x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

McLaren look for improvement at Hockenheim after 'disappointing' performances

The F1 team's principal Martin Whitmarsh hopes an aggressive approach to development will reap the rewards over the next two weekends.

Lewis Hamilton shows off the McLaren during the Moscow City Racing show
Lewis Hamilton shows off the McLaren during the Moscow City Racing show

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is hoping his team's aggressive approach to development will reap rewards over the next two weekends.

The disappointment in the wake of the British Grand Prix 11 days ago ran deep throughout the entire Woking-based organisation.

With drivers Lewis Hamilton eighth and Jenson Button 10th, there was the realisation within McLaren they had fallen alarmingly off the pace in comparison to their rivals in a short period of time given the former's win in Canada early last month.

With back-to-back races looming at Hockenheim on Sunday and at Budapest's Hungaroring seven days later before the summer break, Whitmarsh knows his team must bridge the divide to the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull.

To that end, both cars this weekend in Germany will sport "a lot of quite noticeable updates", according to Whitmarsh.

With Hamilton having fallen 37 points adrift in the championship standings behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso ahead of what will be his 100th grand prix, Whitmarsh said: "Formula One changes very quickly.

"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.

"Indeed, it was extremely heartening that, even after what was a disappointing result, their enthusiasm and support remained undimmed.

"They are a constant motivation for me, and for everybody at McLaren.

"There is now a huge resolve within the operation to ensure that our aggressive development strategy is upheld across the summer.

"We are determined to narrow the gap to the championship leaders before the start of the summer break."

With regard to the exact nature of the updates, Whitmarsh added: "The sidepods from the front to the rear are quite different, so you'll notice those.

"There are other bits and pieces that the sharper-eyed will see, and clearly there are some parts which are hidden to the naked eye."

Hamilton, in particular, will be looking for a tonic ahead of planned contract talks with the team at some stage during the break.

Whitmarsh has confirmed he is expecting to agree another long-term deal with the 27-year-old whose options appear to be fast receding.

Despite Hamilton's indication of an August resolution, Whitmarsh has made it clear he has no concerns should talks progress into the second half of the campaign.

"I don't think we should put any time frame on it," said Whitmarsh.

"For both parties it's something that's got to be determined, preferably before the end of the season.

"But I don't think there's any need to do so against any tight time frame."

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