• Belgian Grand Prix

McLaren double DRS to remain on backburner at Spa

ESPN Staff
August 30, 2012 « McLaren preparing for long fight | Hamilton's future will be decided in 'short order' - Whitmarsh »
McLaren will have a number of visual updates in Belgium, according to Martin Whitmarsh © Sutton Images
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McLaren will not introduce a double DRS device at the Belgium Grand Prix but the car will feature a number of visual updates in free practice on Friday.

Ever since Mercedes introduced a front wing stalling device operated by the DRS at the start of the season, rival teams have been exploring the benefits of designing their own systems. At recent races Lotus has tested its own version of the double DRS in Friday practice with a view of racing it at the high-speed Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.

McLaren is known to be working on its own system, with such devices set to be banned at the end of the year, but team principal Martin Whitmarsh said it would not feature on the car this weekend.

"It [the double DRS] hasn't received the maximum amount of resource because we have got a finite amount of resource, and we try and spend it where we get the biggest bang for the buck, and our judgement so far is that we have been able to find other projects that deserve that resource and we can get a greater performance return from," he told the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in. "There is no denying that the double DRS is interesting and I think there are other variants on it that have started to be seen on teams' cars, but they might not all follow a pattern that we saw on the Mercedes.

"We are not announcing when, where and if we are going to be introducing it. I think we will see different wing variants, certainly on our car along with a number of visual items as they go through scrutineering later today and hit the track on Friday. We will see new bits, but McLaren will not have a double DRS in Belgium."

McLaren's upgrades before the summer break saw Lewis Hamilton return to the top of the podium at the Hungarian Grand Prix and Whitmarsh is confident his team can continue to build on that momentum.

"We came out of the box very quickly at the start of the season and arguably slipped a little bit behind and I think we've pulled back up again," Whitmarsh added. "To establish and retain your edge is difficult for all of us and undeniably the tyres have been a really substantial challenge. The influence of the tyres on many occasions has been quite significant and hidden the underlying performance itself. All of those things have made it quite a challenging season for everyone.

"But we had a couple of good races just before the break and since then we've continued to push hard to try to develop our car. We're focused on winning more races and we're still focused on winning the championships because everyone recognises that they are still wide open."