McLaren on Friday continued to play down criticism team flaws are hurting its drivers’ chances of winning the 2012 world championship.
The latest criticism comes after Lewis Hamilton dominated Friday’s proceedings at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. In total contrast, his teammate Jenson Button managed only a handful of laps, with a double gearbox failure.
“We had an oil leak so we had to take the gearbox off then put it back on,” revealed the 2009 world champion. “And then we found another problem, so they had to take it off again then put it back on again!”
Gary Anderson, a former F1 technical chief who is now an analyst for British television BBC, was unimpressed.
“This is a top team with a world champion in it challenging for the world championship,” he said. “It has been three and three-quarter hours now changing the gearbox — it should be 30 minutes. It’s not good enough.
“During that time Caterham have rebuilt the car of Heikki Kovalainen, who hit the wall,” added Anderson.
McLaren’s Jonathan Neale said Anderson is “entitled to his opinion”.
“I think it helps if you’re standing a bit nearer the problem,” he added. “We don’t want these things to happen, they’re not designed to happen, but Formula One cars are designed to be right on the edge.”
Team boss Martin Whitmarsh, however, tipped 2011 Montreal winner Button to bounce back on Saturday and beyond.
“It’s not a disaster,” he is quoted by Reuters. “Lewis was doing some good long runs and some good short runs so we’ve got quite a lot of data anyway within the team and that feeds across to Jenson.”