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McLaren frustrated by timing of summer break

ESPNF1 Staff
August 2, 2010 « Mercedes understands pit lane tyre incident | »
McLaren is keen to get work started on a new front wing © Getty Images

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has admitted that the timing of the summer break will not help his team close the gap in performance to Red Bull and Ferrari.

There is a four week hiatus ahead of the next grand prix in Belgium, during which all teams must shut down their factories for at least two weeks.

McLaren was over 1.5 seconds off its title rivals Red Bull during qualifying for last weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix and is well behind on the development of its blown diffuser and front wing.

Both Red Bull and Ferrari have introduced flexible front wings to their cars at recent races in order to gain more front-end downforce. McLaren has questioned the legality of its rivals' cars but will have to wait until the Belgian Grand Prix before a more stringent test can be carried out.

As a result McLaren is going into the four-week break with moving goal posts and limited development time.

"I would love not to have a shutdown and be ploughing on, to understand what's permissible on the front wing and make them next week, but I can't," Whitmarsh told Reuters. "It still seems odd to me to have a shutdown but it's probably good for people. We'll come back energised and fighting, ambitious and optimistic and inventive and we'll do what's necessary to make sure we can come back at these other teams."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said that the timing of the break couldn't be better for his team as it now leads both drivers' and constructors' championships and appears to have the fastest car.

"I'm looking forward to the break, for sure," he said, "It's very, very timely. [We have] two sensational venues to finish the European season off in Spa and Monza, so I'm looking forward to them. Spa we all love driving there, so looking forward to going there."

But Horner said Red Bull would not rest on its laurels.

"The victory [in Hungary] is good," he added. "To maximise your opportunities is always good irrespective of what happens to your rivals. It is nice to have a few more points than other people, but let's not get ahead of ourselves."