McLaren stays realistic for Spanish GP
|By Pablo Elizalde||Thursday, April 30th 2009, 10:29 GMT|
World champion Lewis Hamilton insists next weekend's Spanish Grand Prix is likely to be a challenging event for McLaren, despite the team's improved form in Bahrain.
Hamilton completed his strongest race of the season so far in Sakhir, finishing in fourth position as McLaren continued to make progress towards the front following a difficult start.
But the British driver is aware that the Barcelona circuit is likely to pose a bigger challenge for his team, especially as McLaren will not have any big upgrades to introduce.
"The schedule for the first four races was very tough for everyone, so going back to Europe almost feels like a fresh start," said Hamilton. "After such a positive performance in Bahrain, we're fully aware that the characteristics of the Barcelona track won't suit our car so well.
"In addition, we won't have the bigger upgrades of some of the other teams as we already introduced several new parts during the opening flyaways, so it will be interesting to see where we sit in the order.
"Nevertheless, the engineers are optimistic that our new diffuser and front wing will once again help us to make progress towards the front of the grid."
Team boss Martin Whitmarsh echoed Hamilton's thoughts, although he admitted the team remains confident of scoring a good result.
"Our decision to introduce performance updates at each race rather than concentrate all our developments into a single upgrade package has helped us score some reasonable points in the opening flyaway races," said Whitmarsh.
"With our rivals expected to introduce some more substantial improvements in Barcelona this weekend, we once again expect a fight to score points.
"And while the high-downforce nature of the Circuit de Catalunya may show up some of MP4-24's shortcomings, everyone within the team remains confident and motivated that we can sustain the momentum we have gathered to push and close the gap to the front this weekend."