Mar 11, 2013, 8:39 AM EDT
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh says performance takes priority when it comes to development their car.
Last year breakdowns cost the team race wins in Singapore and Abu Dhabi and a likely one-two-finish in Italy.
But speaking during a Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes phone in Whitmarsh said the team would continue to push the envelope of performance:
“I think with a new racing car you can never be as confident as you would like to be because if it’s stable and reliable typically you want to change it to make it quicker, lighter, more aerodynamic or something.
“So there’s always a challenge. I think we’ve been working hard with Mercedes-Benz on some of the issues we saw last year, and internally as well.”
Whitmarsh said McLaren are “constantly vigilant” about improving their car’s reliability. “But we mustn’t become so obsessed by the pursuit of reliability that we don’t change the car.”
“Clearly we’ve taken some risks in changing the car from last year. We finished the year, the last few races undoubtedly with the quickest car. It would have been very easy to have continued to develop that car, we’d have made it quicker still for the start of this year. Yet we’ve made a lot of changes to the overall package.
“We’ve done so in the belief, as was demonstrated by the case study that we’re talking about, you have to be competitive over 20 or, this year, 19 races. You’ve got to be able to develop it so we’ve given ourself a platform which is new to ensure that we’ve got development opportunity over the course of the season.
“In so doing it makes it more challenging after 5,000km [3,100 miles] of running to go into the first race as comfortable about reliability as you want to be.”
Video from NASCAR America
- Kenseth clinches Chase berth; Bowyer falls out of Grid with one race to go 0
- Kasey Kahne rallies in last 2 laps to win at Atlanta, makes Chase 0
- Tony Stewart’s comeback hopes end with rough 41st-place finish at Atlanta 0
- Tony Stewart the obvious fan favorite during pre-race introductions at Atlanta 1
- Still searching: Castroneves finishes 14th, falls short of IndyCar title (VIDEO) 1
- Will Power claims 2014 IndyCar title as Tony Kanaan ties season win record in Fontana 1
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Tony Stewart’s return to racing: ‘I’m sure that’s where he wants to be’ 0