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F1 NEWS 

McLaren sure its Abu Dhabi form will continue

Lewis Hamilton leads in Abu DhabiMcLaren is confident that the pace it showed in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix can be carried forward into the final two races of the 2012 Formula 1 season.

While Lewis Hamilton was robbed of what looked like an easy victory because of a fuel pump failure, his team principal Martin Whitmarsh says there are positives that he wants to take out of the weekend.

"I think the pace was genuine here at this circuit, and hopefully we will see it in the two remaining grands prix," he explained.

"Lewis was in great shape this weekend. He was absolutely determined and he is a tough competitor, so we are all a little bit disappointed right now.

"But by the time we leave here we have to look forward to the US, knowing we have a competitive car - and try to see if we can win the first race in Austin."

Whitmarsh thinks that the dominant pace that Hamilton showed through practice, qualifying and the early stages of the race means there should be little debate about him having had the speed to triumph.

"Lewis deserved to win this race," he said. "He came and did a great job, and he was on it from the get go.

"We were all pretty confident it should have been a relatively easy and straightforward win.

"He was looking after his tyres from the start and had that race under control. That is why it is especially frustrating."

Hamilton's retirement in Abu Dhabi is the fifth time in six races that McLaren's performance has been affected by a mechanical problem - with fuel tank, gearbox, suspension and anti roll bar problems having hit in recent events.

Whitmarsh insists, however, that there is no reason to believe that there is a common factor in all the incidents, especially as the Abu Dhabi failure was engine related.

"In fairness, Mercedes have been very reliable and these things happen in motor racing," he said. "They are not related or endemic. It is just one of those things."

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