Rumours fly as McLaren try late launch
Saturday 15 January 2011
The team principal at McLaren, Martin Whitmarsh, is hoping to avoid any embarrassment when his team's new car makes its debut next month.
Unusually, McLaren will be one of the last teams to launch ahead of the new season, with their planned reveal scheduled for 4 February in Berlin – after the first test in Valencia that same week. It has prompted speculation from a number of their rivals that the team might have a trick up their sleeve they want none of the others to see at the Ricardo Tormo circuit from 1-3 February.
Whitmarsh maintains it is nothing as sinister as that. He said: "The car is on schedule, and that is to launch on 4 February and make it to the second test [in Jerez, 10-13 February]. We took that decision some time ago, and it hasn't split from that. It's a balance because now we have very short winters and we are developing cars to very complex technical regulations.
"We have chosen to give our aerodynamicists and engineers an extra 10 days – which doesn't sound much but in Formula One terms that's a long period of time – to find more performance. So it was always our intention [to launch late], regardless of how people interpret it, and at the end of the day it doesn't matter.
"What matters is whether the car is quick enough to win races and the world championship over the course of the season. So we will launch on 4 February, but that car will look different by the time it gets to the test a few days later, and it will then evolve very quickly by the time it gets to the first race."
Whether McLaren do bring something different to the party remains to be seen, with Whitmarsh's concern more to do with whether his team have instead missed something that will leave them playing catch-up.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Luis Suarez: Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies from spine injury after doing somersault celebration
West Brom vs Manchester United: Latest score and Twitter updates, with Stephane Sessegnon, Marouane Fellaini, Saido Berahino and Daley Blind on target
Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley
Adel Taraabt criticism from QPR boss Harry Redknapp sparked by player walking out of team meeting prior to Liverpool game
- 3 Are you ready for Crazy Doritos, the red-hot snack food craze sweeping Mexico’s streets?
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage