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Whitmarsh expect McLaren can be competitive in qualifying



June.23 – The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh speaks that he is “hopeful” that McLaren can be aggressive in qualifying for the European GP.
Constructors Championship points leaders Red Bull has grabbed pole position at all race so far this season, as the rest of the grid struggles to match its qualifying pace. In the races, but, McLaren have been much closer and have secured two wins as Red Bull fails to maintain its Saturday dominance.

“I think anyone who claims to be confident going in to a grand prix is generally pretty foolhardy,” Whitmarsh told a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in. “The pace of development between the top teams is very high. We’ve made some reasonable progress, I think in the last three races in the race itself we’ve had the quickest race car. We haven’t had the quickest qualifying car; there are some changes this weekend in that the FIA will enforce a strict parc ferme regulation which will mean that the car which qualifies will be the car that races. Based on that we should be hopeful. But I think we’ve got to assume that everyone’s been working hard. We’ve got a few components that we’re going to bring to the race, I think we’ve got two very motivated drivers and we’ll do our best to win there. We’ve won at most circuits obviously; it would be nice to win at Valencia.”

And the ban on off-throttle blown diffusers approaching in to force at the next race at Silverstone, Whitmarsh said the full details of the ban had yet to be decided, and therefore McLaren had yet to develop any specific changes.

“I think it’s a little bit up in the air. On the face of it we’ll be making those changes which are deemed necessary by the FIA. I think it’s quite a complex area and the precise characteristics of the parameters haven’t been decided yet. I think there’s been some clarifications but my sense is that teams are all still talking to the FIA and we’ll have further clarification in the course of the next ten days or so. Mechanically we’ll continue to develop the car – and aerodynamically – but the engine mapping will certainly change and we’ll change it in accordance of the guidelines once they’re clear.”

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