McLaren target Red Bull with mind games

Jenson Button and Martin Whitmarsh

Jenson Button and Martin Whitmarsh

Oct.23 (GMM) Red Bull is nervous about not throwing away the 2010 world championship, and McLaren will be there to pick up the pieces.

That is the gist of the mind games being played in the media by McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh.

“I think it would be tough to take for Red Bull to lose the championship now,” he is quoted by the Guardian newspaper, nearing the end of a season marked by the difficult off-track relationship between the two British-based teams.

Whitmarsh said he hopes the title-charging inexperience of Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull, and the championships already in the bags of McLaren and its two drivers, will show up in the run to the Abu Dhabi finale.

“I hope it’s massively important and decisive. Both our guys know what it’s like – even if you’re leading a championship – when the pressure comes. It’s very easy to get defensive and tight,” said the Briton.

Whitmarsh also said Red Bull “can be disappointed” that their championship lead is relatively small despite having easily the fastest qualifying car for much of 2010.

“That will be weighing on their minds as we get into the championship finale. I’m sure they feel some sense of frustration,” he said.

Reigning world champion Jenson Button admitted in Korea that he too has been attempting to out-psyche Red Bull’s Webber.

“Everybody plays mind games,” he said. “It was fun because I have been in his position. They did it to me last year.

“It’s the little things, like me saying, Are you feeling the pressure, mate? You always get a reaction, even if they say, Nah I am not feeling it,” added Button.