Formula One: McLaren forced to take risks
McLaren have had a major rethink of their car for Sunday's Formula One season opener in Australia and hope to gain a second a lap after disappointing form in testing, team boss Martin Whitmarsh said yesterday.
“I'm not satisfied with where the car was on reliability or performance in the tests,” he said.
“We have made some fairly dramatic changes, and those changes we'll see in Australia.
“There's some risk in that but I think it was the right thing to do and we're hoping that risk comes off and the car is a lot more competitive.”
Whitmarsh said the former world champions, overall runners-up last year, had changed the floor of the MP4-26 car and the exhaust system to a new and simpler design that should prove more reliable.
McLaren won in Melbourne last year with Britain's 2009 world champion Jenson Button, whose hopes of a third successive Australian Grand Prix victory have receded as the car's problems became evident in testing at Spanish circuits.