McLaren revises development approach

McLaren has adopted a more considered approach to improving its troublesome MP4-24, after deciding that the scatter-gun tactic of throwing new bits onto the car as quickly as possible was not best

McLaren revises development approach

Martin Whitmarsh, the team principal, hinted to AUTOSPORT after the British Grand Prix that the lessons of the Silverstone weekend was prompting a rethink about how best to face the second half of the season.

With a big upgrade package in the pipeline for one of the next few races, the team had to weigh up the benefits of fast tracking it through for as soon as possible, or giving it more time so it was better in the end.

Whitmarsh said he felt the team had been too keen in the first part of the season to bring parts to the car as quickly as possible, rather than benefiting from being more thought-through in what it was doing.

"I don't think we have necessarily got that [balance] right and I think we have spent too much time probably being overly analytical and not enough time being straightforward pragmatic," he said.

"'What is it? Don't know how it works, but it's on another car, let's take it and put it on ours!' That is a good old fashioned approach to it, we need a bit of that and we are applying a bit of that right now."

The team has now decided to take that practical approach, which means it will not be rushing through a major upgrade for next weekend's German Grand Prix - unless a dramatic breakthrough is found in the wind tunnel before the event.

Instead, the team will focus on introducing front wing modifications and other improvements to the front of the car which it believes is one of the key areas it has got wrong this year.

It is understood that larger scale upgrades are then scheduled for the Hungarian and European Grands Prix, which will focus on more front wing developments, rear floor improvements and other aerodynamic revisions.

Although the fact that there will not be a major upgrade for the German Grand Prix means that there is little hope of the team delivering a front-running performance on Mercedes-Benz's home turf, there is no suggestion of the Woking-based outfit giving up.

World champion Lewis Hamilton said: "While we aren't expecting any major upgrades for the weekend, I'm still looking forward to the race. It's an honour to be part of the Silver Arrows and, while our results haven't recently shown it, we're still pushing incredibly hard and are all hopeful of moving closer to the front before the end of this difficult season."

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