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Published: 16:06 | 10/9/18

2018 McLaren "an extremely poor car", says team boss


Chief executive Zak Brown expects McLaren to continue to struggle this season and blames the "extremely poor" MCL33 car for their recent troubles.

Both McLaren drivers, Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso, struggled for speed at the Belgian and Italian Grands Prix, and the pair have now failed to score points at six of the last nine races.

Vandoorne has not scored any points since the Azerbaijan GP in April, and has been eliminated at the first stage of qualifying in the last seven races.

McLaren have not qualified inside the top 10 since the Monaco GP at the end of May, and Brown admits things are unlikely to improve over the final seven races of the F1 season, starting with Sunday's Singapore GP at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, which is live on eir sport 1 [race time 1.10pm Irish time].

"We'll continue to push on this car but unfortunately we've produced an extremely poor racecar that is not that responsive to changes, which will tell you that inherently we don't have a good racecar," the American told Autosport.

"I would expect, unfortunately, similar type of results - maybe a little more circuit-specific - over the balance of the year. I certainly wouldn't expect any miracles." 

McLaren currently sit sixth in the constructors’ championship, but have won just 16 points since the start of the European season 10 races ago, and the MCL33 has had just one upgrade this season because of the difficulties team engineers have had in identifying faults in the windtunnel.

"Other teams have developed at a faster pace than ourselves," Brown continued.

"It appears we've gone backwards. In reality, everyone else has gone forwards, but in Formula 1 if you're not going forwards you're going backwards.

"We knew Spa and Monza-type circuits would be our absolute weak points in the car, which are proving to be the case.

"We're not giving up on developing because we're identifying the issues and want to see if we're able to solve them."

You can follow the Singapore round of the Formula 1 World Championship live on eir sport across the weekend of 14-16 September.

Image: Getty Images/Mark Thompson

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