“We’re still a hell of a long way off the pace”
“It definitely wasn’t a good feeling today,” said team boss Martin Whitmarsh on Friday, referring to the “huge effort” since Bahrain to prepare a visually different car for the first European race of 2013.
Hopes are now turning to a rush shipment of new wings, which are en route to Spain from Woking.
“I hope they will help us,” Whitmarsh admitted.
During the week, McLaren had played down the likely effect of the Barcelona upgrade, but Jenson Button could not hide his disappointment after practice.
“We’re still a hell of a long way off the pace,” he said.
His teammate Sergio Perez added: “At the moment it’s not realistic to think we’re going to be fighting for the title.
“It’s the fifth race and we’re still two seconds a lap slower.”