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New tyres had minimal impact - McLaren

ESPN Staff
August 1, 2013 « Mercedes has a few tricks up its sleeve - Brawn | Russian GP misses FIA deadline for 2014 calendar »
McLaren has played down the impact of the tyres on its improved performance © Getty Images

McLaren's sporting director Sam Michael has played down the impact of Pirelli's new tyres on his team's performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Following several failures with its original-specification 2013 tyres, Pirelli reverted to its construction from last season in Hungary. The compounds remain the same but the belt material has changed from steel to Kevlar, which teams said resulted in more consistent performance over longer runs.

Hungary witnessed improved performances from the likes of Mercedes, Williams and McLaren, but Michael does not believe that is down to the tyres.

"I think it's pretty neutral to be honest," he told ESPN. "If you look up and down the grid I don't think it's made a big difference."

McLaren finished seventh and ninth in Hungary, but appeared to be closer to the front runners than at any point this season.

"We've still got a long way to go," Michael added. "We still need to be up there and seventh and ninth is good compared to where we've been [earlier in the season] but we need to be winning."

Jenson Button believes McLaren can fight for the podium at the next round in Belgium, but Michael is playing down expectations.

"I'm much more reserved," he said. "I'll wait and just see where we go. We're not there yet, we have some positive signs from the performance in Hungary but we have to put that to work at the next races."