Michael confident of McLaren progress

But team hoping for dry conditions to test new parts

Last Updated: 19/07/12 12:18pm

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McLaren Sporting Director Sam Michael is confident that the upgrades to be introduced onto the MP4-27 this weekend will return the team to the front of the pack.

Having started the season in perfect fashion with Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button registering a 1-2 in qualifying at Melbourne, McLaren have suffered a sharp slump in form since then and fell to fourth in the Constructors' Championship following a torrid British GP.

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However, Michael is confident that there is nothing fundamentally or substantially wrong with the team's in-focus charger and that their dip has been exaggerated by 2012's unprecedented competitiveness.

"It's extremely tight and so set-up has become more important than it was in the past," Michael told Sky Sports News.

"If your set-up was out by a couple of tenths previously but you still had a second over the rest of the field then it wasn't as critical because it wasn't first order.

"But it's first order now because the gaps are so tight. If you look at the last dry session when had in Q2 in Valencia, there was 0.291 seconds covering the first thirteen cars. That tells you how competitive F1 is now."

McLaren have confirmed that they will be bringing a series of upgrades for their car this weekend. After being thwarted in their plans to also make a series of changes to the MP4-27 at Silverstone due to the rather wet nature of the current 'summer', the team are hoping for blue skies at Hockenheim this weekend.

"The rain can be a pain, especially if you are trying to measure different things on the car. It's the same for everyone but if you are trying to bring a load of upgrades it can make it difficult to distinguish them," Michael observed.

"We're not even halfway through the season yet and everything is still open. We should be able to make a good step this weekend and we expect to be fighting at the front. That's our target."

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