McLaren plan to be fast from the start in 2012

Updated: Nov 18, 2011, 23:02 PM IST

London: McLaren`s Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton hope, and expect, to be fast from the first lap of next season`s Formula One world championship in a bid to stop Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull reeling off a hat-trick of title triumphs.

The title-winning duo of 2008 and 2009 will fly into Sao Paulo for next weekend`s season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix hoping, also, to end 2011 in a blaze of glory, but their real goal is to take over at the top again next year.

And this week the British pairing received a boost to their ambitions when McLaren`s team chiefs stressed that it was vital for them to begin the new season as they were ending the old.

Hamilton won last weekend`s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to record this third win of the year while Button has only failed to finish in a podium position once in the last eight races.

This run of consistency and speed has left the team happy with their developments, but frustrated at being unable to mount a serious bid to stop Vettel and Red Bull`s march to glory.

As a result, McLaren have made clear that their focus is on starting the next season much faster than they have done recent ones.

Racing chief Jonathan Neale said: "We need to start next year quick. We`re showing that we can out-develop and stay close to everybody."

"We`ve consistently won races, we`re consistently on the podium, but we don`t win championships enough and that`s a frustration."

The team believe their 2012 hopes depend on their ability to design a car which is fast from the outset.

Struggles in pre-season testing this year highlighted a clear disparity between McLaren`s MP4-26 and Red Bull`s RB7, but McLaren steadily reduced that deficit as the season progressed.

Neale added: "We love winning races, but we want to win some more championships. We`ve got to get out of the blocks."

He explained that only six percent of the 2011 car will be re-used in the design for the 2012 machine.

Neale said: "We`re running a high-speed research and development organisation, but it`s up to us to give the drivers something they can really get hold of and exploit.

"And I think Lewis and Jenson, as back- to- back word champions, deserve the best. So that`s a clear target."

Team chief Martin Whitmarsh said: "It really is a team effort. There are hundreds of people here who enjoy these victories and contribute to them. Great drivers need great cars and that`s what we are here to develop and supply for them."

Bureau Report