McLaren Vow to Come Back

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Following their worst race of the 2010 season in which Jenson Button finished in eighth position and Lewis Hamilton failed to finish because of a gear box failure which ended in race in the twenty fourth lap, Martin Whitmarsh the team principle of McLaren vowed to come back fighting after the summer break.

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Formula One is on holiday for an enforced two week break which means that their factories are permitted to run only a skeleton staff. Despite this there is little doubt that many McLaren brains will be concentrating on developing a semi-flexible front wing the like of which has proven to be highly successful for both Red Bull and Ferrari.

F1 regulations state that there must be only 10mm deflection of the front wing when it is subjected to 50 Kg downward force, however first Red Bull and then Ferrari have developed front wings which comply to the regulations yet when subjected to greater degrees of pressure flex downward and reduce the gap between the wing and the track. The effect is to increase downforce and hence the cars are able to maintain greater momentum during cornering.  

Although other teams maintain that even though this wing complies with the letter of the regulations it is against the spirit of the regulations. In reality they wish they had thought of it first and now they are forced to play catch up.

Whether or not there is time for McLaren to catch up this season is questionable. To do so they need to do more than just bolt on a new front wing as what counts is the total package and the car’s overall balance. There is little doubt that the McLaren technical team and the drivers are fully committed to again seize the initiative and challenge Red Bull and Ferrari for the championship, but it might be slipping away from their grasp.

Lewis Hamilton is now the fourth favourite to gain the championship and is priced at 11/2 by Extrabet.  Jenson Button is fifth favourite at 25/1.

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