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McLaren poised to drop new diffuser

McLaren could run the British Grand Prix with its Valencia set-up after its 'blown diffuser' failed to produce the step forward anticipated.
McLaren will consider not running its much-vaunted new 'blown diffuser' at Silverstone this weekend after both Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton struggled to get the best from it in Friday practice.

The system, which was introduced to the MP4-25 along with a new floor and front wing for the team's home grand prix, failed to produce the step forward the Woking team had been hoping for as it attempts to contain Red Bull Racing, which pioneered the latest evolution of blown diffusers this season. Hamilton ended the opening day only eighth fastest, with Button down in 13th, and the team admitted that it was poised to revert to the set-up it used in Valencia after test driver Gary Paffett made a helicopter dash back to base to check the necessary settings.

"Both drivers experienced the same issues with the blown diffuser, which leads us to conclude it is an aerodynamic problem rather than a set-up problem," a team spokesman told Reuters, "So the decision was made yesterday to revert back to the old floors."

Fortunately, the new front wing showed enough promise to be retained for the rest of the weekend, with both Button and Hamilton revealing that they had been otherwise happy with the pace of their cars.

"The changes that we made to the car, set-up wise, didn't make it better," the current points leader confirmed, "but sometimes you find that's the case. We will go back to the set-up we had earlier on and start from there again. Generally, I think the performance of the car is good and, hopefully, tomorrow, the set-up will be better to drive."

Despite being so far down the order on the opening day of a race where he has never stood on the podium, Button admitted that he wasn't getting too dispirited, citing the last of his six wins in 2009 as inspiration.

"It's hard to handle ahead of qualifying, which is a worry because that's an area where we have to be stronger," he conceded, "At the moment, we're not, but it's just a very different car to what we have driven before.

"We've done a lot of work, some positive, some not so positive, which is always the way when you are working with new parts. I think we can still do a good job, but it's not going to be a walk in the park. The next twelve hours are going to be very busy. The good thing is we're very close to home, but we'll all be working very late tonight to get everything right for tomorrow .

"It's not over yet, though, and we've only had the first day of practice. In Turkey last year, I really struggled on the Friday but won the race by over 30 seconds."



Related Pictures

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Friday Practice 1, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Friday Practice 1, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Race, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
(L to R): Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren with the media.
28.08.2016. Race
Race winner Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates in parc ferme as his third placed team mate Lewis Hamilton (GBR) climbs from his Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid.
28.08.2016. Race
Race winner Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates in parc ferme as his third placed team mate Lewis Hamilton (GBR) climbs from his Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid.
28.08.2016. Race
(L to R): Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1; Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren; and Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing with the media.
28.08.2016. Race
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates his third position in parc ferme.
28.08.2016. Race
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates his third position in parc ferme.
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Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid.
28.08.2016. Race
(Top to Bottom): Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren; Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing; and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari, with the media.
28.08.2016. Race
The post race FIA Press Conference (L to R): Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing, second; Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1, race winner; Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1, third.
28.08.2016. Race
The post race FIA Press Conference (L to R): Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing, second; Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1, race winner; Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1, third.
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Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MP4-31.
28.08.2016. Race
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid makes a pit stop.
28.08.2016.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid makes a pit stop.
28.08.2016.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid makes a pit stop.
28.08.2016.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid.
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