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McLaren expects further progress in China

ESPN Staff
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McLaren was much more competitive in Malaysia than it had been in Australia © Getty Images

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh says he will be "very disappointed" if the team does not make further progress at the Chinese Grand Prix.

After a poor opening weekend where McLaren was well off the pace in Melbourne, the team produced an impressive recovery to give Jenson Button an outside chance of a podium in Malaysia before a pit stop error ended his hopes. Whitmarsh said that the improvements made at Sepang had given the team a lot of data to work with and that he expects McLaren to be able to build on that in China in a fortnight's time.

"We've got some good data and I think we've now got an opportunity to go out there and improve upon it," Whitmarsh said. "We know what we had [in Malaysia] isn't optimal for various reasons. We did some experiments, it responded to those experiments and I would be very disappointed if we don't take another step in China and that's what we're going to do."

While the bumpy Albert Park circuit was given as one reason the car did not perform so well in Australia compared to Malaysia, Whitmarsh said the team must improve the car in all areas, but admits he is glad to be going to modern circuit facilities in China and Bahrain next.

"Yeah, but we've got to get better; a good race car has got to be good on bumps or any kind of a circuit so we've just got to improve the car. We can improve the car from where it was in Australia. I think the improvements we made [at Sepang] were not just circuit related; I think we made some small steps forward with the car. Not as much as I'd like but some reasonable steps."

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