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McLaren: On a wing and a prayer

NEWS STORY
11/05/2013

With its much anticipated updates not proving to be the cure-all McLaren had hoped for, the Woking team refuses to give in.

With the wet conditions compromising running in yesterday's opening session, it was in the second that the multi-championship winning team hoped to see its labour bear fruit. However, with Jenson Button and Sergio Perez both over 1.49s off the pace it is clear that there is still much to be done.

Button, who had been unusually pragmatic ahead of the Barcelona weekend, did his best, but failed, to put on a brave face at the end of his day's work. “We need to focus on a couple of areas," admitted the Englishman, his look fooling nobody. "Hopefully, we can improve them a bit by tomorrow."

“We’ve made a slight improvement," added teammate Perez. "Once we get a better grip on our understanding of the correlation, I think we’ll start making bigger steps. Over the next few races, hopefully we can make more progress.”

Of course, it was widely hoped that the first of those big steps would be taken this weekend, clearly not.

With the new updates taken to Barcelona having failed to bring the result expected, the team is taking full advantage of the fact that F1 is back in Europe and overnight has shipped even more parts to the Circuit de Catalunya from its Surrey HQ.

"It will be a tough ask to get a podium here," said Martin Whitmarsh, the Englishman surely deserving of some sort of prize for making such a statement and keeping a straight face. "Today was disappointing. It wasn't a good feeling today to see the amount of work that has gone on and the amount of progress that hasn't been made, to the level we wanted.

"We can't be satisfied where we are," he added, surely the understatement of the year. "It may be we're lacking in overall downforce now. We'd have liked to have overcome our difficulties. Right now it's painful. But there is a belief that we have a platform to work on. I don't believe that the work we've done has been wasted."

Nonetheless, the new parts already taken to Spain will be augmented by further updates, including two new wings, today, one having been flown over from Southend Airport, the other driven down in a van.

As the media repeatedly insists that the 'spat' between Button and Perez has been sorted, the fears are that the Woking duo will be mixing it with the Saubers and Williams tomorrow afternoon, rather than the Mercedes and Lotus' as anticipated.

Check out our Friday gallery, here.

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