McLaren says it will redouble efforts to iron out the kind of mistakes that are costing it valuable points in its battle for the World Championship.
After some frustrating races where the team's form was hit by a number of pit stop errors, plus the fuel problem that cost Lewis Hamilton pole position in Spain, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh insists the squad is not taking the situation lightly.
"One mistake can do it – and we have made some," he explained. "It is painful, frustrating and difficult in the team, and we get a fair amount of external scrutiny and criticisms. But believe me, we are much harder on ourselves and it is reasonable to be criticized if you are not getting it right."
When asked what the team could do to limit the mistakes – especially with such a premium now on delivering error-free weekends due to the closeness of competition among the top teams – Whitmarsh said: "It is the obvious thing. We have complex processes, and lots of challenges, but we must concentrate and focus to not make mistakes. It is not magic. It is doing our job and doing it correctly."
Whitmarsh thinks the bigger challenge for the team is not in ironing out the mistakes but in increasing its understanding of how to extract the most performance from the tires over the remainder of the campaign.
"There is no magic in F1," he said. "You have to work hard, look at the data, understand and study it, and then try and effect control once you have got the data. Once you have got the understanding, then delivering what you want to ensure you get the best out of those tyres is the next part of that challenge – and we have some views and ideas. But with every race that goes by, perhaps we are left with a few more questions than we thought we had at the beginning of the weekend.
"We are learning something, but I don't think there is anyone here who convinces me that they understand these tires and knows comfortably and confidently how to exploit them on a regular basis.
"It has become an incredible feature of this championship and, inadvertently or otherwise, it is creating the extraordinary season that we are seeing."
With five different winners from the first five races, Whitmarsh says it is by no means certain that things will become more predictable over the remainder of the campaign.
"I would like to see it settle down in our favor, but I don't think we can rely on it," he said. "I think this is going to run and run – and this is going to be a great season. There will be moments of extreme agony and frustration for us, but it is great for everyone out there and that is how it should be."