McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen have delivered a blunt assessment of the team's current standing in F1's pecking order after they both failed to reach the final round of qualifying in Malaysia.
While qualifying did at least offer Hamilton a distraction from the off-the-track affairs that have enveloped the World Champion in Sepang, it provided scant consolation with his MP4-24 continuing to underperform. Hamilton will line up for the race in 12th, just ahead of his team-mate, and struck a downbeat figure as he - briefly - addressed reporters.
"Nothing has changed. We're where we expected to be," he told the BBC. "The car doesn't feel bad, but it just isn't capable of carrying speed through corners."
The Brit, though, is hoping that it won't be too long before McLaren get the car up to speed: "We expect to see some improvements over the next two or three races. For tomorrow, I'm just going to race my heart out, do the best I can and try and score some points."
Hamilton's analysis was echoed by Kovalainen. "We just don't have the pace," concluded the Finn. "We have improved little by little but it just isn't enough.
"The gap to the cars in front is smaller than it was in Melbourne, so I'm confident that we're headed in the right direction, but we haven't yet found that extra bit of speed we need."
Source : Planet F1