McLaren hopeful of strong Belgian GP

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh is adamant his team have made significant progress on high-speed corners, and that should allow his drivers to be stronger at the Belgian Grand Prix

McLaren hopeful of strong Belgian GP

Although the British squad has taken a giant performance leap in recent races, world champion Lewis Hamilton said on Monday he believes the characteristics of the Spa circuit are likely to see McLaren unable to fight for the win like in the last two races.

Whitmarsh made it clear it is very hard to predict how competitive McLaren will be at Spa, but he is convinced the progress made will allow the team to be quite strong.

"I think we have made some progress," said Whitmarsh of high-speed circuits. "I think we have the ability now, with the revised wheelbase, to play a little bit with the weight distribution which I think was not in the right place for high-speed corners.

"I think we have some downforce, which is quite handy in high-speed corners. I can't honestly predict where we will be there. I think, relatively, we will be much more competitive than we would have been.

"I think it's clear than we need to keep pushing, and continue to improve the car. We want to be in a position where we dominate qualifying and then carry it into the race."

Whitmarsh said Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen is likely to use the shorter wheelbase car used by the Briton in Valencia, although he claimed it will not be as beneficial as it was for the world champion.

"Heikki is lighter so achieving weight distribution was easier with Heikki than it was with Lewis," he added.

"Even if it's not a big advantage for Heikki I think it's the right thing to do, because to have a team running with two different specification cars is not a useful thing in terms of continuing to develop the vehicle. I don't think it will be a disadvantage to Heikki."

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