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DATE News (chronologically)
03/18/13
f1
New McLaren a slug, may be forced to revert to old car  UPDATE #2 This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today.  McLaren has ruled out the idea of reverting to last year's car, despite the difficulties it is facing with its 2013 challenger.

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "At the moment we have to work hard on this car.

"We know it has got some areas of high potential and we know it has potentially more downforce than last year's car.

"We just need to understand it and make sure it [the performance] is accessible.

"We have all had cars in the past which have been difficult to get performance out of even though some of the [downforce] figures are quite impressive.

"This car seems to be difficult in that regard and we need to work on it, understand it and fix it."

Whitmarsh concedes that there is no quick fix for McLaren's problems, but he has no doubt the MP4-28 can be improved.

When asked if he was confident his engineers had a grip on what was needed to make the car better, Whitmarsh said: "I think coming out of a weekend like this and saying the engineers are confident would probably be a bit strong.

"But we believe in what we can do as a team. I am sure we are going to get there.

"It probably won't get there as quickly as I would like it to, but I will be encouraging them to do so."

03/17/13
Whitmarsh says McLaren may be forced to use last year's car
(GMM)  After a disastrous season opener with a flawed new car, the big question in the Melbourne paddock late on Sunday is whether McLaren will give up.

The famous British team finished last year as arguably the very fastest in pitlane, but bucked the trend over the winter by resisting the temptation to simply 'evolve' its 2012 car.

The MP4-28 is vastly different to its predecessor, but the big surprise is that it is not fast.

"Well, it's not just one thing," team newcomer Sergio Perez told international media late on Sunday, after finishing outside the points.

"It's not just one or two problems that we have."

Last time out, when the 2012 season concluded in Brazil, his teammate Jenson Button won at the wheel of the MP4-27.

"We are a long way off," a downbeat Button said in Australia, when asked how long it might take for McLaren's engineers to solve the problems.

With the 2013 rules very similar to last year's, the question being asked at Albert Park was whether McLaren might simply write off the MP4-28 and concentrate all efforts on the radical new V6 era of 2014.

Or simply pull the 2012 car out of mothballs.

"We'll see," said team boss Martin Whitmarsh.

Earlier this weekend, he admitted bringing the 2012 car back was "possible", albeit unlikely.

Mexican Perez on Sunday said it was "not an option".

But the struggle to score mere points on Sunday has surely increased the likelihood now.

"We are not too proud to say when we've got things wrong," Whitmarsh said on Sunday.

"We think we can work this one (the 2013 car) out.  But if we don't, we'll look at anything."

In 2003, McLaren intended to race a radical Adrian Newey-designed car, the needle-nosed MP4-18, but it ultimately never saw grand prix action.  The British team instead raced a development of the 2002 car.

How quickly can McLaren now deploy a similar strategy?

"Well, not before next weekend (in Malaysia), that is for sure," Whitmarsh told British broadcaster Sky.

03/16/13 Martin Whitmarsh has refused to rule out McLaren racing last year's car as this year's MP4-28 is proving problematic.

McLaren were left disappointed after the opening day of the season finished with both Jenson Button and Sergio Perez woefully off the pace.

While Whitmarsh admitted to being "worried" about the car's pace, Button spoke of an "obvious" lack thereof while Perez said the team was "struggling".

McLarens woes continued on Saturday where again they were off the pace, raising the question as to whether they would consider reverting to last year's car given the lack of new regulations this season.

Asked the question, Whitmarsh told Autosport:

"It is possible, but I think at the moment the best thing for us is to work and understand this car.

"The season is incredibly long; if you are going to win races and championship you have to develop the car during the whole year.

"We have wanted to give ourselves the scope to do that, and probably if we had stuck on the original concepts of last year's car we would probably be stronger here today.

"But we have made a decision. We will work through this and we will have a car with more potential than we had last year." Planet F1

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