McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has given a strong suggestion that his team will be switching more of their attention on next year’s car.
McLaren currently sit in sixth place in the championship and has yet to score a podium this season.
Whitmarsh admitted that a year ago, McLaren chose the wrong path in choosing not to heavily develop the MP4-27, and that his team are behind their rivals in the development race.
“We are struggling a lot, I think we are lacking downforce, as we’ve said many times before; we took some wrong parts during the winter and I think we are behind in developing cycle.”
“We come out of a session, and the car [is] not necessarily responding as clearly and cleanly to the changes that we brought. Every now and then there’s a glimmer of hope in performance but I think that’s making it difficult for the drivers and the engineering team [to] really make the progress that we want.”
“We’re just throwing quite different ideas at the issue at the moment but we’re not making progress and the drivers don’t have a car which is consistent in its specifications and set up and a car which does consistent when driving on the track. It’s quite challenging for the drivers and for the team.”
Whitmarsh conceded that McLaren’s efforts are soon to be focused on 2014.
“We are inevitably at a point where we’ve got to ensure that we are in a competitive situation next year so we also now, frankly earlier than usual, putting a lot more efforts into next years’ program which we need to do because of the whole new regulations and because we’ve got to be realistic about what’s achievable.”
Nonetheless he defiantly says the team will still be pushing this season but admits he has to be ‘realistic in terms of priorities’.
“There’s no give up in the race team. We’re going to do everything that we can to understand the car, make it quicker, make it better and then race as well as we can. We’ll be pushing hard but I think we’ve got be realistic in terms of what our priorities are. We’ve got a big few years ahead of us, 2015 is a challenge for everyone and that makes an opportunity. We’ve got to learn what we can this year, we’re going race as hard as we can, we’ll get whatever we can but we’ll absolutely be determined that next year we are in a competitive situation.”