Whitmarsh: McLaren must work harder

McLaren believes it needs to work much harder to improve all areas of its car design if it is going to get it into a position to start overhauling Formula 1 pace-setters Red Bull Racing

Whitmarsh: McLaren must work harder

With Sebastian Vettel having won both races held so far this year, and starting on pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix, McLaren faces a tough task in developing its car to close down the performance gap to its main rivals.

However, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh thinks there is not one specific area where Red Bull Racing is getting its advantage from - which means his outfit will have to lift its performance everywhere.

"There is no secret - Red Bull Racing have done a good job and we have to make sure we match that or do a better one," he explained. "There is no Eureka moment. There is not one trick widget/component on their car that we are missing - overall they have done a good job.

"We are capable of doing a better job than we are doing at the moment. Meanwhile, while there is focus on us versus Red Bull Racing, we are not complacent.

"Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault are well-resourced teams that can attack as well. If we stand still we will not only see Red Bull disappear into the distance, but we will get overhauled by these other teams.

"There is no secret. We are not as efficient as we wanted to be in winter testing, we've tried to recover that situation, but we have to push harder and we will do just that."

Whitmarsh believes that there are areas of its car where it can be more aggressive though - highlighting that cooling could be taken more to the extremes.

"I would have liked it to have been sub tropical weather here because clearly, from a cooling perspective, we have a very efficient package.

"There will be some hot and cold races during the course of this year, and we have got a bit of a margin. Arguably I think we have too much cooling on the car and that is something we need to correct.

"Having too much cooling in one sense is not a bad thing - but it suggests there is more performance to be had if you make the cooling more marginal. I think it should be marginal, that is something I think the engineers should work on."

And while McLaren has not yet beaten Vettel in the race, Whitmarsh thinks his team could be doing more in boosting its constructors' championship haul.

"We have let some points go," he said. "We have to maximise the points we can get this weekend. I feel the last two weekends we could have had and should have had two cars on the podium. I will be disappointed if we don't have two cars on the podium here."

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