McLaren: Innovation key to 2011

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh says his team already has some 'inventive' design ideas for 2011 that it hopes can give it an edge in next year's title battle

McLaren: Innovation key to 2011

The team pioneered the F-duct this season and got a key early advantage from the straightline speed-boosting device, although later in the year rivals Red Bull and Ferrari stole a march when they got their blown diffusers working effectively much earlier than McLaren.

Whitmarsh thinks a design innovation of that type could be crucial again in 2011, and said McLaren was looking good on that front.

"We have got a few ideas up our sleeves. We will see," he said. "Hopefully we have got a slightly different approach, we have some quite inventive ideas.

"It is a combination of things. You have to have fundmanetally a good car and you have got to have some creative solutions, be they blown diffusers or F-ducts - and hopefully we will have a couple of those and we can be strong."

Red Bull has had the benchmark car on outright pace for the last year and a half, and Whitmarsh thinks the current champion team will be formidable competition again next season.

"They have huge resources. They play the 'we are a small team game' but their company's figures argue that case," he said. "They have good facilities and a big budget, two strong drivers and they are a force at the moment.

"That is the nature of F1. In ten years' time I am sure Ferrari and McLaren will be there, whether Red Bull is? I think it will be good if they are. They are good for the sport, they bring another dimension and they are a challenge and this has been a fantastic, fantastic season."

He suspects this year's three-team battle will be infiltrated by a fourth contender next year as Mercedes regains ground.

"I am sure Ferrari will come back strong next year and we plan to, and so will Mercedes," said Whitmarsh. "You should not underestimate Mercedes.

"I am sure they are a little bit disappointed by their season but nonetheless they will be pushing very hard to come back and get the job done next year."

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