With the Formula 1 testing period almost at an end, McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton have both admitted that the new car, the MP4-26 has improved on last years model but that the downforce is something that needs to be amended at the set-up stage.
With the McLaren team now having to use Pirelli, they have also noticed a big difference from that of the tyres used in last years Formula 1 competition where Bridgestone were the competitions main manufacturer.
Jenson Button, despite obvious concerns know that things can be tweaked here and there for the upcoming test next week at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya.
“When I first jumped in it the first reaction was not “Wow, we’re going to blow everyone away”. No, I don’t think anyone would have felt that because it’s got a lot less downforce, the tyres are working very differently to the previous (Bridgestone) tyre.”
The 2009 Champion added.
“But there’s nothing that really scares me about the car in a negative way, so there’s a lot we can improve with this car through general set-up work.”
Lewis Hamilton meanwhile was positive though and believes the car will cause others problems throughout the year.
“I think we’ve good things coming in the pipeline, and we’ve definitely improved in the last couple days, we got 107 laps at the last test. The 09 was terrible because the car was hopping, three-wheeling through corners, it was locking up, and it had no downforce. This doesn’t lock up, it doesn’t three-wheel and it handles really nice, better than last year’s car, but it just doesn’t have as much downforce,so that’s where it feels weak.”
“Hopefully we’ve got some more downforce coming onto the car before the first race.”
With both drivers wanting a better start than last year the downforce issue will certainly be address and any major improvements could mean that the World Champion will yet again be British.