McLaren doubt they’ll win a race in 2013

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McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale doesn’t think the improvements made to their car will be enough for them to win a race in the second half of the season.

After an improved showing in the Hungarian Grand Prix, Jenson Button said the team might be able to get onto the podium at Spa this weekend. But Neale told a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in he wanted to “underplay” that objective.

“I don’t want to put words in Jenson’s mouth but I think his euphoria was that he could still see the leaders for a greater proportion of the time in the last few races we’ve been to,” he said.

Asked about McLaren’s chances of winning this year, Neale said: “I think that will be a real challenge, if I’m honest.”

Neale said they had made progress with their car but that preparations for next year were beginning to take precedence:

“We worked incredibly hard to take a package of upgrades to Hungary. We didn’t get everything on the package that we were expecting, so there’s still outstanding work to do, and we’ll continue that over Spa.

“But we certainly haven’t achieved what we wanted to with this car and there remains an awful lot of work to do to make sure we properly understand that and get ourselves in good shape for next season.”