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McLaren confirms pit crew changes

Martin Whitmarsh: We made some changes as you might expect following the last race...

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has revealed that the team has made changes to its pit crew in the wake of last month's Bahrain Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton was badly affected at the Sakhir International Circuit with two disastrous pit stops costing him crucial time and track position. As a result of that the team launched an internal investigation post-race and the decisions taken will be seen for the first time this weekend in Spain, although Whitmarsh did not elaborate on what the precise changes are.

“We've looked at what we are doing and have made some changes to the team and the process and we'll see them on Sunday in Barcelona - or you may see them on the earlier days if you are interested enough to watch pit-stop practice,” Whitmarsh said during the latest Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in.

“There's enormous pressure on the guys. At a team like McLaren you are targeting a sub three-second stop. It's a huge physical challenge. If you've held a wheel gun it's really heavy and it's not an easy task.

“It's being done on some very hot components with the eyes of hundreds of millions bearing down on your back. So I am always in awe of the level of the volunteers we have, but we have made some changes as you might expect following the last race.

“I wondered whether we'd have volunteers for some of the more critical elements, but I was astounded by how many guys in the team wanted to put themselves in that very challenging position. It reflects well on the spirit of the team.

“There's since been a reasonable amount of practice and we'll see at the weekend. I believe we'll have good stops.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
20.04.2012- Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
25.03.2012- Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
25.03.2012- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
25.03.2012- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
02.04.2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes pit stop practice goes a bit wrong when a wheel gun gets stuck and Lewis tries to drive on

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May 11, 2012 8:34 AM

Pit stops have cost the team, however poor stops dont explain why Hamilton was slow after his stop in Malaysia or how Grosjean passed and drove away from them in Bahrain. In China Rosberg and Mercedes had an almost perfect weekend which they attributed to getting the tyre usage just right, an area that JB feels that McLaren are struggling to understand.

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