McLaren say they’re quick enough to beat Red Bull

2011 Canadian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Monaco, 2011

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Monaco, 2011

McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe is confident about the teams’ championship chances, saying “we’re in a very good position to win a lot of races”.

Speaking on a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Phone-in, Lowe said McLaren have a faster car in races than Red Bull:

“We have been quicker than them in the last two races, in race trim. Our car is is out-performing them at that point in the weekend.

“Clearly in qualifying we’ve got quite a gap to make up. But what exactly it is, how is that advantage gained by Red Bull, we don’t know”.

Lowe said the team were “buoyed up” by their performance in the last two races, particularly in Barcelona:

“Historically, [the Circuit de Catalunya] has been very tough for us, and very strong for Red Bull, to have had the pace there in the race was very encouraging for us”.

He expects the team to be able to challenge for victory in this weekend’s race:

“Our car performs well in low-speed corners. We’ve seen good performance at Monaco, particularly in the race. Generally, cars that go well at Monaco also go well in Canada.

“Nevertheless we were also quick in Spain, in race trim, so I think the car is still performing well in all types of corner.

“We’re in a good position to take the race straight to Red Bull and win it if we can”.

McLaren are 61 points behind Red Bull in the constructors’ championship and Lewis Hamilton is 58 adrift of Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ title. However, Lowe believes they can get back on terms with their rivals:

“The championship, for us, is still there for the taking, despite Sebastian’s lead in the drivers’ and Red Bull’s lead in the constructors’.

“I think we’re in a very good position to win a lot of races to bring ourselves back into championship contention here. We’re feeling very bullish about our current position even though the points standings may look a little depressing”.

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52 comments on McLaren say they’re quick enough to beat Red Bull

  1. kbdavies said on 8th June 2011, 14:31

    McLaren need to shut up and do their talking on the track
    They have cocked up more times – strategy wise, than any of the other top teams this season. If anything can be cocked up, rest assured Macca will find a way to do it. China is the only thing they can be proud of this season so far.

    Paddy must be on fumes or something… because he seems to have forgotten the only reason they were close in Spain was because of the DRS advantage and lack of KERS on the Red Bull, and as for Monaco, i cant see how the McLarens outperformed the Red Bull in race trim.

  2. Hewis Lamilton said on 8th June 2011, 15:29

    It sounds like McLaren have the fastest car. Now maybe they need to get a driver that can get the most out of the fastest car?

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 8th June 2011, 15:50

      I think they have in Hamilton. He was still 6th in Monaco despite all the drama surrounding him.

      • Hewis Lamilton said on 8th June 2011, 21:29

        Apologies, I was being sarcastic. Clearly Hamilton can win races. I can’t help but wonder if the statement that “McLaren are quick enough to beat Red Bull” was somewhat aimed at Hamilton and Button.

        • Sam said on 9th June 2011, 3:06

          McLaren, recently, do seem to employ the tactic of subtly criticizing their drivers through the media, with Ron outwardly blasting them in 2010 and an engineer intimating that they had the fastest car at the end of last year.
          Don’t really fancy this tactic as it almost seems like Lowe is absolving the engineering department of any blame while subtly pointing it in the direction of the drivers.

          • Aussie Fan said on 9th June 2011, 7:29

            Fair Call, button looked like he had massive pace at Monaco but if he even got within a second of the car in front he would just stop there & sit a second behind not pushing or trying to make an overtake etc at all. The difference between his & hamiltons race style was like night & day, but what they really need is to get both drivers to a happy point in the middle, where Hamilton is slightly less agressive but just as fast & button can up his agressiveness & not expect to play the pit strategy game to overtake someone like he has his entire f1 career.

            What I am trying to say is Button had the car for 1st at Monaco but after he caught everyone very quickly it seemed like he switched into “Yeah baby im on for a podium at Monaco whilst Lewis is behind me” & just turned into a journeyman for the rest of the race, poor form.

  3. greg said on 8th June 2011, 15:36

    what a joke at barca hamilton had drs and vettel’s kers was’nt working properly and hamilton still couldnt pass him. at monaco vettel made one set of tyres last 60 laps no other car can do that. so dream on mac

  4. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 8th June 2011, 15:48

    I think McLaren will be competitive this weekend, given the nature of the track. Perhaps their most competitive since China.

    However, I still feel that RBR will be all over them where a track is more about downforce than straight line speed.

    McLaren have been faster than RBR all season and probably all of last season, that’s nothing new. But it doesn’t matter so much on the straights usually.

    Barcelona really demonstrated the struggle McLaren have. Hamilton could catch Vettel on the straights, or at least reduce the gap but he was just being forgotten in the corners. Unfortunately for McLaren most circuits happen to have corners.

  5. DaveW said on 8th June 2011, 17:01

    As far as RBR’s Q3 advantage and how VMM will get it, it’s not DRS. They had this edge last year too. In fact, last year we were talking about a secret suspension device to lower the car. Then it was EBD–until everyone else got it. As the cars are in parc ferme, one must assume the benefit comes when they plug in the USB cable Sunday morning and change up the mapping. However, the extreme-EBD mapping theory has an obvious flaw: Renault factory team doesn’t seem to have this big race pace versus Q3 difference. In fact Renault factory has gone a completely different way in implementing EBD.

    Whatever Newey has for Q3, I don’t see Lowe cracking the safe. My view is that the RBR EBD design actually won’t work to capacity over a race distance, not because of the mapping, but because it is designed to be absolutely marginal on heat dissipation, and the aero concept is optimized for that condition. Remember, Newey first learned about EBD by barbequing a bunch of McLarens. It’s also why the KERS won’t work. There is just not enough airflow from the pods out that single hole in the back to cool the headers, get air to key parts of the floor, as well as all the other hot bits. Look at the McLaren, by contrast it’s like swiss cheese.

    • Aussie Fan said on 9th June 2011, 7:23

      How about drop all the complex theories & go for this one………… The RB car has so much downforce & is so glued to the track that it can effectively open its DRS system earlier than any other team in a corner etc WITHOUT losing enough grip to affect the downforce massively but obviously with the drag reduction benefits. ALso having more downforce enables the red bull to extract more grip from its fresher tyres for a lap or 2 before the ‘freshness’ of the new set wears off.

      We have seen this very obviously many times this year during the quali runs, the commentators have even made remarks about just how early Vettel often opens the DRS when on a qualifying lap.

      As DRS can be used at will in Qualifying trim, the Red Bull car thus has a much greater performance advatage during quali than it does during the race when DRS can only be used when near/behind another vehicle & in only one spot on the track.

      Thats gotta be worth some of their quali advantage anyway, so thats my theory. :-)

  6. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 9th June 2011, 2:15

    From where I am standing I can see that Lewis to be the only person who can do it for them, only if he can keep his things cool under the circumstance. They are progressing well in the race it’s there quali pace that is letting them down.

  7. Aussie Fan said on 9th June 2011, 7:18

    Can’t they at least beat them before they start crowing like they used to last year??….. So which is it this week Mclaren???? “Our car is slower than the red bull but we are so good we almost kept up” or…… “We can beat them at the next race we are going to” (where no one has actually seen anything to confirm this hot air as usual)..

    Mclaren need to follow the ‘Nike’ example & shutup & “JUST DO IT”

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