Whitmarsh: Our car is good enough to win races and the title

Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton at Bahrain GP

Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren MP4-27

Jul.24 (AFP) According to McLaren chief Martin Whitmarsh, his team are back in the 2012 F1 world championship title fight after emerging from a spell of poor results by taking second place in the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

(L to R): Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren with Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren. McLaren MP4-27 Launch, McLaren Technology Centre, Woking, England, 1 February 2012.He said he believed that the team now has the car and a strong enough development programme to fight for the world championship. After disappointing results in the European and British Grands Prix, McLaren returned to form on Sunday when Briton Jenson Button finished second in the German Grand Prix.

The result followed the introduction of a major package of upgrades for the car, including modified sidepods and exhausts. In dry conditions, the McLaren was the fastest car around the Hockenheim circuit.

“It is good enough at the moment,” said Whitmarsh, referring to the revived car. “But it won’t be, if we don’t keep developing it, because we have half a season to go. Both of our drivers are capable of winning races and this year’s world championship. The onus is on us to keep developing.

“We have a reasonable amount of momentum in the system at the moment. From what I have seen, that was the opinion of our engineers too. So we are feeling optimistic,” admitted Whitmarsh.

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren celebrates on the podium. Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Race, Hockenheim, Germany, Sunday 22 July 2012.While Button got a boost on Sunday from a penalty handed to defending champion German Sebastian Vettel, who ran off the track in passing him in the final stages of the race, his team-mate and fellow-Briton Lewis Hamilton had to retire for the second time in three races following a puncture and other problems.

Whitmarsh refused to rule out either driver or the team making up a big points deficit to revive their challenge in the championship.

In the constructors’ championship, McLaren are in third place, 70 points behind Red Bull, while Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are 62 and 86 points off drivers’ championship leader Fernando Alonso, who won Sunday after leading from start to finish.

“Fernando is doing a great job and so is Ferrari, but we are fighters so there will be some great races and we need to maximise our points,” Whitmarsh said.

“In Germany, we could catch him and hurt our tyres, but we couldn’t get past him. We were a reasonable amount quicker, but if you put someone like Fernando at the front of a race then you are going to have difficulty getting past him.”

Subbed by AJN.

  • Butterfly

    The car may be good enough, but the team isn’t. These guys are locked in to finishing 2nd regardless of who takes the title(s).

  • freakytrends

    Even if they win a couple of races henceforth, they won’t be able to win either of the titles.

  • Jody Renza

    Construcktors = unlikely…. Drivers = very slim!! Those pit stops cost Woking dearly….but in F1 everything is possible if Alonso, Vettel & Webber retires from two races…as ever, IF is spelt F1..
    A fresh winner in Hungary looms..

  • freakytrends

    The cars are good, but not enough to win title(s)… Mclaren needs something like RB8 to win title(s)…

  • Butterfly

    I like it when Martin talks BS like “At McLaren, we can’t stand not winning”. But the fact of the matter is these guys have the mentality of losers.

    No matter how much talent they have around – just look how many McLaren engineers migrate across the paddock – and how good their drivers are they always fail to win the title and then spew BS over the winter about how extreme the next car is going to be.

    I remember this year they were going to “surprise Red Bull with the superior tire management of the MP4-27″. Well, surprise!

    Lewis is too good for them.

  • Hawk

    I completely agree. The team is just not good enough. It surprises me how McLaren keeps on losing such talent in the paddock only to attract people who are down and out. I think it is down to their arrogance. See how they are handling drivers’ contracts. They simply would not appreciate one’s value until they leave. They think that their success is due to McLaren the team and not the individuals who make up the team.

  • Butterfly

    @Hawk: You got a good point there.

  • Forza Ferrari

    How many years have we all heard the same bs stories from that foolishly arrogant team? Seeing how they haven’t really accomplished anything in the past 10 years or even more, they should really just keep their arrogant mouths shut! One very-very lucky title win in 2008 is all they have to show and the last time that McLaren won the constructors championship was back in 1998, and still they have the arrogance to sound like they’re dominating in F1 lol. The 80′s are over Woking fools!

  • hillside

    this is the thing that i hate with mclaren. they front so much and play everything cool even if its not. the last time i heard a lil humility from them is back when Mika still drives for them. he’s always upfront and honest if their not performing well or if their lacks pace etc…