Martin Whitmarsh upbeat as McLaren head to China for next week's grand prix

Team hopeful of progress with the MP4-28

Last Updated: 08/04/13 9:36am

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Martin Whitmarsh with his two McLaren drivers - Jenson Button (l) and Sergio Perez

Martin Whitmarsh with his two McLaren drivers - Jenson Button (l) and Sergio Perez

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McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh is confident his team will be more competitive in China next weekend than they were in the opening two races of the season.

After the grand prix races in Australia and Malaysia, the British-based team are a lowly seventh in the constructors' table.

Their best finish so far is ninth and Whitmarsh admitted: "Clearly, our performances in Australia and Malaysia fell below the high standards we've come to expect at McLaren.

"However, the three-week break between rounds two and three has been a useful one for us.

"We have been fully engaged in further developing our understanding of the MP4-28 and confident of being able to implement a number of changes this weekend that will widen its operating window and, potentially, improve its performance."

The team's de facto number one driver Jenson Button added: "Taking home two points from the first two races obviously wasn't what we had in mind at the beginning of the year.

"But I think everybody in the team has picked themselves up and really attacked the task of addressing our car's issues.

"We know where we're losing performance, so I think we're actually all looking forward to seeing just what we can achieve in Shanghai.

"The important thing for us as a team is to go into the weekend with clear focus, hone our strengths across the sessions and increase our understanding of the car."

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