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Podium finishes now unlikely admit McLaren
Tuesday 03rd September 2013, 17:59 by TF1T Staff
Whilst McLaren are more used to winning races, having taken at least one victory in every season since 1997 bar one, the team's management has admitted that not only wins, but podiums look out of reach in 2013.
The team has endured one of its worst ever starts to a season and despite things beginning to look up after a sixth place for Jenson Button in Belgium on race pace alone, the team's sporting director Sam Michael says a podium before the end of the year is unlikely.
"If you look at the last couple of races, Budapest and Spa, we have improved our performance," he said during a Vodafone phone-in.
"There is still a gap between us and Red Bull and a decent gap to Mercedes as well. If you look at the other teams, such as Lotus and Ferrari, we are getting close there.
"Spa was a good one for us and we finished sixth there on merit, no one dropped out and there was nothing unusual about the race that resulted in us inheriting positions. It was done on pace. Monza should be good for us as well."
Whilst they're continuing to bring developments to the MP4-28, Michael isn't expecting them to bring significant steps in performance as they're designed mainly for next year's car.
"It will be difficult to score a podium based on full merit between now and the end of the year, particularly as we start to concentrate a lot on the 2014 car.
"Although we are still bringing parts to this car, they are not the normal iterative developments you would bring if you were pushing in a performance race - they are as a result of studies for 2014, which can still be quite effective but they are less known in terms of looking forward three or four races knowing exactly what's coming.
"So to predict a podium before the end of the year, it's quite tricky to know where that would happen, but we will keep pushing to make that happen until the last race."
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