McLaren to Bring New Floor, Exhaust in China

Less than a week will have passed since the last Formula 1 action when the field will take to the track once again in China on Friday. With only a one-week distance between the Malaysian and Chinese Grands Prix, few teams will be able to bring something new to the table for the upcoming race at Shanghai.

McLaren Mercedes is certainly one of them, as the British team has a clear aim for the upcoming weekend: further reduce the gap to leaders Red Bull and maybe score their first pole position of 2011.

And in order to do that, the Woking engineers and technicians have put in extra hours to develop a new floor and exhaust layout for the McLaren MP4-26 in China. Although some of the parts have been tested by Lewis Hamilton in the Friday practice sessions in Malaysia, the team decided then not to alter their Sepang package and wait for another week before trying on both parts.

It is my job to keep pushing and improving the car, which we will try and do,” said McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh. “We have some interesting work to do on the Friday in China, but not much time. We will do the best we can there.

If you look at the progress we have made in the last four or five weeks we are heading in the right direction, but we will need to keep going if we are going to be competitive, win races and compete for the championship this year.

Whitmarsh admitted that an evolution of MP4-26s floor was tested in Sepang, but “we thought we had a fairly respectable package that had at least one race distance on, and we thought we would back off to that.”
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