New upgrades this weekend for McLaren

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has confirmed that the team will be introducing 'noticeable' changes to the MP4-27 this weekend as they strive to arrest their dramatic loss in form.

Although Whitmarsh's confident prediction that Lewis Hamilton will sign a new deal with the team dominated Wednesday's news agenda, it's the confirmation that McLaren are preparing to unveil a suite of upgrades at Hockenheim that will have a more immediate bearing on both Lewis and Jenson Button's short-term future.

"The sidepods from the front to the rear are quite different so you'll notice those and there are other bits and pieces that the sharper-eyed will see," Whitmarsh declared during Wednesday's Vodafone phone-in. "There are some parts which are hidden to the naked eye. They are the main area of modifications. They will be reasonably noticeable.

"Formula One changes very quickly," he continued. "Your fortunes can change from being very strong in Canada, which we clearly were, to a disappointing last couple of races.

"Silverstone was a difficult weekend for us, made better by observing at close-hand the depth of loyal support all around the circuit for Jenson, Lewis and the team. There is now a huge resolve within the operation to ensure that our aggressive development strategy is upheld across the summer."

Having started off the season as one of only two teams not to run a 'boxer's nose' design, the McLaren was given a dramatic transformation in May when a higher nose was bolted on to the MP4-27. However, while those variations of design have inevitably been the focus of a great deal of external attention, McLaren are adamant that understanding this year's Pirelli tyres is the key to unlocking the full potential of their charger.

"I think for everyone, and not just McLaren, trying to understand how to work the tyres correctly is a substantial challenge," Whitmarsh remarked. "So eliminating mistakes, improving the performance of our car and understanding the tyres and seeing if we can exploit them better are all on the top of our to-do list." Sky Sports

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