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McLaren least reliable car of pre-season, report reveals

Aside from the untried Hispania Racing HRT F111, it is McLaren-Mercedes' troubled new MP4-26 that has covered the fewest testing kilometres as the start of the F1 2011 World Championship campaign roars into view...
As the F1 circus heads Down Under for the curtain-raising 2011 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne next weekend, a report has disclosed that of the twelve cars that have run thus far, McLaren-Mercedes' troubled MP4-26 has been the one that has covered the fewest pre-season kilometres.

The Woking-based outfit's new baby has been dogged by one problem after another from exhaust gremlins to aerodynamic and hydraulic woes at both Jerez and Barcelona, severely limiting mileage and frustrating Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button's efforts to extract the best from it and evaluate its full potential.

Whilst Ferrari's nigh-on bulletproof F150° Italia has completed a jaw-dropping 7,000km ahead of the opening of competitive hostilities around the streets of Albert Park, and defending double F1 World Champions Red Bull Racing have 'never been so well-prepared' going into a new campaign according to team principal Christian Horner, fellow anticipated title contender McLaren remains conversely all-at-sea, with little immediate hope of challenging for the podium, let alone the highest step.

German magazine Auto Motor und Sport reveals that aside from Hispania Racing's untried new HRT F111 – whose planned day-and-a-half of running was scuppered by a somewhat bizarre Spanish customs issue last week – the late-launched MP4-24 trails the Force India F1 VJM04, Team Lotus T128 and Virgin Racing MVR-02 at the foot end of the mileage stakes, having got through less than half of arch-rival Ferrari's total.

“I'm not going to lie,” confessed 2009 world champion Button. “It's not the best way to go into the season. We are a long way down on [mileage], but there is no point getting negative about it and down at this point of the season.”

Behind Ferrari and Red Bull, Sauber's new C30 is next up in the reliability stakes, followed by Mercedes Grand Prix's improving MGP W02, the Scuderia Toro Rosso STR6 – tipped by many to be 2011's darkest of horses – Lotus Renault GP's innovative R31 and the Williams FW33.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
10.03.2011- Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB7
09.03.2011- Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
10.03.2011- Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
19.02.2011- Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
09.03.2011- Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
08.03.2011- Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
20.02.2011- Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
21.02.2011- Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
09.03.2011- Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The Safety car and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H

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f1fan - Unregistered

March 18, 2011 12:45 PM

The worst decision Mclaren ever made was letting Adrian Newey go,they have played catch up ever since and the same thing will happen again this year they will catch up after its too late to win either championship

SdeJ - Unregistered

March 18, 2011 10:44 PM

Richard, I am a navigator, by profession, and you should trust me when I tell you that a clock, which is correct for 2 seconds out of every 86 400 seconds, is not more accurate than a working clock to which an exact correction can be applied. By your logic I could write down the day’s date for the next 18 months, and susequently claim that I correctly predicted when Margret Thatcher would die.

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