McLaren believes scoring 2013 F1 podiums on merit now unlikely

McLaren now believes Formula 1 podium finishes on merit are unlikely in 2013 following its Belgian Grand Prix result

McLaren believes scoring 2013 F1 podiums on merit now unlikely

The struggling team and lead driver Jenson Button had highlighted Spa as a potential turning point for McLaren as it introduced upgrades and arrived at a track it suspected would suit its package.

Although McLaren made a distinct step forward in Belgium, Button had to settle for sixth place.

The team's sporting director Sam Michael reckons that result will set the tone for the remainder of the season.

"If you look at the last couple of races, Budapest and Spa, we have improved our performance," said Michael during a Vodafone teleconference.

"It's not where we need to be as McLaren but previous to those last two races we didn't have the ability to run with some of the top cars and challenge them.

"But there is still a gap between us and Red Bull and a decent gap to Mercedes as well. If you look at the other teams, such as Lotus and Ferrari, we are getting close there.

"Spa was a good one for us and we finished sixth there on merit, no one dropped out and there was nothing unusual about the race that resulted in us inheriting positions. It was done on pace. Monza should be good for us as well.

"It will be difficult to score a podium based on full merit between now and the end of the year, particularly as we start to concentrate a lot on the 2014 car.

"Although we are still bringing parts to this car, they are not the normal iterative developments you would bring if you were pushing in a performance race - they are as a result of studies for 2014, which can still be quite effective but they are less known in terms of looking forward three or four races knowing exactly what's coming.

"So to predict a podium before the end of the year, it's quite tricky to know where that would happen, but we will keep pushing to make that happen until the last race."

Michael is confident that while 2013 could prove to be a barren year, it has taught McLaren enough lessons to ensure next season is far better.

"The main thing is to fully understand where we went wrong," he said.

"We have got a pretty firm handle on that now with not as much ability to change that in the season as we would like.

"However, as long as we understand that, we should be able to avoid that error in the future. That's definitely been a big focus internally at McLaren.

"We know what we are doing going forward and the team of guys that designed this car are the same guys that did the [successful] cars previously.

"I've got every confidence that they can do the same next year."

shares
comments
Italian GP: Pirelli preview quotes

Previous article

Italian GP: Pirelli preview quotes

Next article

In conversation with a McLaren legend

In conversation with a McLaren legend
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren
Author Edd Straw
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021