McLaren say they will continue to pursue improvements in car performance while trying to fix the reliability problems which have dogged them recently.
“The failure that we had in Abu Dhabi was very painful,” said managing director Jonathan Neale during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in. “Having said that we’ve just done 1,500 trouble-free kilometres with the same car in the test last week.”
“Obviously we’re very mindful of the constructors’ championship and we are still taking performance upgrades to this circuit. We are not taking an overtly cautious approach but I’d say we are going to be very diligent.”
Lewis Hamilton retired from the last race in Abu Dhabi while leading. The same happened to him in Singapore and Jenson Button’s race in Italy came to an end when he had a technical problem while running second.
The team have also had technical problems during practice sessions and Button had a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Neale said the team intend to be in contention for victory at the Circuit of the Americas: “We hope and our desire is to do really well here and win the race.”
He added: “I think it’s going to be an interesting one for the drivers to have to learn on Friday and for the teams to have to balance their engineering programmes as well as allowing the drivers to get to grips with it.
“We have the extra set of tyres, I believe, on Friday, as well which should help. It’s always good to go to a new circuit but this one in particular seems to have been really well thought-out.
“I expect to see usual the suspects at the front, a really close-fought championship and pretty tantalising battles up and down the grid.”
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Image ?é?® McLaren/Hoch Zwei