McLaren test anvil wing at Hockenheim

McLaren's bid to keep up the aggressive development of their MP4-23 continued on Tuesday when they ran an anvil wing engine cover for the first time at the Hockenheim test

McLaren test anvil wing at Hockenheim

Just 48 hours after Lewis Hamilton got his world championship ambitions back on track with a stunning victory in the British Grand Prix, the British driver evaluated the new engine cover.

The use of the engine cover follows the trend begun by Red Bull Racing and since copied by Renault and Force India.

Although rain showers have marred the opening day of the test at Hockenheim, McLaren should be able to get enough dry running to evaluate whether or not to run the cover at the German Grand Prix.

McLaren F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh believes the team's work on the car over recent weeks was now paying dividends in their fight against Ferrari.

"I think the reality is the team have done a fantastic job to continue to develop the car over the past two races and it's starting to pay off," Whitmarsh told autosport.com.

"The championship fight is rather like last year. In reality it will swing backwards and forwards according to how good a job we are doing. We will continue to improve but Ferrari are a strong team and they're going to be continuing to improve. We've just got to do it at a faster rate."

Whitmarsh has also reiterated his belief that Hamilton's victory at Silverstone has helped lift the British driver's spirits after a tough few weeks.

"The reality is Lewis has been as solid as anything with the team. He's gone through a learning process with that absolute dream start last year when everything went right and he really was built up.

"This year, one or two things haven't worked out and people continue to want to jump on the bandwagon. But he's only 26 races into his F1 career and I'm sure over those 26 races he has scored more points than almost every other driver, so it's not a bad start!

"He has left Silverstone jointly leading the world championship. He's been here before, but he's more experienced. I think the team has got good momentum and it's going to be an exciting championship."

Hamilton led the way in the morning session at Hockenheim, setting a best lap of 1:15.550 - half a second clear of Nico Rosberg in the Williams. Adrian Sutil was third fastest, ahead of Nick Heidfeld in the BMW Sauber and Nelson Piquet in the Renault.

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