McLaren drivers Fernando Alonso and Pedro de la Rosa have played down the significance of the Woking based team’s revised package for the upcoming Spanish grand prix.
The press made much of a ‘radical’ front wing that appeared on the MP4-22 at the Circuit de Catalunya on Monday, but world champion Alonso – who arrived in Barcelona in the evening ahead of his scheduled running on Tuesday morning – denied that the impact on the time sheets will be equally revolutionary.
“Everyone’s cars will improve by two or three tenths (before the Spanish GP).
“I doubt that the hierarchy is going to change too much,” the 25-year-old insisted to the Spanish newspaper Diario As.
Test driver Pedro de la Rosa steered the updated silver car to the third best lap time on Monday, and he kept his praise moderate.
In the ‘Marca’ newspaper, he is quoted as being “satisfied”, explaining that the developments “worked very well”.
Spaniard de la Rosa, 36, also tried to downplay the significance of the bridge-like front wing by pointing out that “many other new features” have also been added to the Mercedes-powered car.
He did, however, point out that Barcelona is a crucial test.
“The championship really begins now,” de la Rosa added, referring to the fact that Spain is the start of the European season and an important development race.
He said: “Traditionally, the titles are decided based on what happens in Europe.”