McLaren test driver Gary Paffett has admitted the Woking based team never fully understand where it went so wrong with the flawed MP4-28 in 2013.
After ending 2012 as the fastest team on the grid, McLaren felt as though they had reached a ceiling of development with that year’s MP4-27, so they started anew in 2013 looking to incorporate some of the features other teams have brought to their cars in recent years.
However, when the radical design failed, McLaren were left fighting at the head of the midfield rather than battling for wins; they would ultimately finish fifth in the constructor’s standings.
While the team did claim a season’s best fourth and sixth at the final race in Brazil; Paffett claims the team never completely understood where it went wrong.
“I think if we had fully identified it (the problem) we would have been a lot more competitive at the end of the year,” he is quoted as saying by motorsport.com.
“I think the problem was some of the areas were too big to fix during the season.”
Certainly the team is looking to bounce back from a horrible 2013 season which saw them fail to capture a single podium finish, and the Englishman revealed he has been testing the new MP4-29, which will be launched at McLaren’s HQ on January 24th, in the simulator.
“We certainly feel it is a bit of a fresh start for everybody and we are pushing very hard to make sure we get on top of it from the start,” he told the British broadcaster Sky.
Realising the 2013 car was too fundamentally flawed and with the new rule changes coming this year, Paffett added that the team started from a blank piece of paper when designing this year’s car.
And with the MP4-29 set to be revealed in less than two weeks the DTM racer also now believes that despite the fresh start, McLaren are on schedule, though admits the new engine units are providing a major challenge.
“Yes, I’ve seen the car in the workshop, they are working hard and the car will be in Jerez,” he said.
“It is going to plan but I think just understanding the (V6) powertrain and how it all works is going to be the first target which isn’t going to be too easy I don’t think.”
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