Tests, parts and a rain dance for McLaren

What do you do when your car isn’t all that it could be and you happen to be McLaren International? You start an aggressive development program intent on bringing your car to a competitive state. That’s what the folks from Woking will be doing this weekend at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Sam Michael explained to the press in a phone-in.

“We have some modifications to the car,” Michael.

“We have two lines of new parts, one is normal development that would have come anyway, and then we have some experimental stuff to work through on tyre degradation, some of which are back-run test items to help us further understand [the car].

“We will definitely be doing some specific tests during the weekend at Malaysia, and we have managed to do some work in the last few days.

“Whether that will resolve the problems in terms of our competitiveness I really can’t tell you to be honest because I don’t know yet.”

It’s never easy in Formula One and McLaren know this better than most. They’ve unloaded a relatively difficult chassis in the MP4-28 in Australia a week ago and quickly determined they are far off the pace of their competitors at the top. Change is needed and needed quickly.

Another component of hopeful thinking is that Malaysia can be riddled with rain soaked racing sessions and McLaren driver Jenson Button is starting his rain dance telling AUTOSPORT:

“I’d rather it was mixed conditions, then we have more of a chance to score points” said Button.

“Inters were very good to us in the last race, with P3 in Q2.

“When you have a quick car, you want it to be dry every day; no wind, calm, but when you don’t have such a quick car you want everything thrown at the field so you have an opportunity.”

Perhaps a few tests, changes and some rain could find McLaren minimizing the damage they would otherwise face in the first fly-away races. Most teams will usually wait until the series returns to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix to make major car changes but McLaren don’t have that luxury.


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