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McLaren trial upgrades ahead of Silverstone race 25 Jun 2013

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race Day, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 9 June 2013 Jonathan Neale (GBR) McLaren Managing Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 8 June 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28 makes a pit stop.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race Day, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 9 June 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28 leads Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race Day, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 9 June 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 7 June 2013

McLaren have used one of their allotted straight line test days to trial their Silverstone upgrade package, the team’s managing director Jonathan Neale confirmed in a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in on Tuesday.

Neale said the Woking-based squad, who had a 64-race point-scoring streak ended in Canada, have used the test at Idiada in Spain to help decide which new parts they’ll bring to their home race, as well as to gain a better understanding of the MP4-28.

"The only issue with our car is we lack downforce and that is what we are trying to create at the moment," Neale explained.

"We've got a range of upgrades for the weekend but we're not there just testing parts, but testing some fundamental understanding issues as well.

"We'll wait and see on Friday afternoon at Silverstone as to what remains on the car for Saturday to know how successful it has been, but we won't know until this evening (Tuesday) finally what package we'll take (to Silverstone)."

McLaren lie sixth in the constructors’ standings going into the 2013 Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix, and given the team’s recent form Neale is cautious about their prospects: "We want to get both cars into Q3 and then race hard for good points," he said.

"It would be great if the guys could get a podium out of it but I think on recent performance that could be quite challenging.

"There isn't going to be a golden bullet," he added. "We are pushing hard but the reality of the situation is there is still a big gap from us to the front of the grid."

Despite their struggles, Neale said that McLaren wouldn’t be switching all of their resources to next year's car anytime soon, describing the team’s approach to 2014 as ‘fluid’: "I think if you looked in to any of the Formula One teams when you're coming up against a step change in the regulations as we are in 2014 - not just in powertrain but in aerodynamics as well - then I'm pretty sure that all of the teams will have been running some kind of car concept research work in the last quarter of last year, maybe some even sooner than that,” he said.

“We have been contemplating what we're going to do from a car concept point of view throughout the winter and we're still doing it progressively now as we need to meet the deadlines for decision making on that car.

“We’re working very closely with Mercedes who’ve got a huge programme going at Brixworth and are doing some great stuff. They need to be given some extra time this year in order to maximise the performance of (the 2014) engine.

"So the program is, to some extent, fluid. In terms of this year's car versus next year's car, we're still learning a lot. I think that some of the fundamental work that we'll continue to do beyond the (summer) shutdown is useful into next year, but inevitably once we're through in to August we will be migrating some resource across in to 2014.”

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