I'll add a few things on this whole McLaren saga. I think fundamentally McLaren have got it wrong this season in so many ways.
It all started with pre-season testing. They had an awful time and the largest reason for this by far was the fact that tried at least 4 different exhaust systems, and some have said it could have even been 6. Consequently, they ended up largely wasting the whole of pre-season testing and it turned out that a much simpler system, that they ended up copying off Red Bull, was by far the most effective and reliable. If McLaren had of got that sorted earlier before the start of the season then you feel they could have started to focus on other development and actually had a much faster car at the start of the season. Consequently, it has turned out that they always seem to be one step behind Red Bull in the development pipeline.
The next major issue has been their lack of successful upgrades and developments to the car. I don't think I'd be too far wrong in saying the MP4-26 has had more unsuccessful parts attached to it since the first race than any other team in the paddock. I know McLaren are more public about their upgrades, but it's factual that other teams have been adding upgrades that have visibly been improving their performance. If you remember at the start of the season, McLaren had a exhaust, floor and diffuser that was essentially a 'botch job'. Come Malaysia they tested new parts at the rear and didn't use them in the race. Then at China, they bought some further developments in that area, which would supposedly fix the reliability issues with their proposed new system, yet they again ended up running essentially the same exhaust/diffuser from the 1st race. They then had several weeks before the start of the European season and yet for some odd reason when they arrived at Turkey, you may remember they had next to no upgrades. Clearly they'd realised more thought had to be put into getting this exhaust system working as they wished and so this delayed that upgrade further. Their decline in form was obvious, from Malaysia through China to Turkey. They'd gone from being miles ahead of Ferrari and only just behind Red Bull, to being behind them both by some way. Come the Spanish grand prix, they finally brought a decent amount of upgrades and got their exhaust system repackaged and tidied up. This propelled them ahead of Ferrari again and a little closer to Red Bull (on race pace certainly). The problem is that it had taken them 5 races to achieve that and one can only imagine if they'd have focused on fewer exhaust systems in pre-season testing and therefore had the exhaust system they had at Spain for the start of the season. Although at Spain things were looking up, by focusing on getting an upgrade working that was initially planned for Malaysia for so long, they would then find themselves slipping behind again in the development pipeline. This has been visible now as since Monaco I cannot remember them having any significantly successful developments to the car, especially at the rear, where they most need it. What is most frustrating is how they completely missed the plot at Canada, where it was obvious they should have brought a lower drag DRS system yet didn't choose to. They were lucky to have won that race in many respects with the weather. By the time Valencia came, they brought a new front wing, which they ended up using, but because the front-end had so much downforce in comparison to the rear, they wrecked the tyres in the race. Although they brought a slightly different DRS / Rear wing to Valencia (which im still not entirely sure they used), the first reasonably major evolution in that area appeared at Silverstone. All of the other teams have evolved that DRS/Rear Wing several times up to then and McLaren has been badly behind. No surprise either when they turn up in qualifying and don't even run the new wing. Yet again, developments brought to the track, hyped in the media and not used.
Quite frankly, with the resources McLaren have, their development rate this year has been extremely poor. The drivers in Valencia were visibly frustrated by it. After a poor development rate in 2010, which ended up costing them the title, they've got it even worse in 2011 and the myth of 2009 seems a long way away.
Even still larger underlying issues than this are at the heart of all their problems. For the last 2 years, McLaren just haven't seemed to understand their car. If you compare Ferrari's underlying car to McLaren's over the past 2 years they you see a stark difference. Although McLaren have made a better start generally in both seasons due to their more innovative approach, it has been no coincidence that Ferrari has overtaken them now in both of these seasons. The Ferrari is a much simpler and more traditional concept and is brilliant in areas like traction and braking. They seem to have more freedom with suspension as well and this all leads to a car that is easier to develop and less sensitive to change. McLaren's car is visibily different from everyone elses and as was the same with last years car, it seems they don't really understand how it works and can very rarely get an upgrade to work with it. The overall feeling I have of McLaren's car this year and also last year is that it's a poor car with lots of fancy aero add-ons that actually hide its underlying weaknesses. The only way McLaren will win with that approach is if they find a 'golden-bullet' that no one else has and have a big performance advantage. As it is, they are slipping behind yet again. The new regs have hurt them most, which is no surpise with how sensitive their car is to any kind of change. What is also worrying is that it shows when you take away the blown diffusers next year, if McLaren follow this concept over to 2012 then they will actually be quite far behind their rivals with the base-line package.
Their base-line package of having a very long chassis/wheel-base was criticised heavily last year, yet they stuck to it this year. Surely for 2012 they will try fundamentally a new concept or else I really cannot see them being competitive.
The last nail in the coffin for McLaren has been their shocking strategies and decisions that always seem to lack common-sense. This started in pre-season testing as mentioned above, but has been even more obvious during race weekends. Those that spring immediately to mind are what they did with Hamilton at Monaco, a huge unnecessary risk. Then here at the British GP, quite farcically sending out both drivers on soft tyres when it had clearly started raining quite hard. This then resulted in them making another equally ridiculous decision (as rain had been predicted a few minutes into the session) and to send Lewis out on those used tyres at the start of Q3. One feels Lewis gets these poor decisions more than Jenson and that is partly due to the fact he relies more on the team, something he must improve on, but in a way, he is there to drive the car and it isn't much to ask to expect your engineers to not make such ludicrous decisions.
I have just written all of this off the top of my head so im sorry if the continuity is not much good but I think it does go over most of the major issues with McLaren. I almost feel like sending this to Mr. Whitmarsh and the engineering team, maybe I will, although I doubt they'd pay any notice. They seem a little blind to he obvious these days.