F1: McLaren tries a new approach

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarSaturday, July 4th, 2009

 
 

McLaren is going back to the drawing board on its strategy of trying to wring some performance out of the desperately underwhelming MP4-24.

The 2009 car has been performing woefully this season, with the team behind the under-resourced Williams squad in the constructors’ championship, and both drivers complaining about a lack of grip and problems getting heat into the tyres.

Things came to a head at the British Grand Prix where Lewis Hamilton failed to make it out of Q1 during the qualifying session and came 16th in front of his home fans. Team-mate Heikki Kovalainen fared better in qualifiying but was forced to retire from the race.

Now, with the second half of the season upon them, the Woking squad is said to be abandoning its previous strategy of rushing upgrades to every race, instead concentrating on a major overhaul.

According to Autosport, team principal Martin Whitmarsh says he feels the team was too keen to introduce new car parts as quickly as possible, rather than benefiting from developing the whole package more thoroughly.

He told the magazine: “I don’t think we have necessarily got that [balance] right and I think we have spent too much time probably being overly analytical and not enough time being straightforward pragmatic.

“‘What is it? Don’t know how it works, but it’s on another car, let’s take it and put it on ours!’ That is a good old fashioned approach to it, we need a bit of that and we are applying a bit of that right now.”

The result of this is no upgrade for the German Grand Prix weekend with an eye to improvements to the front of the car in time for the upcoming races in Hungary and Spain.

Although it is hard to see how the team can do anything to turn this season around and may be better advised to start work on 2010 as soon as it possibly can.

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