McLaren aims for strong finish

McLaren is aiming to leave this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as "winner of the second half of the season," according to team principal Martin Whitmarsh

McLaren aims for strong finish

Since the German Grand Prix in July, driver Lewis Hamilton has scored 40 points - more than any other driver - and climbed from 11th to sixth in the drivers' standings as a result. Only Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen has come close to Hamilton's consistency, the Finn scoring 38 points over the same period.

Likewise, in the constructor's championship, McLaren's 57-point haul since the Nurburgring is greater than world champion team Brawn, and has only been beaten by Red Bull, on 61. Should Hamilton and his team-mate Heikki Kovalainen finish 1-2 on Sunday, the team will have achieved its aim.

Given McLaren's shaky start to the season, Whitmarsh is delighted with the progress made with the MP4-24.

"I'm very proud [of the turnaround]," he said during a conference call with UK media. "It was a poor start for us and Lewis.

"Now though, it's interesting to see how, during a season when a lot of teams put in a lot of effort to improve, if we look at German GP onwards than Lewis has scored more points than any other driver and we're [as a team] only a few points shy of what Red Bull has done in the constructors' [championship].

"Hopefully this weekend we can establish ourselves as having won the second half of the season. I firmly believe we can win in Abu Dhabi as well with Lewis and Heikki."

Whitmarsh said that McLaren's 2010 driver lineup was still not yet decided and that no decision on Lewis Hamilton's team-mate would be taken until after the end of the season.

"The reality is we're going into the last race, which is what we're concentrating on for now," he added.

"We are very fortunate that there appears to be a number of drivers who are interested in McLaren. Following the end of the season, we'll sit down and analyse the situation."

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