McLaren MP4-24 at the moment not as competitive as the team hoped

McLaren MP4-24

McLaren MP4-24

Many people believe that despite slow times posted by McLaren drivers during the recent tests the team still will be right there at the front once the season kicks off. That is of course very much possible. Even Ron Dennis said only few days ago that there is no need to worry and they will go to Australia with win on their minds.

Today however Martin Whitmarsh and Norbert Haug spoke a bit differently. Martin Whitmarsh:

“This week the car has run in Barcelona with an updated aero package, as we had always planned it would, and a performance shortfall has been identified that we are now working hard to resolve.”

And replying question whether the car is fast enough:

“Not at the moment – and certainly not by our team’s extremely high standards.”

Norbert Haug:

“We are definitely not where we want to be. We will continue our test programme next week at Jerez for another four days. But it will take time to improve.”

Martin Whitmarsh also hinted at the source of the problems (stating the obvious):

“It is a combination of factors. Our Mercedes-Benz engine is strong – we saw that last year – so MP4-24′s performance shortfall is clearly chassis-centric.”

It is still possible that McLaren are sandbagging and that the team bosses are talking their form down. But all the signs seem to pointing to rather difficult start to 2009 F1 season for McLaren …

Photo: Daimler Media

14 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Paul BrewerNo Gravatar says:

    The car is over comlicated, and basically a dog! Mclaren need a miricle.

  2. DankNo Gravatar says:

    Lewis better get his CV updated!

    Danks last blog post..Next stop, Melbourne!

  3. vectraNo Gravatar says:

    Funny how it is a NEW car built without Adrian newy and also without a QUALIFIED DRIVER TO HELP WITH SETTING IT UP LOL :D

  4. BazNo Gravatar says:

    It usually turns out that the initial impressions during testing translate closely to the initial results in the first few races of the season. So a few established teams may see the rear end of the Brawn too often for comfort. But as the season gets under way, it also happens that the front runners are the ones we expect to be there. Maclaren will no doubt up the pace as the season progresses, and make a late bid for the top.

    One thing is for sure – this season looks as though it will be a sight more interesting than drying paint!

  5. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    Pre season tests never seem to accurately depict a team’s true performance…but usually the team’s message is a positive one. With McLaren team official acknowledging an issue with performance, I tend to give this more credence. Another couple weeks of testing should tell the story.

    I might also have to change my vote for my pre-season pick for champion in the prediction game, as I chose Lewis.

  6. Cruz GonzalezNo Gravatar says:

    referring to vectra’s comment, McLaren has not developer quality drivers to help engineers to improve the car, well, just the titular drivers, they have Pedro de la Rosa!!! one of the most experienced driver in the circus. Anyway, it’d be easier if the have an Alonso in the lineup.

  7. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    Pedro de la Rosa sure is experienced enough but with all the testing restrictions he will not have too many opportunities to use his experience and help the team with his feedback

  8. Paul BrewerNo Gravatar says:

    Remember this year the teams don’t have any testing time after next week, I think the development of the cars will be very slow this year. The Brawn being so fast out of the box bodes well till at least Monaco or beyond. One thing that strikes me about Brawn is the car has been well designed and it doesn’t have the distraction of Kers, which every other team does. Even if the other cars are not going to run Kers straight away, they’re designed to accept it. So therefore their designs are compromised, I don’t think that many of the teams are going to use kers at every grand prix anyway, but their designs are compromised to accommodate it at every race. I think Brawn have a good chance this year, especially on street circuits.

  9. kaushalNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with Paul Brewer,
    other teams compromised on the design of the car so as to use KERS. Brawn racing is looking good,atleast for 1st few races.

    kaushals last blog post..Australian Grand prix: The winning odds

  10. [...] I see Renault and Red Bull as the best of the rest, closely followed by Williams. McLaren seems to be at the moment a bit behind all of these teams. [...]

  11. AbhiNo Gravatar says:

    I Dont Care About McLaren
    They seem 2 have become over confidnt
    with last year
    i see less scope of them wining this season

  12. Cruz GonzalezNo Gravatar says:

    Why is Branw GP going to be favourites in street circuits?

  13. TimmieNo Gravatar says:

    McLaren are definitely behind for the start of the 09 season, there is admittance to this.

    But i wouldn’t write them off, even come Melbourne they will still (probably) turn up in the points by the end of the race. Whitmarsh and Haug have admitted there are some issues, but they also said they have a good idea what that problem is and believe that after their testing in this final week at Jerez they will have most issues ironed out.

    I don’t expect a win from them, definitely not in australia anyway, but as the season gets going, i believe they will come back to form, though maybe a little too late for a championship challenge?

  14. [...] the season. BMW Sauber, Toyota, Ferrari and Renault all seem to have strong packages too. The same can’t be said about McLaren at the moment, but they still have one and half of testing [...]

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