McLaren Sure to Fight for Titles

McLaren have warned rivals Renault that the World Championship is now well within their grasp after Kimi Raikkonen's crucial victory in the Canadian Grand Prix

McLaren Sure to Fight for Titles

Raikkonen benefited from the double retirement of Renault duo Giancarlo Fisichella and Fernando Alonso to grab the win in Montreal and cut the gap at the top of the title standings between himself and Alonso to 22 points.

And with McLaren having shown over recent races that their MP4-20 is every bit a match for Renault's R25, the team's F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh is adamant that they can close down their rivals and clinch the Championship thanks to a host of improvements planned over the rest of the season.

"We always said the title was on, it was others who said it wasn't," said Whitmarsh. "It can turn around and it will again and again.

"It is going to run through the season, we have a competitive car, two competitive drivers, and we can look into our development programmes and see things coming through.

"We will become more competitive. Renault will fight as hard as they can to take the Championship, they are doing a good tidy job but I think we can be stronger and I think we can win this Championship."

Although Raikkonen's charge to victory was helped by the misfortune of several of his rivals, including teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, the result has made up for some of the disappointment of his last lap exit from the European Grand Prix.

And Whitmarsh has paid tribute to the psychological make-up of Raikkonen, whom he believes is better able to deal with the pressures of a Championship fight than rival Alonso.

"I think Alonso is (more prone to mistakes)," explained Whitmarsh. "I think what reminds you of Kimi's personality and his demeanour is that many of us were devastated at what happened at the European race, but to Kimi's credit he probably compartmentalises and deals with it quicker than anyone else in the team.

"At the end of the day was he massively and deeply frustrated? Well, yes, of course he was, but I think he analyses it and decides he can learn from it --  what else could he have done, how did it occur? And once he has analysed it and taken action he just moves on. That is one of the things that is remarkable about him.

"He is remarkably philosophical considering how competitive he is. When things go wrong he does not let himself acquire a negative attitude and carry it forward."

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