McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh was quick to say that Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button had done a tremendous job in difficult circumstances at this year's British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

"Lewis drove an excellent stint on his initial set of Prime tyres," he pointed out. "For Jenson, the 2012 Santander British Grand Prix was always going to be a bit of a struggle, starting it as he did from 16th place on the grid ... As it was, he earned a single world championship point for his efforts, which was meagre reward for a pretty gutsy performance."

In these circumstances McLaren can be happy to score points with both drivers at the British Grand Prix - but Jenson and Lewis did not exactly seem overjoyed with what they had achieved when they left the circuit after the race.

For his part, Whitmarsh was forced to accept that McLaren had fallen short of providing the pair with a race-winning car - and that Sauber and Williams were now both showing a faster pace than the McLarens.

Even Red Bull's Christian Horner Red dismissed McLaren's challenge at Silverstone. "McLaren were never really a factor from early on," he said.

"It seems that we managed to improve our pitstop times and we held today's record time with 2.8 seconds," Martin Whitmarsh told Crash.net at Silverstone. "But we have to understand our tyres better and we were simply not fast enough today."

One of the main issues McLaren face is not having a proper understanding of how the current Pirelli tyres behave, which once again caught them out at the British Grand Prix.

The two British drivers qualified in relatively poor positions - a disappointing eighth for Lewis, and a disastrous 18th for Jenson when rain and yellow flags thwarted his final flying lap attempt in Q1 - and it was always a tall order to fight back to the front from there.

It seems that front tyre degradation was an issue during the 52 laps race and McLaren are planning to bring in relevant updates during the next few races to tackle the problem.

Technical director Sam Michael told Crash.net that the Woking squad has an 'outstanding record of constantly introducing upgrades' during a F1 season, and that this is what he had been 'impressed' by after he moved from Williams to McLaren at the end of 2011.

But without doubt, the pressure is on for McLaren and Whitmarsh as the next race is at Hockenheim, where McLaren's engine partners are headquartered.

"We'll go back to Woking, to the McLaren Technology Centre, with a determination to work as hard as is humanly possible to develop our car such that we can put on a fine and competitive show in the homeland of the famous three-pointed star," he said.

by Zoltan Karpathy