Whitmarsh concedes McLaren unsatisfactory in testing

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh today conceded that he had been unhappy with his team’s performance during testing.

Whitmarsh’s comments come as the Woking concern unveiled their plans to change their entire floor and exhaust system, which they obviously feel to have been the origin of some of the difficulties.

“I’m not satisfied with where the car was on reliability or performance in the test,” he is quoted as saying by autosport.com.

“We have made some fairly dramatic changes, and those changes we will see in Australia. There’s some risk in that, but I think it was the right thing to do and we’re hopeful that that risk comes off and the car is a lot more competitive in Australia.”

Whitmarsh went on to say that the overhaul of the car consisted of many improvements, but that the floor and the exhaust change were the most significant.

“We have a completely new floor and a new exhaust system. There are a lot of other bits and pieces, but they’re the clear and obvious ones that people will see in Australia.”

He also hinted that McLaren’s famed thirst for innovation might have been their undoing this time round.

“I’d say it is a simpler design than we’ve had before,” he said. “I think the exhaust systems have become quite extreme on quite a lot of the cars. I think we in particular had very extreme solutions.

“But I think that they were not delivering, in my opinion, sufficient benefits for their complexity.

“I believe that the car isn’t fundamentally a bad car. I believe that we need to unlock the exhaust-blowing potential.

“We had some very creative ideas, some of which could have worked spectacularly well. But if they were to work spectacularly well then they had to be sufficiently durable to be raceable, and frankly some of our solutions weren’t, and that’s why I think we had to go back on it. But I think in doing so we found some interesting performance.”