McLaren gunning for Monaco victory

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh says his team is gunning for victory in the Monaco Grand Prix despite the impressive speed of rival Red Bull Racing in Barcelona

McLaren gunning for Monaco victory

With Mark Webber having dominated the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend, Red Bull arrive in Monte Carlo as hot favourite for victory, especially given its qualifying pace on a track where grid position is vital.

Whitmarsh, however, believes his drivers' performance in recent races has been encouraging despite Red Bull's pace and he reckons McLaren will be up for a fight in Monaco.

And he says he would welcome a dry race, despite that meaning Red Bull's advantage is likely to be bigger.

"If you ask drivers, they'd rather have a dry Monaco," said Whitmarsh during a phone-in on Tuesday. "I think it's a very tight and scary place without the rain. I think our drivers are both very good in the wet though.

"Their performance relative to the awesome speed of the Red Bulls has been pretty good, so I fancy our chances actually.

"I think Monaco is a unique circuit. Red Bull may have had impressive qualifying pace in Spain, but we got a bit closer in the race, and we have two drivers who are super and McLaren has won Monaco 15 times - many more times than any other team.

"And we're trying to make it 16, wet or dry or a combination."

Whitmarsh insisted splitting the drivers into two groups would have been his preferred choice for qualifying, as he reckons everybody will face a hard time trying to get a clean lap.

"I think Q1 in Monaco will be very, very difficult and it's difficult for all of the cars," he said. "At the moment we have to accept that there are six cars that are very difficult to avoid.

"They have been in the order of six/seven seconds slower and when you're trying to open a gap you have cars behind you so you can't back off, and it's a circuit where you're going to catch cars and a circuit at which it's very difficult for those cars to get out of the way, even if they want to.

"I think it's very difficult. By choice, I'd advocate that we divided it up somehow, either by splitting the field in half so you reduce the number of cars and don't have to manage the space quite so on such a small track, or you have a session if you thought perhaps unkindly that the six slower cars were going to fight it out among themselves, that they have the first five minutes to themselves, decided on order of merit, before the rest of the cars get onto the track.

"It's always been difficult, but with more cars and a greater performance differential, there will be controversy. There are some, and I'm not one of them, who think that controversy and stewards' hearings after the event are entertaining. I don't share that view, but it's what some people believe."

shares
comments
Hamilton's wheel rim failure confirmed

Previous article

Hamilton's wheel rim failure confirmed

Next article

Q & A with Martin Whitmarsh

Q & A with Martin Whitmarsh
Load comments
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Plus

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021