McLaren hope car changes will boost performance by one second

MCLAREN team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes this season’s car will be one second faster on Sunday in Australia than in the final pre-season test in Barcelona.

Whitmarsh says dramatic alterations have been made to the car after it had been struggling behind both Red Bull and Ferrari in practice.

Speaking ahead of the season’s first race in Melbourne, Whitmarsh said: “The changes are intended to deliver more than a second in performance.

“We hope the risks we have taken come off and we are competitive.”

Whitmarsh also admitted the extra time the team and drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have had to prepare, due to the postponement of the Bahrain Grand Prix, had worked in their favour.

He added: “The extra two weeks will have been very crucial.”