LONDON, United Kingdom — McLaren are relying on major upgrades scheduled for the German Grand Prix to reignite their world title chances after failing to match the pace of rival teams at Sunday’s British Grand Prix. McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button could only manage eighth and tenth respectively at Silverstone and were a long way off matching the lap times set by frontrunners Red Bull and Ferrari. McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh admitted it was now left to the team to react positively and pinned the team’s hopes on a significant upgrade package scheduled for Hockenheim in two weeks time to get them back on track. “We weren’t quick enough, period,” said Whitmarsh. “It is always disappointing if you are not competitive and certainly at the end of the race we were not, and through no fault of the drivers — both of them did a good job. “We’ve got a decent, bigger, more visible upgrade package for Germany and we’ve got to deliver that and make that stick. It’s the same old game, we have got to develop the car, and we have got to make sure we use the tires better.” Whitmarsh added that he was happier with the team’s improved consistency and pit stops, which have blighted their race chances on several occasions this season, but underlined that ultimately their car was just not fast enough. “The average of all three pit stops was sub three seconds, which is something we have been working on,” he said. “But fundamentally, good pit stops, a good couple of drivers, solid drives, bad qualifying, but no events upon which we could capitalize. Just not quick enough is the school report.” The 54-year-old also played down rumors that 2008 champion Hamilton, whose contract is up for renewal at the end of the season, had been affected by the team’s slump in form and was considering a move to a rival team. Whitmarsh suggested that the 27-year-old, now fourth in the title-race and 37 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, would be able to overlook the team’s current slump.
“I think he is smarter than that” said Whitmarsh, “and he knows that racing is highs and lows. “This hasn’t been one of the highs this weekend, four weeks ago it was a different situation, two weeks’ time it could be a different situation again. He knows that, I know that. “We are disciplined enough and battle hardened enough these days to know that you’ve got to take stock and learn from these weekends. Sometimes you learn more from these weekends than successful ones. We will continue to develop the car and make sure we do a better job in two weeks’ time.”