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Total shutdown for McLaren

NEWS STORY
24/07/2012

While it is compulsory for all the F1 team to shut down their operations for 14 days during the summer break, McLaren will also be closing down its road car division.

"We are shutting down midnight on Sunday after the Hungarian Grand Prix," revealed Martin Whitmarsh. "As it happens," he continued, "we're also shutting down our automotive production at the same time, even though we don't need to do it.

"And we're not doing it to avoid any aspersions being cast by other teams. It is a separate company," he quickly added. "I don't know what Ferrari are doing, whether they shut down their automotive side. But I don't have any difficulty, in the submissions they make, that tell me their automotive side will be shut down. I don't feel obliged to do it. It's almost coincidental we are doing it."

Team are free to choose exactly when they shut down their operations, during which time all work comes to a standstill, press officers even unable to reply to emails. Having opted to shut down hours after Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix, Whitmarsh consulted members of staff to see if they agreed with the decision.

"We're out of pace with almost everyone else," he admitted. "I did ask a few rivals why they were doing that. I also asked our people 'have we got it right?' Our rationale is it will take two or three days for the cars to return from Budapest, so that's two or three days during the shutdown period where we're not wasting time. It also means it maximises the time after our shutdown period to find more performance for the race afterwards at Spa.

"The exception, and it's one we're not planning on," he continued, "is that if any of the teams has an incident in Budapest they can apply for dispensation to have a small skeleton team working on the car to ensure they can rebuild in time for Belgium."

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