McLaren: Were throwing everything into final title push 06 Oct 2010
With Red Bull leading the constructors battle by 24 world championship points from McLaren, and just 25 points splitting the top five in the drivers standings, theres everything to play for as the teams prepare to tackle the final four races.
And with the fight so closely poised, the speed and proficiency of car upgrades will become even more vital to a teams success. McLaren, who have won eight constructors titles, know they will have to take a few risks and force development parts on to the track as quickly as possible if they are to stand a chance.
We are throwing everything and the kitchen sink at it, explained McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 'Phone-In' session. If we can push a modification forward - even if we have only limited components - wed rather the drivers had them than wait until we had a comfortable set of spares. We are running on the very lean edge of what weve got.
At the moment Neale believes both titles could be claimed by anyone, and as such is confident the teams hard work could still pay dividends as the championship reaches its climax.
The remaining four races are circuits at which we should be very competitive, said Neale. Ferrari and Red Bull will be pushing hard, and we will be doing the same. Its tough to call. I think all we can do is shift the odds in our favour by working tirelessly to make sure the car is bullet-proof reliable, and the drivers dont make mistakes and hold their nerve.
If there is any more risk, it will be at the factory end. We know we have two world champions here. Both of them know how to race really hard. We have to make sure we take the workload of them to allow them to focus on the race itself. There will be no change in strategy. Therell be no sense of lift and coast or Banzai. Well go out to win each race, so no change in strategy.
After the successful implementation of upgrades at the last round in Singapore, Neale is confident of further success at this weekends Japanese Grand Prix.
I certainly hope all the upgrades will make a big difference, he added. We are taking a reasonably big upgrade to Japan. We have got a front-wing upgrade, a new rear wing and there are some aerodynamic details around the floor. Were certainly taking everything we took to Singapore - and more - to Japan.
And Neale dismissed the suggestion that this unswerving focus on improving the 2010 car could damage the teams chances next season.
Its not something that were worried about - weve done it before, he concluded. We are pushing very hard, but we have also put resource on to next years car. Its a delicate balance. Formula One is never limited by ideas, theres only the number of daylight hours and the number of people that youve got. So at this stage Im not concerned about this year having a detrimental impact on next year. It does mean we have a very busy winter ahead of us.
The McLarens - complete with new upgrades - will be on track from Friday at Suzuka, host of this weekends Japanese Grand Prix.
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