McLaren's Michael expects closer grid in 2013but the usual suspects at the front

Saturday 19th January 2013, 16:50 by Ryan Wood 

McLaren

McLaren's sporting director Sam Michael doesn't expect the order to change at the front of the grid, with McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari leading the way.

He does however expect the grid to close up, with Lotus and Mercedes closer to the leaders and capable of winning multiple races in 2013.

"I think it will be closer, but I still think the normal protagonists will be at the front battling," he told Crash. "There is a reason why they are there, because you do the things that need to be done to make a fast car and a winning car, [and] I do think that it will be the same teams winning, although there will be others.

"I'm sure that Lotus will win some races and I think that Mercedes will win some races but, over the course of the season, I think it will be us versus Red Bull, with Ferrari in there as well."

He admitted McLaren must improve in three key areas if they're to win the title though, but ultimately they need a faster car.

"You have to fix everything. There are three main things in motor racing - not in any order, there is performance, there is mechanical reliability and there is operational reliability.  

"All three of those areas are areas we have worked on over the past six to eight months, as we knew by mid-season last year that we had made too many mistakes. They are areas we have worked on to deliver this year.

"It's not just [about rectifying those errors], it's also a case of making the car faster as the gap is so close. Even though we won the last couple of races, the car that we used in Brazil wouldn't win if we took it to Melbourne - we are going to need a car that is much faster than that."

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