APRIL 16, 2011
McLaren: we need another big jump
Despite Lewis Hamilton reckoning that McLaren can give Red Bull "a run for their money" in the Chinese Grand Prix, team principal Martin Whitmarsh admits that the outfit needs another big jump.
McLaren has already made one such jump from its pre-season testing form by forsaking its complex 'octopus' exhaust system in time for the Melbourne season-opener but Sebastian Vettel once again enjoyed a pole position marhin of more than 0.7s in China.
One theory is that hot environments such as Malaysia, where teams have to 'open up' their cooling and lose some aerodynamic efficiency, play to the advantage of McLaren relative to Red Bull, but that in lower temperatures such as those seen in Australia and now China, the RB7 is stronger.
"It's early days yet and we've made a reasonable start," Whitmarsh said, "but we're not as good as Sebastian even if there is a lot of determination to win tomorrow. I'm hopeful we can deliver a decent performance jump when we get to Turkey but we need to find another big jump."