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McLaren to be diligent, but not overtly cautious
15 November 2012
McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale has said the Woking-based outfit won't take an 'overtly cautious approach' to the United States Grand Prix this weekend.
McLaren were looking good in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago and Lewis Hamilton looked almost certain of victory, until a fuel pressure issue sidelined him on lap 20. While Jenson Button did finish, fourth wasn't much consolidation.
However, after the outfit had no problems at all in the Abu Dhabi young driver test last week, Neale added he is 'hopeful' things will turn out better in Austin, Texas.
“The failure we had in Abu Dhabi was very painful,” Neale admitted during the latest Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in ahead of the penultimate round in the 2012 F1 World Championship.
“But having said that, we have just done 1,500 trouble-free kilometres with the same car in the test just last week and while we are very mindful of the constructors' championship, we are still taking performance upgrades to this race.
“We are not taking an overtly cautious approach. But I would say we are going to be very diligent.
“I'd expect us to see the usual suspects up at the front. Clearly it's a very close-fought championship this season, and with some pretty tantalising battles up and down the grid, whether you're in the midfield or at the rear and fighting for those very important Grand Prix places. But we hope and our desire is to do really well in Texas and win the race.”
Meanwhile, Neale added that the Circuit of the Americas itself definitely looks up to the job and he is expecting it to produce an entertaining grand prix.
“It is always lovely to go to a new circuit but this one in particular looks like it has been really well thought out. I've seen the simulations and definitely the height change in the circuit and the way that some of the corners have been set up with some blind apexes is going to make for some really exciting racing,” he confirmed.
“The tightening set of curves, look very similar to the Japanese circuit of Suzuka and should be a real technical challenge.
“I think it's going to be an interesting one for the drivers to have to learn on Friday and for the teams to have to balance their engineering programmes with as well,” he concluded.
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