McLaren: upgrading on three fronts

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K Can you still remember the Australian GP? First place for Jenson Button, third place for Lewis Hamilton. McLaren looked like a possible world champion. Then the crash in Bahrain. The mistakes when changing tires in Shanghai, Bahrain, Montreal. The breakdown with too little fuel in the tank that cost Lewis Hamilton pole position in Barcelona. The lack of racing speed in Bahrain and Monte Carlo. Two points in four races for Jenson Button. And then again the terrific victory of Hamilton at the Canadian GP. An ups and downs to which even a well-organized team like McLaren has no answers.

Hamilton complains

Keyword development: McLaren has in the last Race changed his car only marginally. Hamilton has already complained publicly: 'More could come to my liking.' A new rear suspension made its debut in Valencia. This should give more freedom when setting up the car and improve traction. The new exhaust that was tried out on Friday was a project for the future.

Sports director Sam Michael denies that McLaren had slowed down the pace of development in order not to confuse themselves. 'We have two separate groups. One takes care of problem solving, the other takes care of vehicle development. If there are problems, the other group doesn't have to let up.'

Keyword Button. Why has the 2008 world champion not been on tour for four races? Sam Michael defends the star in the crisis: 'We have no doubts about his abilities. In the first four races he was consistently faster than Hamilton. And in qualifying Jenson was not far behind Lewis. But when the field is so close together, then two tenths can make up ten places instead of two. That happened to Jenson a couple of times. Several times he lost training time on Friday due to technical problems. For example in Montreal. The price for this is then a suboptimal set-up. '

Button with different material in Canada

Michael blames the brakes for the high tire wear on the rear axle in Canada: 'Jenson had to race on discs for this one race from Carbon Industries. He usually rides Brembo discs. He wasn't used to the new material and they didn't go well with his driving style. Then if the brakes get too hot, it can happen that on theTire transfers. '

Keyword change of tires. In Montreal, too, two and a half seconds were lost to Sebastrian Vettel in two pit stops at Hamilton. Nevertheless, Sam Michael recognizes a trend towards improvement.' We have changed our crew. She has been constant for three races and is getting more and more self-confidence. We have also retrofitted the rims, wheel nuts and jacks. In training we consistently manage 2.5 seconds per stop. In Montreal it was under three seconds under racing conditions if we look at the tire changes in isolation. Once we had a problem driving off. Overall, we're getting closer to the best. '


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