McLaren are now looking ahead to May’s Spanish Grand Prix for a developmentbreak through, admitting it is still far from pulling out of its crisis with disappointing pace in China.
“If we have started turning it, it’s a long corner,” Jenson Button said in Shanghai on Saturday.
With the British team bringing upgrades to its struggling MP4-28 in China, Button told reporters: “We’ve made a small gain, but it’s not as big as we’d hoped.”
Unlike Button, Sergio Perez failed even to make the cut for the top-ten ‘Q3’.
“I’m not very confident with the car,” the Mexican admitted after crashing on the way into the pitlane on Friday.
“We have so many question marks, we don’t know which direction we are going.”
And the situation is unlikely to change substantially ahead of next weekend in Bahrain, with McLaren targeting the return to Europe instead for a bigger step.
“We’ve not made much of a step forward,” team boss Martin Whitmarsh said on Saturday in China. “We’re the fourth or fifth fastest car.
“We’ve got an upgrade for Spain now and that’s got to take us forward.”