McLaren: All our energies are on the MP4-28 21 Mar 2013
McLaren have dismissed media speculation that they could revert back to their 2012-spec car following the MP4-28s disappointing Grand Prix debut in Australia, where the team scored just two points courtesy of Jenson Buttons ninth-place finish.
All of our energies are on the 28A, said sporting director Sam Michael in a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in ahead of this weekends 2013 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix. Thats what we think will offer us the best chance over the course of the season and at this point in time thats where all our efforts are going.
Michael insisted the team have already identified some key areas of the car that need most attention, but admitted that for now at least they must continue to investigate all avenues of potential gain.
When you are looking for performance as we are at the moment, you look everywhere, so we have programmes on everything. We have a good idea of what we need to concentrate on, but until weve got on top of that then well keep our minds open to everything.
Explaining the modifications McLaren will be making to their car for Malaysia, Michael stated: We have two lines of new parts. One is normal development that was going to come anyway to the car, and then weve got some experimental stuff to work through on Friday, some of which is just background test items to help us further understand (the car).
Regardless of the success or otherwise of the new parts, Michael believes the tough lessons learned in Melbourne and the car data accrued there should help make for a much smoother time in Kuala Lumpur.
When you go to this race you have the benefit of the knowledge of Melbourne. We obviously have more understanding of the car and that actually allows you to manage the race weekend better. I think even if we went through Melbourne again we could probably do a better job just because you have more data.
The Sepang International Circuit, with its sky-high temperatures, two long straights and array of medium- and high-speed turns, is a very different proposition to Albert Park. In theory its a track that could be more suited to the MP4-28. In reality, Michael feels the ultimate pecking order will alter little in Malaysia.
It is very different, he agreed. In terms of where it puts us I dont know. I suspect it wont change the order too much. Itll be a similar order to what we saw in Melbourne and in testing.
McLaren finished on the podium in Malaysia last year, with Lewis Hamilton third. His replacement at the team for 2013, Sergio Perez, scored a spectacular second place for Sauber, while Jenson Button came home a disappointing 14th after an early collision with HRTs Narain Karthikeyan.
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