McLaren have announced that their attentions will now switch to the 2014 MP4/29 in a bid to make the new car more competitive than the current lacklustre MP4/28.
The decision came on Saturday evening at Silverstone after a qualifying session that saw Jenson Button and Sergio Perez qualify 11th and 14th fastest for the British Grand Prix, and effectively puts an end to the continued efforts of the British squad to make the troubled car a winner.
“We are putting more effort into next year’s programme earlier than usual.” said Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh.
“We are only going to apply ourselves to areas of development on this year’s car which gives us the opportunity to learn lessons and help for next year…We are determined next year will be a competitive situation.”
Since its launch in February the MP4/28 has consistently been a disappointment for the Woking-based team and looks set to record the first winless season for McLaren since 2006.
But even the 2006 MP4/21 scored podiums – something Button has said is ‘out of reach’ in 2013.
Statistically wise, 2013 has been the worst start to a McLaren season since 2004, with Button’s 5th place in the Chinese Grand Prix in April the highest either of the cars has finished. It may also be the first time since 1980 a McLaren driver has failed to reach the podium during the year.
“I think it’s great that we’ve got more people working on next year’s car.” said the 2009 World Champion.
“We want to win Grand Prix, but we also want to win the World Championship, and that is not something we can do this year. I don’t think many teams can this year, so I think it’s a good idea that we’re concentrating a bit more on next year.”