Neale: We were out-developed
Managing Director admits team did not progress enough
By William Esler. Last Updated: 29/08/12 4:51pm
McLaren Managing Director Jonathan Neale has admitted the team were out-developed during the opening part of the season - but is sure they have now hit back.
The Woking-based outfit have traditionally been one of the strongest developers of the car during the season, and after starting the year with the quickest package, many expected McLaren to dominate.
However, it was not until Canada that Lewis Hamilton added to Jenson Button's victory in Australia, by which point Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and Williams had all taken victories.
"I think we were out-developed around Easter time by some of our competitors and I think we have out developed our competitors through June," Neale said.
"July and August are still being played out so we will see. There is only a tenth or two separating each car over a lap, so it is still very marginal.
"It is exciting for the fans and spectators with many different drivers winning different races and different teams coming to the fore and dropping back again and we look forward to that.
"The last race was obviously very pleasing. It was the 150th pole position for the team which we should be very proud of. Lewis showed good pace in Hungary. I think that the updates we brought to the car in Germany and Hungary have definitely increased a degree of competitiveness to us, but we can't take anything for granted.
"It was very pleasing to see Jenson in fourth place having a strong qualifying as well. So we have reasons to believe we are making progress but it was a very tight race and I think it will be in the next few races as well."
Pit-stop blunders cost McLaren points during the first half of the season, but, they bounced back to regularly top the stop times, including the fastest ever stop in Hockenheim.
"I am really pleased with how the team have got around the pit stops," Neal added.
"Obviously it is nice to have quick pit stops, but, we want to have consistency. There is no point in having 2.31 seconds one week then six and seven seconds the next."