The Woking bases squad continued to downplay talk of making a considerable step forward at this weekends Spanish Grand Prix despite bringing a heavily revised car, including new front and rear wings, tweaks to the sidepods and rear suspension upgrades.
Sporting Director Sam Michael revealed to AUTOSPORT that he does not expect the team to make major steps forward this weekend. certainly ruling out a challenge for pole position and the race win. He said “We finished sixth in the last race and six or seventh is where our car has been, so we don’t expect to go from sixth to the front row straight away,” said Michael.
“That is why we have managed expectation, so people don’t think that is what we are claiming to do.”
Despite their current troubles, he revealed that the team know exactly what the issues are. However it will take time to resolve, “We know the bits we have to work on, we know where our issues are and we know what is in the pipeline. It is going to take time.”
When asked where the issues lie, he said that it was “a bit of everything” before continuing to say “The biggest mistake you can make when you are under performing is to concentrate on one magic bullet because you won’t find it.
“It comes from a package of changes and that is what we are working on.”
Michael also said that the current situation has enabled the team to learn, “These are the times when you learn most about racing cars because you are investigating multiple areas and the feedback that you get from that is very valuable for the team.”
Despite talk about their issues with downforce, he admitted that they are working on a new “platform”. He said “Right now we have changed the way the platform works, and there are a lot of new parts coming [in the next races] based around that,” he said.
“If you look at the philosophy we have had for the first few races then clearly it is not where we need to be. So we took a decision to change where we are operating a couple of months ago.”
They currently sit sixth in the constructors standings. The team lost a lot of running in Free Practice 1 for the Spanish Grand Prix due to weather conditions, gaining 12 laps overall thanks to their drivers Sergio Perez and Jenson Button. However they managed to trial some of their upgrades in more detail during a more straightforward second practice session, finishing 12th and 13th.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic