New McLaren a second too slow - Hamilton

By on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mar.16 (GMM) McLaren's 2011 car is at least a second off the pace, according to Lewis Hamilton.

After ending the final Barcelona test as the fourteenth fastest driver overall, the 2008 world champion insisted to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport that the MP4-26 is not really two seconds slower than the pacesetters.

"We are not two seconds from the top, even though I never made it out of the 1.22s," said the Briton.

"But in the long runs, the laptimes are okay," added Hamilton.

Asked what he thinks he would have managed in full qualifying trim, he answered: "Low 1.22."

The best time overall in Barcelona was Michael Schumacher's 1.21.2, so a low 1.22 would have placed the McLaren behind Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, Sauber, Renault and perhaps even Williams and Toro Rosso.

Auto Motor und Sport said the MP4-26's main problems are the exhaust and "deformation" of the front wing.

"Let's keep our fingers crossed that the guys come up with something," said Hamilton.

The report said the enlarged nose device run on the car last week contained a motor that moved the arms to simulate different wing deformations under load.

Meanwhile, McLaren reverted to what Auto Motor und Sport describes as a "very conventional" exhaust solution last week, following problems with other layouts.

The report referred to F1's banning of the use of an incombustible material called Pyrosic for the entire exhausts, on the grounds that such a solution would have cost EUR 20,000 per car.

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