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McLaren admit MP4-28 needs more than a “small tweak”

Apr 9, 2013, 11:05 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia Getty Images

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale insists the team are ‘under no illusions’ about the amount of work that needs to be done to make their MP4-28 competitive.

“As always with a car there’s no one thing or one magic bullet,” said Neale in a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in. “There are a number of things that will restore performance to the car and we believe we’ve got, underlying, a very good package.”

He said the team have a busy program planned for the first day of practice for the Chinese Grand Prix, with a raft of new updates to be tested on the car.

“I think we’ve got a lot of work to do on Friday as we learn more about the car and learn what if any of the upgrades that we’ve taken, works. So it’ll be a very busy day for Sergio [Perez] and Jenson [Button].”

Chief among the car’s weaknesses has been poor composures over bumps. The car suffered less from this in Malaysia because the Sepang circuit was smoother, Neale acknowledged:

“I certainly think that the Malaysian circuit was more favorable to us,” said Neale. “We got the car set up better for Malaysia.”

“But nevertheless Jenson worked really hard to get himself into a good scoring position. But for a mechanical problem with the wheel gun he might have capitalized on that but unfortunately that wasn’t to be.”

  1. icemanpjn - Apr 9, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    So far, it’s been looking like Lewis left McLaren at just the right time. I have no doubt that McLaren will eventually get back on top of things, but it’s hard to say when that will be. All the legacy teams (teams that have been in the sport for decades) have rises and falls.

  2. oscarclove - Apr 9, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    Reblogged this on oscarloveviews.

  3. apexassassin - Apr 10, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    We’ll see how they manage. It took them ages last season to understand the tires and they’re still figuring out their new suspension.

    I do know that Lewis’s departure now seems brilliant and few thought that last September.

  4. techmeister1 - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    McLaren is a pretty capable team so I have no doubt that they will get on top of their new car design before long. As far as Hamilton I doubt his decision was based on being competitive while driving at Mercedes. More than likely the money they offered and a chance to play rockstar had more to do with it than Mercedes being able to deliver a competitive car all season long. While this year’s car is certainly better than in the past it remains to be seen how well Mercedes can maintain their progress. If they do well and I hope they do, Hamilton lucked into this deal but I expect he’ll be surprised at how quickly McLaren moves back to the front of the grid. It’s a pity that Mercedes has really not delivered at all in the past three seasons.

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