McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has admitted that his team’s 2013 car is not fast enough, and acknowledges that they were too ambitious with the MP4-28 project which has been a disappointment in the first five races of the season, with no end apparent.
Speaking to the official F1 website Whitmarsh said, “Frankly the car is not fast enough. With the benefit of hindsight we were too ambitious last year. We had a competitive car and made decisions to make very big changes in the expectation of aggressively making a big step forward – and that backfired.”
Last year McLaren won the last two races of the season with a car which was constantly good for podium positions, if not wins. This year Jenson Button and newcomer Sergio Perez have struggled to make it into the top ten with a car that is doing them no favours.
Again Whitmarsh did not mince his words, “In hindsight we should have evolved what was already a competitive car. We didn’t do that and are paying the cost of it – but we are learning a lot from all this pain.”
In terms of victories, only Ferrari have a more successful history in Formula 1 (221 wins) an this experience is what the McLaren team boss believes will count in their favour during these trying times.
“If I try to look for positives, we’ve learned a lot about ourselves and it makes us more resilient. Of course, I’d like to be competitive now. I love to go to races with a realistic prospect of winning. The team has won 182 Grands Prix and I have been around for just over 100 of them and it is never enough. So if you are in a period like this it is not the most satisfying thing to go motor racing,” mused Whitmarsh.
“I think teams go through these phases. We are a long-term team. We are very fortunate with great shareholders. We have fiscal stability, we’ve got a good budget and we have a great new partner in prospect – so there a lot of things to be positive about as there are a number of teams here who struggle to survive. So yes, we are having a tough time, but we’ve been there before. We will fight through and do the best job we can,” declared Whitmarsh.