Thursday 26th March 2009
Lewis Hamilton has blamed last year's success for this year's slow car, saying McLaren focused too much on their 2008 car rather than switching their attention to their 2009 challenger.
Last season, in a bid to win the Drivers' Championship title, McLaren continued to develop the MP4-23 right up until the season-ending Brazilian GP. And the decision paid off for the Woking outfit with Hamilton clinched the title by one point over Ferrari's Felipe Massa.
Long-term, though, the decision has, according to Hamilton, cost the team as they've struggled for both pace and reliability during pre-season testing of their 2009 MP4-24.
"I think we focused so much on last year's car, we maybe left it a little bit late to focus on this year's car," AFP quotes Hamilton.
"It's difficult to say but people have obviously done a better job at the moment."
Asked to rate this year's challenger, the 24-year-old said: "Last year's car, in marks out of 10, I'd probably give it an eight."
But despite starting the season on the back foot, the defending World Champion has confidence in his team, saying they can return their fortunes around.
"We've got a fantastic team and the guys are working flat out to recover the situation and to bring it back to the top," he said.
"Who knows? This weekend we've got lots of bits coming, so hopefully we can try and fight at least for some points.
"I think over the course of the next four or five races, that's where we'll see the major improvements and hopefully see us get back to the front. It will be challenging."
Source : Planet F1