Whitmarsh: A lot more progress needed

Sunday 28-April-2013 13:24

McLaren may have made minor gains in Bahrain, but, according to team boss Martin Whitmarsh, they are "still not there."

Four races into this season and McLaren have yet to even have a sniff at a podium finish never mind a grand prix victory.

It's a disappointing start for a team used to winning races and fighting for World titles, however, slowly but surely McLaren are pulling themselves back into the race.

The team brought both cars home inside the points for the first time in Bahrain where Sergio Perez was sixth to Jenson Button's tenth.

The gains, though, are not yet big enough to revive McLaren's ailing fortunes.

"It was a little bit stronger but we are still not there," Whitmarsh told ESPNF1.

"Yes, we've made a little bit of progress but we shouldn't get carried away. Our drivers did a great job of racing [in Bahrain] and the team did a reasonable job but the car is not quick enough at the moment.

"We've made some progress but we need to make a lot more."

And one aspect McLaren need to work on is how their MP4-28 performs in the heat after Whitmarsh admitted that Button struggled with his tyres and needed a four-stop strategy.

"I wouldn't say so [that the hotter conditions helped], no. Certainly Jenson wouldn't say that, he was struggling with his tyres.

"With Jenson I was a little bit surprised, but sometimes you just get a set of tyres and they just don't [work as expected].

"After that second stop, from fairly early on, he felt he had thermal degradation and he was struggling.

"To be honest, that was when Sergio came up behind and he felt he was stronger and quicker at that moment and they raced and that's what we pay them to do."

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