McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has said the Woking-based outfit will run with some 'quite notable' updates at the German Grand Prix.
McLaren had a pretty dire weekend last time out at Silverstone, with Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button coming home only eighth and tenth. However, he is hopeful Hockenheim will be different, even if he does concede that the tyres remain a challenge for all the teams in the sport.
“As you know F1 changes very quickly,” he said during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in ahead of the F1 2012 German Grand Prix. “Your fortunes can change from being very, very strong, like in Canada, which we clearly were, to a disappointing couple of last races [at Silverstone and in Valencia]. I think they were unusual though. Silverstone was [definitely] an unusual weekend.
“But our thrust is always to be developing the car and we have got quite a lot of new components and some quite noticeable ones on the car that we will have in Germany.
“I think for everyone, not just McLaren, trying to understand and exploit the tyres correctly is proving quite a substantial challenge [too].
“As such keeping ourselves focused, seeking to eliminate mistakes, improving the performance of the car, understanding the tyres, seeing if we can exploit them better are all top of our to do list.”
Asked specifically about the updates for Germany and what people should look out for, Whitmarsh added: “The sidepods from the front to rear are quite different so you will notice those and there are other bits and pieces that the sharper eyes will see. Clearly there are some parts that are not so transparent to the naked eye, but that is the main area of modification and it's reasonably noticeable.”
Meanwhile, as for rumours that Coca Cola might come in as McLaren's title sponsor next season and possibly replace Vodafone, Whitmarsh was giving nothing away.
“As you can imagine we don't talk about commercial discussions. We have enjoyed a good and very, very successful partnership with Vodafone. We will be with them for some time to come and obviously we talk together about whether that will be lengthened beyond the existing term of the contract.
“Whilst that is going on, there is a range of other discussions with existing partners and new partners.
“But I'm sure as you can imagine we are unlikely to disclose those discussions,” he stated.