McLaren turn attention to next season

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has confirmed his team are already ploughing considerable resources into ensuring Lewis Hamilton has a car to hopefully again become a title contender next year.

Former team principal Eddie Jordan described the current model as the worst the team have built, while another source labelled it "a boat".



Hamilton's title defence is certainly sinking without trace after a run of three grands prix without scoring a point for the first time in his Formula One career following yesterday's 13th-place finish in Turkey.



A major upgrade is due for the German Grand Prix early next month, although if Whitmarsh has his way then it will be on the car for the next race at Silverstone in 13 days' time.



But with Hamilton 52 points adrift of Jenson Button following his rousing start to the season with six wins from seven races, it is hardly a surprise McLaren are turning their attentions to 2010.



"We've some of our technical big guns on next year's programme because we need to," confirmed Whitmarsh.



"From last year to this there was a very large set of changes, and I wouldn't say circumstances conspired against us, but they were the greatest in the last 20 years.



"It was an ideal opportunity for teams with resources, or because they weren't competing, to steal a march on those pouring resources into the existing car.



"Next year, we've not as large but a relatively substantial change, with a prohibition on re-fuelling.



"Fuel tanks will be 14 to 15 centimetres longer, which might not sound much, but talk to the engineers and it's a very significant and substantial change.



"So we have to take the opportunity of that step change in the rules to make sure we have a competitive car next year.



"We will continue to work on this year's car, but inevitably we've got to now taper development resource into the new car.



"At the moment we're not fighting for a championship. We haven't given up, and we're going to try to understand this car more.



"But we must, must make sure we've a car that's more competitive for next season."



It will not be the British Grand Prix homecoming Hamilton had hoped for on June 21, with all eyes instead focused on Button.



The question being asked now is whether Hamilton is that talented, or whether he simply lucked into a car good enough to win him the title.



Dismissing such nonsensical remarks, Whitmarsh added: "There will always be people who will look at winning in the most competitive car.



"But Lewis has done an extraordinary job this year in what is a new experience for him.



"In the past he has been in the best karts and the best Renault team (Formula Renault).



"He has had an entire career of going to a race track with the firm conviction that if he had the equipment and he did a good enough job, he would win the race.



"Sadly we have not provided him with that this year, and that has been a big learning experience for him.



"It is not an enjoyable experience, but we all learn from these situations and Lewis will.



"He is an extraordinary racing driver and a worthy world champion, so any questions of him have already been answered."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Parker says: 'I once had a taster use the phrase 'smells like the sex glands of a lemming'. Who in the world can relate to that?'
food + drinkRobert Parker's 100-point scale is a benchmark of achievement for wine-makers everywhere
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing