Why McLaren is slow…it isn’t Lewis or Jenson

McLaren are struggling this year with their car and that’s not to suggest that the entire chassis is a failure, it has more to do with variables and that’s par for the course in 2012 for all the teams.

The enterprising and fluid Mr. Noble from AUTOSPORT cornered Paddy Lowe, technical director for McLaren, and asked about the performance of their chassis:

“You don’t look at it and say ‘okay, the car is a disaster in terms of its fundamentals,” said Lowe.

“It was once again a story how do you get the most out if it all the time? The car was very strong on full wets over the weekend, so if you didn’t have good downforce you couldn’t instantly create that performance. It’s a matter of the consistency that we’re struggling with.”

Jenson Button won in Australia, then sank like a stone. Hamilton, against many critics assertions, managed to shine on tires that are very complicated to master. So complicated that tire-master Jenson button couldn’t come to grips with them…no pun intended.

If you’d asked many F1 fans who they felt was the fastest car at the beginning of the year, they may have told you McLaren and count me in that group. As time has continued, that notion may have gotten lost among the Ferrari and Red Bull wins.

There is also the issue of in-season development, which McLaren usually excel at, and this hasn’t been as friendly for the team as it has in the past. In part, this year is about consistency and Paddy Lowe knows better than most how challenging the balance and performance of a Pirelli-shod car can be in 2012. The team isn’t finding the consistency needed to win, perform well and perhaps even develop.

That’s a challenge but if there is anyone in the paddock that can overcome those challenges, its McLaren. Hold tight for more updates but know that Lowe doesn’t think the competition has beat them with their upgrades, it’s more a case of tuning the car and getting the maths correct.  He’s got a nice HP 12C calculator that should do the job.

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