Whitmarsh: Glock was always the target
|By Simon Strang||Sunday, November 2nd 2008, 21:05 GMT|
McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh says the team told Lewis Hamilton to focus on catching Timo Glock and forget about chasing Sebastian Vettel, as he frantically pursued a fifth place finish to secure his first world championship title in the final laps of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Hamilton had to finish fifth to win the title, but lost the position to Sebastian Vettel in slippery conditions with three laps to go.
But while all the other front-runners stopped for intermediate tyres, Glock gambled on sticking with dries, and quickly lost ground to Hamilton and Vettel on the last lap as the rain got heavier.
"We knew we couldn't take any risks," Whitmarsh told ITV. "We couldn't take any risks with Vettel, he is a young charger, we were saying to Lewis just take it easy.
"We knew we were racing Glock. We came here for fifth place, we could see Glock, we had the GPS and we could see Glock coming back towards us. We had the conviction, that we were going to catch him.
"But then you start to worry, 'Is it raining as hard as we think it is?', 'Are we going to catch him?' staring at the predictions and wondering whether we had got this wrong."
Whitmarsh added that the McLaren pitwall was adamant that Glock was the target.
Hamilton eventually passed the Toyota driver on the run up the hill in an incredible dash to the flag.
"Obviously we told Lewis, don't worry about Vettel, Glock's on dry tyres, you are going to find him in that last lap, but you know, until you do it, you haven't done it!" he said. "Lewis kept his cool.
"I'm sure he was much cooler than the rest of us on the pitwall anyway."