Whitmarsh: McLaren making slow and steady progress

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McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes that the team is making steady progress throughout the year despite failing to live up to the pre-season expectations in 2013 so far.

The team currently lies 6th in the constructors’ championship, lagging behind closest-rivals Force India and trailing Red Bull by over 200 points after just nine races. Regardless, Whitmarsh is pleased with the progress being made at Woking.

Speaking to Press Association, Whitmarsh said: “Obviously I’m not doing handstands or anything like that. We are still not where we expect to be or want to be, but at least it [German GP result] was a step in the right direction.”

At the Nurburgring, the team scored its first points since Monaco with Jenson Button and Sergio Perez recording strong finishes in P6 and P8 respectively. However, Whitmarsh is confident that this was not brought about by the subtle changes made to the tire constructions last time out.

“I don’t think there has been a change of the pecking order as a consequence of what we saw in Germany. For us, there are no secrets here, we have to continue to try to develop the car, understand it. We’ve made a little bit of progress, but frankly not as much as we would like.”

Whitmarsh confirmed a few weeks ago that the team was switching its focus to the 2014 car, albeit continuing to develop the 2013 MP4-28 in order to try and secure at least one win. Otherwise, this would be the first time in seven years that McLaren has failed to win a race across the course of a season.

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

CARS

2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars

BIKES

 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions

 

TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.

QUADS

Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.