The magic bullet of performance is to Formula 1 race engineers what the fountain of youth was to Juan Ponce de Leon, and probably as elusive.
McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale told media during a phone-in that their problematic MP4-28 has potential, but at the same time acknowledged that uncovering performance is not a mere flick of a switch.
“I believe that we do know where the problems on the car are, but in order to be absolutely sure about that we need to have run the package that we’re going to run in China. So the work on Friday is a very key element to it,” said Neale.
“As always with cars there is no one thing or no one magic bullet, there are a number of things that will restore the performance of the car. We believe that we’ve got underlying a very good package, but it’s clearly not the performance that we predicted,” admitted the McLaren MD.
But the team appears upbeat and keen to reverse the downward spiral, after a dismal time in Melbourne the reversal of fortune perhaps began at Sepang last time out.
“We managed to improve the car between Australia and Malaysia – we were closer on the pace there – and taking the learning from that weekend we’re taking a number of upgrades to China,” revealed Neale.
“Some are just part of our routine upgrade package and some are in response to what we’re trying to do at the moment. So I think we’ve got a lot of work to do on Friday as we learn more about the car and learn what if any of the upgrades that we’ve taken, works. So it will be a very busy day for Sergio and Jenson.”