'Major upgrades' for McLaren
BETTER TO COME: McLaren Mercedes' driver Jenson Button (front) and German driver Nico Rosberg at Silverstone during the 2012 British F1 GP. Image: AFP
LONDON, England - McLaren is relying on major upgrades scheduled for the German F1 GP to reignite its World title chances after failing to match the pace of rival teams at Sunday's 2012 British Grand Prix.
McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button could only manage eighth and 10th respectively at Silverstone and were a long way off matching the lap times set by front-runners Red Bull and Ferrari. McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh admitted it was now left to the team to react positively and pinned the team's hopes on the "significant upgrade package".
"We weren't quick enough, period," Whitmarsh admitted. "It is always disappointing if you are not competitive and certainly at the end of the race we were not - and through no fault of the drivers... both did a good job.
"We have a decent, bigger, more visible upgrade package for Germany and we've got to deliver that and make that stick. It's the same old game, we have to develop the car, and we have to make sure we use the tyres better."
Whitmarsh added that he was happier with the team's improved consistency and pit stops, which have blighted their race chances on several occasions so far in 2012, but underlined that ultimately their car was just not fast enough.
"The average of all three pit stops was sub three seconds, which is something we have been working on," he said, "but, fundamentally, good pit stops, a good couple of drivers, solid drives, bad qualifying, but no events upon which we could capitalise. Just not quick enough is the school report."
'SMARTER THAN THAT'
He also played down rumours that 2008 champion Hamilton, whose contract is up for renewal at the end of the 2012 season, had been affected by the team's slump in form and was considering a move to a rival team.
Whitmarsh suggested that the 27-year-old, now fourth in the title points but 37 behind championship leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, would be able to overlook the team's current slump.
"I think he's smarter than that" said Whitmarsh, "and he knows that racing is highs and lows. This weekend (Britain) wasn't one of the highs but four weeks ago it was a different situation. In two weeks it could be a different situation again. He knows that, I know that.
"We are disciplined enough and battle-hardened enough to know you've got to take stock and learn from these weekends. Sometimes you learn more from these weekends than successful ones. We will continue to develop the car and make sure we do a better job at Hockenheim."