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McLaren preparing for long fight

ESPN Staff
August 29, 2012 « Marussia to run Williams KERS in 2013 | McLaren double DRS to remain on backburner at Spa »
Jonathan Neale: "The updates we brought through Germany and Hungary have definitely restored a degree of competitiveness" © Sutton Images
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McLaren is preparing to fight for the title until the end of the season this year and is not taking its recent competitiveness for granted.

After a couple of disappointing races in Valencia and Great Britain, in which McLaren scored just nine points, the team came back strongly ahead of the summer break and Lewis Hamilton won the Hungarian Grand Prix. But despite the return to form, managing director Jonathan Neale is not taking anything for granted heading into the second half of the year.

"The last race in Hungary was obviously very pleasing," he said. "It was the 150th pole position for the team which we should be very proud of. Lewis found good pace in the car and I think the updates we brought through Germany and Hungary have definitely restored a degree of competitiveness to us, but we can't take anything for granted.

"It was very pleasing to see Jenson in fourth place on the grid in qualifying as well. So we have reasons to believe that we are making progress, but it was a very tight race and I think it will be in the next few races as well. This season is going to run long and hard for everybody."

Neale admitted McLaren fell off the pace midway through the first half of the season, but said the margins were so small this year that form could swing from race to race.

"I think we were probably out-developed round about the Easter time by some of our competitors and I think we have out-developed our competitors through June," Neale added. "What happens through July and August is still being played out, so we will see. With only a tenth or two separating the top ten cars in terms of seconds-per-lap, it is still very marginal. It's exciting for the fans and spectators with multiple drivers winning different races and different teams coming to the fore and disappearing again and we look forward to it. I think it's going to be a really exciting play out for the rest of the season."