McLaren convinced car is strong enough to stay in F1 championship fight

McLaren remains convinced that its basic car package is strong enough to be battling right at the front of Formula 1, despite its failure to win a race since the season-opening Australian Grand Prix

McLaren convinced car is strong enough to stay in F1 championship fight

The Woking-based outfit began the campaign in fine style - locking out the front row at the first two races and having Jenson Button triumph in Australia.

However, it has failed to maintain that form and neither Button nor team-mate Lewis Hamilton have managed to finish on the podium in the last three races.

Nevertheless, McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe thinks the team has nothing to worry about in terms of the package it has delivered - and that once it unlocks more consistent performance from the tyres that it should get back to winning ways.

"We have seen different people being strong," he said in Canada. "[Nico] Rosberg was incredibly strong in China. After that, you think: 'Hang on, they have unlocked something here! That looks scary. They are going to take the championship if we don't find out what that was'.

"Then you get to the next event and it is someone else. It is fascinating in one way. Traditionally you felt that if you got the front row in Melbourne that is a pretty good indicator that everybody else should be playing catch up and you are going to be scoring a lot of points before you get to Europe. So it has been frustrating that that hasn't happened.

"But we are still pretty upbeat because underneath it all the car is good. We saw Lewis' qualifying performance in Spain. If we ignore the point that we let him down ultimately operationally, he was setting purples on every single run.

"That is pretty much a benchmark circuit aerodynamically, so I do think the car is strong, if we can get consistent performance from it."

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Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren
Author Jonathan Noble
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