Big upgrades for McLaren in Barcelona

McLaren is not taking a step backwards to last year's car in order to move forwards with the struggling MP4-28.

That is the assurance of team boss Martin Whitmarsh, even though the 2013 McLaren will look considerably different when it rolls onto the Circuit de Catalunya next month.

This weekend, in Bahrain, the MP4-28 will be in essentially the same specification as it was last weekend in China.

But big changes are in the pipeline for Barcelona. Germany's Auto Motor und Sportsaid the "wings, sidepods, exhaust, floor and engine cover" will all be new.

Whitmarsh, however, said McLaren has not simply succumbed to the temptation of winding back the clock to the highly competitive 2012 car.

"The nose will still be high," he is quoted as saying, "and the front suspension is still pullrod."

Jenson Button backs the decision to push ahead with the 2013 concept rather than go back to last year's ideas.

"It is true that we were very competitive last year," he told Spanish newspaper El Pais, "but it's hard to say if that would have been enough (for 2013).

"In the long run, we're better off going ahead with what we have."

(GMM)

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