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McLaren insists reliability is improving

ESPN Staff
November 17, 2012 « Lotus to run updated exhaust in USA | Vettel ignoring Alonso's result »
Lewis Hamilton retired from the lead in Abu Dhabi © Sutton Images
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McLaren insists its year-on-year reliability is improving despite a number of high-profile issues at recent races.

Lewis Hamilton retired from the lead of both the Singapore and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix earlier this season and struggled through the race with smaller issues at the Japanese and Korean Grands Prix. But technical director Paddy Lowe revealed there had actually been fewer major faults across this season than there had been in recent years.

"If we analyse the total mileage of this car and the number of faults that either did or would have stopped you in a race, then this car has been the most reliable car since I started recording it," he said. "It doesn't feel that way because so many of those problems have occurred in actual races when we've been in the lead, for instance. But that's just the way the dice have fallen. And they've all been unrelated.

"If you have a chronic issue you can just go and address that one thing. Obviously the things that have just happened are unlikely to happen again. It's a matter of general reliability. You keep improving the game. It has improved from last year and the year before even though it doesn't look like that and feel like that. We just have to keep getting better."

However, speaking specifically about the problem that caused Hamilton to retire two weeks ago in Abu Dhabi, Lowe said that, while incredibly uncommon, the team was still trying to understand the issue.

"That was a failure of the high-pressure pump, which is a mechanical unit. It's the same one we'd been running for ten years without changing design. So massive disappointment actually and something we are still investigating, it's not absolutely clear what went wrong even now."