Boss 'worried' about pace of new McLaren

Martin Whitmarsh is worried about lack of a grip of their new MP4-28

Mar.15 (GMM) McLaren on Friday admitted it is now "worried" about the pace of the new MP4-28 car.

Jenson Button was just ninth in opening practice in Melbourne, before lagging more than two seconds off the pace in the second ninety minute session.

Team newcomer Sergio Perez was consistently even slower.

"I think we should be worried about the pace," team boss Martin Whitmarsh told British broadcaster Sky.

Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-28
Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-28

Photo by: XPB Images

"It is a tough day in the office for everyone at the moment, we are lacking grip and there is a lot of head scratching at the moment," he said.

While most top teams - notably continuing pacesetters Red Bull - simply evolved their 2012 cars for the final season of V8 regulations, McLaren unveiled a radical new car for this year, including novel pull-rod front suspension.

"I think we are still learning and there is a lot we still need to learn about this car," Whitmarsh added, "but we have struggled frankly to quite understand how it is performing."

Sporting director Sam Michael likened McLaren's new struggles to Ferrari's of early last year, when Fernando Alonso would ultimately go on to challenge for the title.

"By the fourth or fifth race they were there," he said.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Fernando Alonso , Sergio Perez , Martin Whitmarsh
Teams Ferrari , McLaren
Article type Commentary
Tags albert park, australian gp, jenson button, martin whitmarsh, mclaren, melbourne, sergio perez