Lewis Hamilton can expect another difficult race when the F1 circus descends on the NÃ¼rburgring for the German Grand Prix next week as McLaren confirm that there will be no major upgrades to the troublesome MP4-24.
In what has been a character-building year for the defending world champion, Hamilton has found himself scrapping for little more then respect and dignity in recent races with the ill-handling MP4-24 proving capable of mid-field results at best.
Just about the only consolation to Hamilton and McLaren is that his opposite numbers at Ferrari, BMW Sauber, and Renault have enjoyed little more success.
These former powerhouses find themselves in between a rock and a hard place. With the rules for 2010 still up in the air they are unable to do what Brawn did last year by writing off their current cars and getting a headstart on development – although Ferrari have hinted at doing so at the first opportunity.
This leaves them little option but to continue to develop this year’s car – and there is nothing harder in Formula One than improving an already ill-handling car. McLaren, it is reported, are abandoning their piecemeal development approach in favour of a more pragmatic chuck-it-on-and-see approach. Which is why Hamilton and Kovalainen could find themselves out in the wilderness for the next couple of races. Both drivers have vowed to push on nonetheless.
“While we aren t expecting any major upgrades for this weekend, I m still looking forward to the race,” says Hamilton. “It s an honour to be part of the Silver Arrows and, while our results haven t recently shown it, we re still pushing incredibly hard and are all hopeful of moving closer to the front before the end of this difficult season.â€
Kovalainen adds: “Myself, Lewis and the rest of the team are working hard to develop this car it s a long process, but we are all pulling together and we re hopeful of making some further steps soon.”
What remains to be seen is whether Brawn and Red Bull Racing will be disadvantaged to the same degree as McLaren and Ferrari when they were forced to develop their cars right down to the wire last year. Ross Brawn, you would imagine, will have that one covered though.