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Whitmarsh: Hamilton 'still very much in contention'

Don't write Lewis Hamilton out-of-the-reckoning for F1 2010 Drivers' World Championship glory, urges McLaren-Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh, as 'he is definitely up for racing'
McLaren-Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh has rubbished suggestions that the battle for F1 2010 World Championship glory is now solely the preserve of Ferrari and Red Bull Racing with regard to the drivers' crown, adamant that following his runner-up finish in Sunday's inaugural Korean Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton remains 'very much in contention'.

Hamilton closed the gap separating him from the head of the title standings from 28 points to 21 in Korea, though had he not made a small mistake in running wide on the treacherous track surface at the final safety car re-start – letting eventual race-winner Fernando Alonso past – he rather than his former team-mate could have been toasting victory, and just a seven-point deficit to the Spaniard at the top of the table.

“Of course Lewis was disappointed he fell off and let Fernando through and okay, it didn't quite work out for him, but he is definitely up for racing,” Whitmarsh is quoted as having said by British newspaper The Sun. “He still has self-confidence and self-belief, and we are still very much in contention with him.

“There has never been a better race than the one in Korea to demonstrate that anything can happen in this championship, and we have two really interesting races ahead. It really is still wide open.”

Conspicuously failing to mention Hamilton's McLaren team-mate and defending F1 World Champion Jenson Button – now all-but out-of-the-running for a second consecutive drivers' trophy at 42 markers adrift of the lead with only 50 remaining to play for – the Englishman went on to praise Ferrari's impressive end-of-season fightback and Alonso's qualities as a 'phenomenal competitor', whilst musing that in the wake of a disastrous outing in Korea, Red Bull Racing is 'under pressure'.

“Red Bull are tough to beat,” Whitmarsh reflected, “[but] errors were costly for them [in Korea], and they will feel they are under pressure. We have to make sure we're at our best, that we keep improving the car and that we minimise errors. If we do that, then there is no reason why we can't win this world championship.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 race winner, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25 2nd position and Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 3rd position and Christian Dyer (AUS), Ferrari Race Engineer
Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Friday Practice 1, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Race celebration, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25 race winner
Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25 race winner
Saturday, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
Friday, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer
Lewis Hamilton and Martin Whitmarsh. McLaren-Mercedes. Brazil 09. [Pic credit: www.mclaren.com]
Lewis Hamilton and Martin Whitmarsh [Pic credit: McLaren]
Lewis Hamilton and Martin Whitmarsh [Pic credit: McLaren]
28.04.2017 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
28.04.2017 - Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
28.04.2017 - Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
28.04.2017 - Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Diego Ioverno (ITA) Ferrari Operations Director
28.04.2017 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 and Otmar Szafnauer (USA) Sahara Force India F1 Chief Operating Officer
28.04.2017 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
28.04.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08

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Alan D - Unregistered

October 27, 2010 9:29 PM

If Alonso has a DNF in Brazil then its everything to play for. If Vettel wins, Hamilton in second and Webber in fourth then that will take us into the last race with: WEB 232 VET 231 ALO 231 HAM 225 With those points, any one of the four would win the WDC by winning the last race of the season, regardless of where anyone else finishes. If Hamilton won and Webber finished second, both would be on 250 points with four wins but LH would have more second places than MW. Whoever you support, that would be a pretty tasty end to the season. But if Alonso has a conservative race in Brazil and makes sure he gets, say, 5th place or better, then its probably going to be too much for Vettel and Hamilton to pull back.

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