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Alarm bells ringing for anxious Whitmarsh

Martin Whitmarsh wasn't hiding his disappointment and frustration on Friday, with the new McLaren suffering from a lack of grip and pace in free practice in Australia.
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh wasn't pulling his punches when asked for an assessment of the team's first day of action in the 2013 F1 world championship in Melbourne, Australia.

"It was one of the hardest days I can recall," Whitmarsh admitted after the two Friday free practice sessions at Albert Park. "We were lacking overall grip. We had understeer, poor ride.

"A very difficult day, one where we didn't go forward during the day, so that's a bit of a concern," he added. "There is a lot we still need to learn about this car. But we have struggled frankly to quite understand how it is performing - understanding the tyres and the car."

The team's lead driver Jenson Button said that he agreed with Whitmarsh. "I think there is a lot of work to do, he said. "We've got to really work to understand why the car is the way it is in terms of ride and downforce."

Whitmarsh tried to put the obvious disappointment behind him, and looked for the silver lining to the thunder clouds gathering over his head.

"Having said that, we've collected a lot of data, and we'll be working extremely hard this evening and tonight in an effort to utilise that data in order to do whatever we can to effect improvements," he said.

"Moreover, you don't win world championships in the first Grand Prix of the year," he pointed out. "You win world championships by managing the progressive development of your car from its baseline in Australia in March all the way through its development journey towards its final destination, Brazil in November.

Sporting director Sam Michael admitted that the team was paying the price for an ambitious approach to the 2013 car, with the MP4-28 being one of the few cars on this years grid to go for a 'revolutionary' change on its predecessor, while the watchword of most of their rivals had been 'evolutionary'.

"Definitely, we are not where we need to be at this point in time," said Michael. "We made quite a few changes to the car over the winter, and we still believe they will be good for the course of the season.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
15.03.2013- Free Practice 1, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
15.03.2013- Free Practice 1, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
15.03.2013- Free Practice 1, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
15.03.2013- Free Practice 2, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
15.03.2013- Free Practice 1, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
McLaren confirms Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button
Fernando Alonso and Ron Dennis at McLaren
McLaren confirms Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button
McLaren confirms Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button
Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button alongside Kevin Magnussen. Pic credit: McLaren
McLaren confirms Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso
Michael Andretti drives the MP4/8 in the 1993 San Marino Grand Prix
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren Test and Reserve Driver.
26.11.2014.
The McLaren MP4-29H of Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren Test and Reserve Driver is recovered back to the pits on the back of a truck.
26.11.2014.
The McLaren MP4-29H of Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren Test and Reserve Driver is recovered back to the pits on the back of a truck.
26.11.2014.
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MP4-29H Test and Reserve Driver.
26.11.2014.
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren Test and Reserve Driver.
26.11.2014.
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MP4-29H Test and Reserve Driver.
26.11.2014.

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Firestorm - Unregistered

March 15, 2013 1:36 PM

At the moment it looks that Lewis has made the right decision to leave McLaren. Vodafone too will be leaving them, and I red somewhere that Mercedes looks to hide some technical information to them about the V6 engines in order to keep their secrets safe from Honda engineers for the McLaren-Honda of 2015. Troubles everywhere for Whitmarsh and McLaren at the moment. Yes is true that Ferrari had similar problems with their car last year and after four races they found a way to solve most of them and fight for the title till the end...but Ferrari had two advantages. First of all it was the Mugello test before the Spanish GP. Second, they had a driver in Fernando Alonso that McLaren lacks at the moment. But some way I believe that McLaren will win some races and save their honour this year.



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