After just one race the critics are out in force proclaiming McLaren are having a 'crisis', just as they were saying about Ferrari at the same time last year. It was obvious that every team was off the pace of Ferrari in Melbourne but McLaren was...
After just one race the critics are out in force proclaiming McLaren are having a 'crisis', just as they were saying about Ferrari at the same time last year. It was obvious that every team was off the pace of Ferrari in Melbourne but McLaren was certainly a lot further off than it had expected to be.
Not only bested by Ferrari and Williams but Renault and BAR as well, McLaren scored a single point with David Coulthard's eighth place, while Kimi Raikkonen retired from the race with an engine failure on only the tenth lap. Naturally, the team is determined to fight back.
"We know where are going and what we need to do," said team boss Ron Dennis, according to the UK's Guardian newspaper. "The engine is certainly one area of the package we need to improve. Obviously an engine failure is not great but it would be completely unfair to attribute all the performance to any one component."
Tyres were another area that could have been better; the Michelin's did not perform so well and struggled for grip in the cool conditions. "The ambient temperature dropped so low that we suffered, probably more than most as our own performance wasn't up to where we thought it should be," Dennis admitted.
"I am absolutely sure that we have the resource and expertise to resolve the issues. How fast, we will have to wait and see. We do know where the weaknesses are. The performance of all the Michelin runners will be better in Malaysia. But Ferrari are in a league of their own at the moment and it will be difficult for any other team to match that performance."
Dennis praised Fernando Alonso for his performance, as Renault also run on Michelins. The Spaniard took a confident third place, albeit half a minute down on the Ferraris. "Alonso's performance was particularly impressive in the circumstances," the McLaren boss commented.