McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe says Fernando Alonso's World Championship lead is "exposed" due to Ferrari not having the quickest car right now.Lowe says his team takes heart from the current pecking order in Formula 1, which makes it more likely Ferrari's rivals will be able to close down its advantage.
"They are certainly not the front-runner of the four [leading] teams," said Lowe, when asked about Alonso's comments that Ferrari was slowest of the title contenders. "So that gives us cause for some encouragement. Of course, Fernando has the points lead in the drivers' championship but, with 25 points for a win and without the quickest car, then they are exposed. And that is the opportunity that we want to exploit."
Lowe thinks that the remainder of the season will see the top teams edge clear of their rivals, because those outfits not involved in the title fight will start switching development focus on to their 2013 contenders.
"I think with it being as close as it is, there are several teams who will think they are in the chance for a championship so they will be pushing to the end," he said. "I suspect there will be teams who are below that threshold who will be switching far more vigorously into 2013 development. So I think you will see that trend where three to four teams will be stretching out a gap to the rest, and we have seen that trend before."
McLaren has introduced a raft of updates for this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, including a new rear wing and a revised sidepod concept. Lowe says that further developments are in the pipeline, which makes him positive about what can be achieved this year.
"We have got a great program for aerodynamics with what we have brought so far and we will continue that for the remainder of the season," he said. "In the last couple of races we had one of the quickest cars and we think we are in a position to win races.
"We have done all the calculations and made all our own estimates,and we think that we can put ourselves in a great position to win both championships still."