McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh says he remains hopeful about Lewis Hamilton's and Jenson Button's chances for the British Grand Prix, despite a difficult time in Valencia last weekend.
Both Button and Hamilton were unable to challenge Red Bull Racing and Ferrari's leading drivers as they struggled with tire degradation at the European Grand Prix. After the race, both drivers urged the team to deliver improvements to the car, and Hamilton conceded that his World Championship chances were effectively over because he was now 89 points adrift of Sebastian Vettel.
Whitmarsh is refusing to throw the towel in yet, however, and says that improvements in the pipeline for Silverstone – which could include a revamped DRS wing – plus different track conditions, could help his team return to form.
"There has never been a car that has had enough power and enough downforce," said Whitmarsh about the comments his drivers had made. "You are working all the time to do that. We were not exploiting the tires correctly; we were struggling with traction – and that was not to do with downforce, that was tire temperature.
"But I am an optimist. We plan to go to Silverstone with some new things; we will have new parts and possibly a new rear wing – various bits and pieces. Silverstone is very different to Valencia. Anyone who stands here and says I am sure we will be back with the quickest racecar would be rather foolish, but we will see how we get on.
"We've had a difficult afternoon here, but we had three races with the quickest racecar and we just did not have the quickest one here. This is not the intention and we will be working hard to develop the car to be quicker at Silverstone."
Hamilton's difficult afternoon in Valencia left him in no doubt that Vettel was well on course to take his second world title.
"He has pretty much won it," Hamilton said after the race. "It's finished really, in the sense of the championship. Unless he doesn't finish the next 10 races, which is very unlikely, then he is gone.
"We just can't beat Red Bull right now. They would need to fall off the track for me to beat them. There was over a second-per-lap difference today. That is just ridiculous."