McLaren not giving up on championship hopes yet

Martin Whitmarsh says he never wavered from his belief that McLaren would bounce back from its recent troubles - as he said his outfit kept its belief that the world championship can still be won

McLaren not giving up on championship hopes yet

McLaren had difficult outings in Valencia and Silverstone, and it appeared that it was going to endure similar frustrations in Germany with a far from encouraging Friday practice at the Nurburgring.

However, Lewis Hamilton delivered what he thought was his best qualifying performance of the year to get McLaren back on the front row for the first time since the Monaco Grand Prix - and has set his sights on victory on Sunday.

With Whitmarsh's own future having been the subject of speculation since the recent downturn in form, he made it clear on Saturday that he never gave up hope about a fight back.

"I didn't spend too much time thinking about it in truth," he said about the speculation regarding his future at the outfit. "I've been around this team for quite a while and we've had periods of great success and periods where by our own high standards if we're not winning, that's disappointing for all of us.

"I focus on those things; focus on how we are going to go forward. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about things written in the paper like that. It's much more productive thinking about how you are going to be stronger, how you are going to be better as a team.

"We've a long way to go, and we're not perfect by a long way. We strive to be better, and that's in everything. The three of us [himself, Button and Hamilton] can do a better job; the team can do a better job, everyone in our organisation.

"All I can ask everyone is we focus and work hard. The difference is that in performance between ourselves and RBR this year, they have been small - six hundredths of a second today. That means it is doable, it is achievable."

He added: "Mathematically this championship is still possible. I have said previous that the right thing to do is let's concentrate on winning races and build our performance, and if that heads us in the right direction then great."

Hamilton said his performance in Germany had reminded him just why he relished racing in F1.

"Today for me is a great reminder of why I love doing what I do. That lap today, it's not very often you get to do those things. It's not always we have the car to be able to put laps like that together.

"It's important to cherish those moments because I can't remember coming across the line, in a qualifying session, feeling so ecstatic, so energised. I didn't realise it meant that much to me, but you are pleasantly surprised each time.

"But our pace, and what we were able to do, again reminds me of how strong a team I have, how they never give up, and how we can do it, which we've been telling lots of people for a long time.

"It just takes time for us to be able to do that."

shares
comments
Buemi excluded from qualifying over fuel irregularity
Previous article

Buemi excluded from qualifying over fuel irregularity

Next article

Five themes to watch for in Germany

Five themes to watch for in Germany
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023