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McLaren confirms total summer shutdown

McLaren to close road and race departments during summer shutdown
McLaren has confirmed that it will shut down its factory in its entirety during the F1 summer break, with the road car department also closing alongside its racing counterpart.

In an effort to reduce costs, all teams must close for a 14 day period in the summer break, with McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh revealing that the new car plant – which only opened last year – will be closed at the same time.

"We are shutting down midnight on Sunday after the Hungarian Grand Prix,” he told the Press Association. "As it happens we're also shutting down our automotive production at the same time, even though we don't need to do it.

"We're not doing it to avoid any aspersions being cast by other teams. It is a separate company. I don't know what Ferrari are doing, whether they shut down their automotive side. But I don't have any difficulty, in the submissions they make, that tell me their automotive side will be shut down.

"I don't feel obliged to do it. It's almost coincidental we are doing it."

Whitmarsh added that he had initially questioned if his team had made the right call to shut down immediately after the Hungarian race, with most rivals waiting an extra week before closing.

"We're out of pace with almost everyone else,” he said. "I did ask a few (rivals) why they were doing that. I also asked our people 'have we got it right?'

"Our rationale is it will take two or three days for the cars to return from Budapest, so that's two or three days during the shutdown period where we're not wasting time. It also means it maximises the time after our shutdown period to find more performance for the race afterwards at Spa.

"The exception, and it's one we're not planning on, is that if any of the teams has an incident in Budapest they can apply for dispensation to have a small skeleton team working on the car to ensure they can rebuild in time for Belgium."

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