that Button. Not really strange. Kimi has shown his raw speed once again, with Ferrari stopping heavy development, it's just his pace keeping Ferrari up there, where as McLaren still relied upon heavy upgrades.
The FIA also wanted big change, what better way to back that up with the "farytale", because the rule changes certainly didn't work for what they were intended for. Smart thinking, but no clarity. Very sneaky, just like the FIA always are.
And Red Bull? Why did they do so well? They have a brilliant designer, a manageable engine, in size and torque (Newey got Renault engines at his request), an engine that was allowed to go through a process of "equalisation." Also, a smart idea from Newey for the rear of the 09 Red Bull, the front as well, just a beast of a car. Probably the most consistent of the front runners, bar their failures, but it wouldn't be Newey design without that, he pushed the boundaries with his aero that other elements are stretched, but not so much with the Red Bull as the engine combination was so good.
Yesterday, today, is tomorrow.