McLaren are reticent about this weekends Spanish Grand Prix. There are some concerns that the circuit itself will not suit their car in its current configuration although new parts have been introduced for this weekends race.
McLaren are a team that have faced fierce consternation from the beginning of the season. First, an ill-performing car has hampered any hopes of a repeat of last years stellar season and then the Australian Grand Prix lying episode that has found the team under continued scrutiny for the next 12 months. Given all of this static permeating the team when they are simply trying to race must take its toll and in many respects it has. Ron Dennis having stepped down and the relationship between the Hamilton’s and McLaren is lukewarm at best if you believe the rumors.
I must say, however, that I think McLaren may be on the close edge of clawing back what was lost at the start of this season. They appear to be within a stones throw of competing with Brawn GP, Toyota, Red Bull and Williams at the top. Lewis Hamilton has done a terrific job of attempting to get as much from the car as he can without scuttling it each race and the gains they have made at the fly-away races was impressive. I would not count McLaren out of regaining that championship form just yet.
Lewis and Martin said:
“After such a positive performance in Bahrain, we’re fully aware the characteristics of the Barcelona track won’t suit our car so well,” remarked Hamilton.
“In addition, we won’t have the bigger upgrades of some of the other teams as we introduced several new parts during the opening flyaway races, so it will be interesting to see where we sit in the order.
“Nevertheless, the engineers are optimistic our new diffuser and front wing will again help us to make progress towards the front of the grid.”
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh, also free of the shackles of the scandal that dominated the sport for several weeks, can appreciate Hamilton’s comments.
With McLaren racing under the threat of a suspended three-race ban, Whitmarsh knows his team have to be whiter than white from now on, but is confident they can build on the progress seen in Bahrain.
“Our decision to introduce performance updates at each race rather than concentrate all our developments into a single upgrade package helped us score some reasonable points in the opening flyaway races,” said Whitmarsh.
“With our rivals expected to introduce some more substantial improvements in Barcelona this weekend, we again expect a fight to score points.
“But while the high-downforce nature of the Circuit de Catalunya may show up some of our car’s shortcomings, everyone within the team remains confident and motivated we can sustain the momentum we have gathered to push and close the gap to the front this weekend.” ~source Telegraph.
The key, for me, is that they have a steady flow of improvements that have kept them in the race and should they find that magic bullet in the next 2-3 races; they could claw back. Could…I say.