McLaren are worried

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McLaren’s team boss, Martin Whitmarsh, says there is reason for concern over the pace of this year’s MP4-28 chassis. The car struggled in testing to show pace on par with the top teams but as testing is usually shrouded in mystery, many were wondering if their issues were truly a reality.

Friday’s free practice sessions proved to be a gust of reality as the team struggled for grip and pace. Whitmarsh told Sky Sports F1:

“I think we should be worried about the pace,” Whitmarsh said.

“It is a tough day in the office for everyone at the moment, we are lacking grip and there is a lot of head scratching at the moment, but certainly we are lacking pace.

“I think we are still learning and 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”.

That’s not a good comment from a team boss ahead of the season-opening race in Australia. The team have maintained their logic is creating an all-new car for 2013 instead of simply evolving last year’s chassis. The concept was that they would eventually hit a wall of evolving development with the 2012 chassis and they chose to create a new chassis in order to develop it throughout the year with more potential gains and no wall or limit.

That may seem logical but it also seems they have created a big development task and long season of trying to bring this car up to par with the top teams. It will be interesting to see if this gamble pays off.

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