Whitmarsh: We have taken risks with new car
11 March 2013 – McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh says his squad has taken more risks than usual in its approach to the 2013 Formula 1 campaign, with the MP4-28 chassis undergoing substantial design changes from its multiple race winning predecessor.
Although Whitmarsh admits that it would have been an easy choice to carry over the majority of its previous car and avoid teething problems during pre-season testing, he says modifications were needed to ensure a strong development programme.
"Clearly we have taken some risks in changing the car from last year," Whitmarsh explained ahead of the opening race in Melbourne. "We finished last season with undoubtedly the quickest car and it would have been easy to continue to develop it and make it quicker for the start of this year. But we've made a lot of changes to the overall package in the belief that you have to be competitive over 19 races and develop it.
"We have given ourselves a platform that is new to ensure we have got the development opportunities over the course of the season. But we'll see; I think we will have an interesting season and I certainly hope we are going to be competitive."
McLaren heads into this weekend's Australian Grand Prix having won three of the last five races in the country. New Mercedes recruit Lewis Hamilton claimed victory in 2008, while Jenson Button triumphed for the Woking-based outfit in 2010 and 2012.