McLaren managing director Jonahathan Neale acknowledges that his team made mistakes this season and as a result are in unfamiliar territory, trailing the likes of relative minnows Force India in the championship standings, but he insists that they have learnt from their mistakes and intend not repeating them next year.
Speaking to The Sun, Neale said, “We’ve got to look long-term. McLaren have been around for 50 years, we’ve got 182 race wins. We will be back, we will be winning. There’s nothing to be complacent about but there’s nothing to panic about. We made some mistakes, we’ve got to get over it, we’ve got to move on.”
Last year at this stage McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton (now with Mercedes) and Jenson Button had scored seven top three finishes, this year
Button and newcomer to the team Sergio Perez have not had a sniff of a podium with fifth place in China their best showing so far this season.
In 2012 Hamilton won the Hungarian Grand Prix, this year a victory scenario is unlikely for the Woking based squad who have amassed 8 constructors titles’ and twelve drivers’ titles in Formula 1.
Button, speaking ahead of the weekend in Budapest, is under no illusions, “Of course, a win in 2013 is going to be difficult. It would be good to have a car with a little more pace and to have a bit more impact at the front of the pack.”
Neale pointed out, “F1 is one of those sports where you are punished if you are off the pace. Coming to do that in front of hundreds of millions of people every fortnight is very focussing.”
But according to the MD it has not been only doom and gloom for the team, “We’ve managed to achieve some things in terms of reliability, operational consistency and stuff.”
“But the on-track delivery is just not competitive at the moment and that’s very painful,” added Neale. “We’re working very hard to try and do something about that and make sure we don’t repeat the mistakes going into next season.” (GP247)
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