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McLaren still adapting to life after Lowe
McLaren says it is still adapting to the loss of technical director Paddy Lowe to rivals Mercedes but is confident internal changes will start to pay off in the next few months.
Lowe was poached by Mercedes over the winter, forcing McLaren to reshuffle its technical staff and promote director of engineering Tim Goss as his replacement. To add to the pressure in Woking, the MP4-28 has not performed well in the opening rounds of the season and the team has been working frantically to turn its performance around.
"We've realigned slightly internally and we are still going through those adaptations," managing director Jonathan Neale told ESPN. "It's hard to tell because the team has been under such pressure for the last six to eight weeks that it's really been squeezed into at tight box. Hopefully as we go into the next couple of months we will get ourselves more into a drumbeat and rhythm that's usual for us and we can look at that."
Neale is confident the current team is capable of managing the improvements to the 2013 car alongside the major changes needed for 2014, but said there was still a gap left by Lowe on some of the team's longer-term projects.
"In terms of preparations for 2014 it [Lowe leaving] is not an issue for us," he added. "I need to make sure, though, that we have got somebody who is championing us, as Paddy was, in the longer-term research and development programme. Keeping the stuff that is further away alive is important. But Tim and the guys are doing a good job on the here and now."
Neale admitted that McLaren had been caught by surprise when Mercedes coaxed Lowe away.
"Surprise is a good way of describing it! Not surprised that somebody would want to come and have a pot at our people, it's just that we hadn't seen that one coming. But Paddy had been here for 19 years and a new challenge is what he wanted so good luck to him."