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More focus on 2013 - Whitmarsh

ESPN Staff
May 21, 2013 « Lowe release was goodwill - McLaren | Lopez confident Raikkonen will stay at Lotus »
Martin Whitmarsh: "Actually it's probably less [resources diverted] than we planned because we've got to try harder on this year's car to be frank!" © Getty Images
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Martin Whitmarsh says McLaren is actually retaining more of its focus on its 2013 car than it had originally planned at the start of the year.

With McLaren having endured a tough start to the season and not made the expected progress at the Spanish Grand Prix, questions have been raised about whether the team will continue to develop this year's car or move its attention towards the 2014 regulations and 2015 engine collaboration with Honda.

Speaking during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in, Whitmarsh said the team did already have resources allocated to the next two years but that it remains too early for it to write off the current season.

"There are some resources diverted, I think every year you have that dilemma of where and when do you deploy the resources that you have?" Whitmarsh said. "We're not giving up on this year so be assured there is a big effort to develop this year's car and to restore McLaren to the level of competitiveness that we expect of ourselves.

"It's still early enough in the season; we struggle to give up. We've got to believe we can get up there and get some good results. Sometimes it's a weakness in us - we'll have to take stock of it later in the season - but at the moment we're very determined to make our car competitive and provide the sort of results that we expect from ourselves."

Asked by ESPN if the diverted resources were greater than originally planned after the start to the season McLaren has had, Whitmarsh replied: "No, actually it's probably less than we planned because we've got to try harder on this year's car to be frank! So we had to.

"There's a lot of work to do for 2014 and 2015 for us, undeniably, and moving from '14 to '15 is a tough challenge for the team, but what is very clear is that McLaren needs to be supported and teamed in a full works effort with a major automotive manufacturer. We've had a fantastic relationship with Mercedes-Benz over the years, we still have a great technical relationship, we're going to be doing everything we can to win races with Mercedes this year and next year but inevitably moving to Honda in 2015 gives us the bedrock of being one of the big teams and ensuring that in the long term we've got the resources, we've got the correct structure and focus to be successful.

"Clearly I'd like to win this weekend, I'd like to win a bit more during the course of this year and next year but in the long term we are a team that after 182 grand prix victories we've got to be putting together a programme and a business structure and better resources that provides us with a platform to be successful every year in the foreseeable future."