Australian GP: McLaren will persist with troubled 2013 car

McLaren remains committed to figuring out its troublesome MP4-28, despite admitting that reverting to last year's car could be an option

Australian GP: McLaren will persist with troubled 2013 car

After a difficult start to the campaign in Australia, where wet weather on Saturday helped disguise its competitive struggles in the dry, McLaren is still convinced it can turn the new MP4-28 into a strong contender.

When asked if going back to last year's car was something the team could do, team boss Martin Whitmarsh said: "It is possible, but I think at the moment the best thing for us is to work and understand this car.

"The season is incredibly long; if you are going to win races and championship you have to develop the car during the whole year.

"We have wanted to give ourselves the scope to do that, and probably if we had stuck on the original concepts of last year's car we would probably be stronger here today.

"But we have made a decision. We will work through this and we will have a car with more potential than we had last year."

Whitmarsh suggested that part of the problem with the new car is that its performance is too peaky, which means its speed is only delivered in a very narrow window.

This was highlighted at the Jerez test in February when Jenson Button was able to deliver a very competitive lap time only with a low ride height that could not be used during an actual race.

Button believes that the way Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was able to fight for the championship last year, despite a difficult start to the season, should reassure McLaren.

"Fernando qualified 1.5 seconds off the pace here last year and almost won the championship, so it is a possible for a frontrunning team to make the deficit up," explained Button. "Whether it is the same as their situation I don't know.

"Qualifying being dry is probably not a good thing for us, because in the wet we could be further up the grid, but it might be a good thing for us to see where we stand.

"After the race we will know where we are, our strengths, weaknesses and there are always strengths and weaknesses, it is just a question of how many of each.

"It's not the place we would like to be at the start of the year, it is not where we were last year at this time, but it is a very different situation."

AUTOSPORT Australian GP coverage:

FP1 FP2 FP3 Qualifying Race Gallery Live commentary Official quotes

shares
comments
Australia Saturday quotes: Sauber

Previous article

Australia Saturday quotes: Sauber

Next article

Australian GP: Marussia buoyed by shrinking gap to midfield

Australian GP: Marussia buoyed by shrinking gap to midfield
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren
Author Jonathan Noble
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021