Can McLaren find half a second by Malaysia?

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We’ve talked about the speed of in-season development and how the teams really put it in high gear once they get back to Europe. We’ve also talked about how expensive that development war is and how teams that are less funded really struggle to keep up with the pace of development. We have also mentioned how hard it is to gain big chunks of time on the competition but and interesting story from AUTOSPORT’s Mr. Noble today sheds some light on how aggressive McLaren are about their Malaysian Grand Prix upgrade scheme.

In the past, the regulations have been relatively static and to find .500 or even .100 of a second on the competition was very difficult to do. In Malaysia, McLaren CEO Ron Dennis reckons they will find just that:

“These intercontinental races limit how fast you can develop the car but nevertheless we will give it our best shot.

“We are confident that we will be half a second quicker at the next grand prix, for a variety of reasons.

“That will not be enough to achieve our goal but it will keep the pressure on those teams that are chasing us.”

That’s interesting in that the regulations are radically new for 2014 and a team feels that they have .500’s of a second to gain even on a fly-away race like Malaysia. That won’t be any easy task and it will be intriguing to see if they do gain that much time. A half-second in Formula 1 is a lot!

The stakes are high and I wonder what McLaren learned about their chassis that gives them the confidence that they left a one half second on the table in Australia? Either way, if they do gain that much, it will place them amongst the leaders which is currently said to be Mercedes and given their dominant pace in Australia, that will be a tall order.

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