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McLaren expects 'good step forward' at second test

ESPN Staff
February 1, 2013 « Marussia to launch at Jerez | Ferrari launches new F138 »
The MP4-28 was launched on Thursday © Sutton Images

McLaren is planning to bring a significant upgrade to its new car at the second pre-season test in Barcelona.

The MP4-28 was launched on Thursday at the team's factory in Woking, featuring new pull-rod front suspension, a stepped nose concealed by a vanity panel and a reworked rear end. However, managing director Jonathan Neale said the team is planning significant upgrades ahead of the start of the season with the first package set to be bolted on at the second test.

"We know already that it's not the fastest car we can make," Neale said at the launch. "The car that we take to Barcelona is a good step forwards and there is still plenty of time for us to invent things both in design and aerodynamics to take to Australia. On the one hand we are trying to bring up the assets and the spares, but on the other hand we are trying to upgrade it. But we just have to be consistent."

Neale emphasised the importance of bringing successful upgrades to each race in order to remain competitive.

"Generally, a tenth and a half at each race is what we expect. That's what we expect the development rate to continue at. That's about what we saw last year among the top teams and that's what is expected of us. If we make an unreliable car or slip or trip then we have to go back and correct it."