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McLaren malaise could last to Montreal

McLaren's current malaise could stretch through to the Canadian Grand Prix according to one respected F1 engineer.
Former Williams chief engineer Mark Gillan does not see McLaren being a factor at the very front of the F1 field until the first European races at the earliest.

Having studied the form of the MP4-28 over the opening two rounds in Australia and Malaysia, where a ninth place apiece for Jenson Button and Sergio Perez stand as the team's best results, Gillan believes that the car's problems are more deep-seated than merely aerodynamics, and claims that it could be as late as Canada in June before any change of fortune is detected.

“I was surprised at how slow they were at the beginning of the season,” he told the JA on F1 podcast, “They've had a couple of poor starts [before], but typically get it sorted.

“The fact they are obviously concerned about the development, and how quickly they can improve things, probably means the problems are down to suspension and the pick-up points into the chassis which are quite difficult to change quickly.

“If it was just purely aerodynamic changes, I'd expect them to deal with it within a race or two, [but] it's probably going to take them quite a while.”

Ironically, wrongly fitting a suspension part during the season's first test at Jerez was attributed as the cause of Button topping the times and giving McLaren early cause for optimism but, with the unintended settings unable to run on more conventional circuits, especially under full fuel conditions, the team has struggled to replicate the performance as it suffers with ride problems.

McLaren was already on the back foot, having opted to design a fresh successor to last year's MP4-27, widely regarded to be the fastest car in the field by Interlagos, instead of coming up with an evolution as the likes of Red Bull and Lotus did.

The Woking team still believes that there is a higher ceiling for the development of the 2013 machine than its rivals will find with theirs, but the timescale for its exploitation may now be elongated, with the back-to-back Chinese and Bahrain grands prix mitigating against development before the season heads into Europe, and Spain, next month. Should a new chassis need to be built up to accept a revised suspension system, the delay could stretch through to Montreal.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
24.03.2013- Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
24.03.2013- Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
22.03.2013- Free Practice 1, Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
27.07.2014- Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
27.07.2014- Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9 and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
27.07.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
27.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T leads Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 and Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 leads Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
27.07.2014- Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 and Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T leads Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29

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elijah

April 04, 2013 2:53 PM
Last Edited 484 days ago

"wrongly fitting a suspension part during the season's first test at Jerez was attributed as the cause of Button topping the times and giving McLaren early cause for optimism" What an omnishambles. From the driver up to the team principal they are in a mess. Jenson Button fantasising about winning the championship, with a car which is customarily" thrown together ". Overseen by a team principal who "With hindsight",would do things differently i.e., lets run the race again shall we. And to top it all the designer of the MP4-28, and best man to turnaround the car Paddy Lowe, filling his days with thoughts of helping rivals Mercedes win championships . Mclaren are in deep doodoo.

oldtimer - Unregistered

April 04, 2013 3:26 PM

The suggestions that there are a number of things wrong with the MP4-28 will probably mean that there is no quick fix and If there are fundamental design mistakes in the car there it will take time to modify the cars. We don't of course know exactly what is wrong but if it turns out to be the case heads should roll. Mclaren will need to get it 100% right because after 4 or 5 races they will be beyond the championship and will have to concentrate on getting a few wins to save face. Button for the championship! I think not.



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