Formula 1 News

McLaren looking forward to Australia

The British team feels well-prepared, but they are cautious when expressing their title options and performance expectations.
Friday, March 9, 2012

March 9, 2012 (F1plus team).- The 2012 Formula 1 season is here, and it seems that excitement over the tournament is running high, especially given the obvious uncertainties in terms of predictions, and the choosing of a clear favorite.

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In general, the McLaren team and its drivers feel confident the MP4-27 will deliver, even though it is basically the only car –along with the Marussia- that does not have the “stepped nose” job followed by the other manufacturers, which raises eyebrows as why taking a different route.

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At the end, it might bring huge dividends, or simple underperform. Regardless, McLaren has proven through time that they are good at adjustments and come backs. Besides, the team did well during the pre-season testing.

There are two main things that all three: Button, Hamilton and the team Principal Matt Whitmarsh found consensus.

One, the Australian GP is an excellent place to start the season because of the ambiance is always really good and welcoming, given the friendly nature of the Aussies. Also, there is usually a lot of sunshine and warm temperatures, something that provides plenty of motivation to get back to the track.

“It is a special race – you step off the plane after a long, cold European winter and it’s usually very sunny and the people are incredibly welcoming” commented Button.

As for Hamilton words like “smiling faces” and “positive vibe” complement statements like this: “Melbourne is a city that has sport running through its veins – and the crowd lives and breathes it”.

Two, it is hard to project how the team and its drivers will do with so many open questions about the rest of the field. Testing went well for the team, very “balanced” as Whittmarsh put it, but there is a lot more to it.

It is palpable that overall sentiment is one of prudence when expressing the season’s expectations, but they do think the MP4-27 is definitely up in the mix with the title challengers.

Jenson Button said: “I’m happy with our preparations. You always want more laps and more time in the car, but, unlike last year, we’ve had a very solid start to our pre-season. It’s been very difficult to read pace over the winter because a lot of teams have been playing their cards close to their chests: I think it’s going to be extremely close, and I can’t wait to find out where we sit in the pecking order.”

As for the 2008 champion, Lewis Hamilton, it seems that most of the troubles from last year are in the past: “I actually feel more relaxed and ready for the new season than I think I’ve ever done. Everything has gone smoothly with the car – which is more than we can say for last year! – and it just seems to be a responsive and reliable package. My final day in the car – with the aero package we plan to run next weekend – also felt good: the car was a useful step forward”.

Team boss, Whitmarsh tried to play down any spike in emotions because of the new season: “I’ve never lost my enthusiasm, optimism or motivation for the start of each new Formula 1 season – and this year is no exception.” He said.

As for the testing, he is definitely cautious: "the winter’s testing has been so finely balanced that it’s particularly difficult accurately to judge who’ll be the quickest. And that’s fantastic for Formula 1 fans across the globe.

Make no mistake, this will be a long, arduous and difficult campaign, and I’m naturally reluctant to stick my neck out and make any predictions”

Whatever the case is, we are all very excited and counting the minutes for the season to star on happy Friday of March the 16th.

Jenson Button during the pre-season testing.

Jenson Button during the pre-season testing.

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