Skip to content

Performance takes priority over reliability – Whitmarsh

Mar 11, 2013, 8:39 AM EDT

F1 Testing in Barcelona - Day One Getty Images

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.”

Latest Posts
  1. Belgian GP Paddock Notebook – Saturday

    Aug 23, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    All of the latest news, reports and analysis from the Belgian Grand Prix paddock at Spa-Francorchamps.

  2. WATCH LIVE: Lucas Oil Pro Motocross ends seasons in Utah at 3 p.m. ET

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:45 PM EDT

    Photo credit: ProMotocross.com/Matt Rice Photo credit: ProMotocross.com/Matt Rice

    Click here to watch live coverage of the final round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on NBC Sports Live Extra today at 3 p.m. ET.

  3. IndyCar: Ryan Hunter-Reay fastest in first Sonoma practice

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:03 PM EDT

    Iowa Corn Indy 300 - Day 1 Getty Images

    RHR leads the way with a 1 minute, 17.7150 lap around the Sonoma Raceway road course in first practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.

  4. WATCH LIVE: Red Bull Global Rallycross Daytona at 2:30 p.m. ET

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    GRCLogo

    CLICK HERE for stream links to Round 6 of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross championship from Daytona International Speedway.

  5. Ecclestone: No concerns about taking F1 to Russia in six weeks’ time

    Aug 23, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Germany Getty Images

    F1 supremo confirms that he has no problems with taking F1 to Russia in October.

  6. Roczen, Dungey will settle championship fight at Motocross season finale today

    Aug 23, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT

    Photo credit: ProMotocross.com/Matt Rice Photo credit: ProMotocross.com/Matt Rice

    The 450 Class championship battle between Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen has come down to the final race of the season. Who will leave Utah with a title in hand?

  7. Alonso matches best 2014 qualifying result at Spa

    Aug 23, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    Ferando Alonso AP

    Fourth place a welcome surprise for Fernando Alonso and Ferrari.

  8. WATCH LIVE: Utah National qualifying and pre-show at 1 p.m. ET; Tomac, Martin currently top the charts

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:40 PM EDT

    Photo credit: ProMotocross.com/Matt Rice Photo credit: ProMotocross.com/Matt Rice

    The final round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship has arrived. Watch the second qualifying session at 1 p.m. ET and the pre-show at 2:15 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra.

  9. Bianchi impresses once again to make Q2 for Marussia

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    Jules Bianchi AP

    For the second year in a row, Bianchi managed to upset some of the bigger names during qualifying at Spa.

  10. McLaren not planning to leave driver decision until off-season

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Practice Getty Images

    Racing director Eric Boullier says that a decision will be made before the season is out.

  11. Report: Darlington returning to Labor Day weekend on 2015 NASCAR schedule

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

    Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson AP

    The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series had raced at the track “Too Tough To Tame” on Labor Day weekend from 1950-2003.

  12. Mistakes from Hulkenberg result in Q1 elimination

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Qualifying Getty Images

    P18 on the grid goes down as the Hulk’s second-worst qualifying result in F1.

  13. Vettel: Third the best Red Bull could achieve today

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Qualifying Getty Images

    Defending world champion qualifies a distant third behind the two Mercedes cars on Saturday at Spa.

  14. Brake problem hinders Hamilton in Q3, but he is pleased with P2

    Aug 23, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    2008 world champion secures his first top five qualifying result since the Canadian Grand Prix back in June.

  15. Rosberg delighted with “awesome” pole position at Spa

    Aug 23, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Qualifying Getty Images

    Mercedes locks out the front row of the grid for the first time since the Canadian Grand Prix back in June, with Rosberg claiming pole at one of the sport’s most famous circuits.

  16. Hamilton: Beating Rosberg when he’s at his best “more painful”

    Aug 23, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Lewis wants to beat Rosberg when the German is at the peak of his powers, as the two drivers fight for this year’s F1 world title.

  17. Rosberg tames wet conditions to claim Belgian GP pole

    Aug 23, 2014, 9:05 AM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    German driver takes pole at a damp Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday afternoon.

  18. Alonso accepts Ice Bucket Challenge, nominates Montezemolo and Briatore (VIDEO)

    Aug 23, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

    Monaco F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    The Ferrari driver took the plunge after being nominated by Felipe Massa and soccer player Juan Manuel Mata.

  19. WATCH LIVE: Belgian GP qualifying – can anyone stop Mercedes?

    Aug 23, 2014, 7:45 AM EDT

    Nico Rosberg AP

    You can watch qualifying from Spa-Francorchamps live on CNBC and Live Extra from 8am ET.

  20. Red Bull GRC: Daytona race and course preview (VIDEO)

    Aug 23, 2014, 7:30 AM EDT

    Coke Zero 400 - Practice Getty Images

    The Daytona round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross is a key one and kicks off the second half of the 2014 season. Here’s more from Kristen Kenney heading into the weekend.

Video from NASCAR America

Why Bristol is such a unique track
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (1640)
  2. K. Harvick (1338)
  3. I. Vences (1268)
  4. B. McReynolds (1106)
  5. K. Busch (1076)