McLaren in big development push

Autosport

McLaren is targeting a raft of upgrades for the British and German Grands Prix in a big development push that it hopes will get it back to the head of the world championship table.

With Red Bull Racing having raised the stakes with an overhaul of its RB8 in Valencia that helped Sebastian Vettel dominate before he retired with an alternator failure, McLaren's own technical staff have been working hard to improve the performance of its car too.

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh has revealed that as well as a number of new aerodynamic parts for Silverstone, a much bigger visual change will be ready for the next race in Hockenheim.

"There should be seven or eight modifications coming through," Whitmarsh told AUTOSPORT. "It is a reasonable package, if all the parts deliver - that is if we get them out of manufacturing and on to the car, and if they deliver on track as we predict and we believe then it should be worth something.

"We have another package coming for Germany which visually is a bigger package of changes. It will be more noticeable.

"I think that is a worthwhile package and we will see if it is big enough. I think Red Bull are pushing hard at the moment, but so are Ferrari and so are a lot of teams. It is an amazingly competitive season, this is an exciting championship, and we have to deliver here."

Hamilton is currently 23 points behind leader Fernando Alonso in the title chase, and is heading in to the middle of the campaign amid fresh speculation about his contract situation for next year.

Whitmarsh said that from McLaren's side the team was in no rush to make a move – and said the focus was more on improving performance than finalising the 2013 driver line-up.

"I don't think we've wanted to distract ourselves from what we are doing," he said. "I suspect in the coming weeks we will sit down and find a decent outcome.

"I've known Lewis a long time and I think we have a very good understanding on one another, and I think there is a lot of mutual trust and respect – I hope and believe both ways. So I don't see that as a big issue, and we will see.

"I think it hasn't had the intensity of 'we must get this fixed' because we are pretty comfortable with each other at the moment, and we would rather focus on making the car quicker, not making mistakes, operating well and trying to win races and ultimately win the championship."

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