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McLaren confident of a return to form in 2014 03 Sep 2013

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 23 August 2013 Sam Michael (AUS) McLaren Sporting Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Thursday, 22 August 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 23 August 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013

McLaren’s sporting director Sam Michael is confident that the team have the wherewithal to return to race-winning form next season after a disappointing 2013 campaign so far.

The Woking-based squad are currently fifth in the constructors’ standings having failed to score a podium finish. If they fail to pick one up in the remaining eight races it will be their first trophy-free season since 1980.

“With this year’s car we took too many risks compared to what we had to, particularly as we were winning Grands Prix at the end of last year,” Michael explained during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in.

“We know we made a mistake and we’ve had many an engineering discussion about that internally, (but) we know what we’re doing going forward.

“The team of guys that designed this car are the same team that designed winning cars previously - they’re all the same designers, engineers and technicians so I’ve got every confidence that they can do the same again next year.”

However, Michael insists that the team will continue to push for a podium finish in 2013, with team principal Martin Whitmarsh making it his top priority for the remainder of the season.

“(The next race at) Monza should be good for us, but it will be difficult to score a podium on merit, particularly as we start to concentrate a lot on the 2014 car,” said Michael. “Although we’re still bringing parts to the 2013 car, they’re not the normal developments you’d bring when you’re pushing in a performance race against other teams; they’re parts that are results of studies for 2014.

“They can still be quite effective, but they’re less known in terms of looking forward three or four races knowing exactly what’s coming. So to predict where a podium might come, that’s quite tricky, but we’ll keep pushing until the very last race to try to make that happen.”

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