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McLaren: Our season has not been a calamitous failure

“Clearly we have to go and look back at how we need to improve, but we do that every year – McLaren going back to the sixties has been a successful team, and it will continue to be a successful team. We are not complacent. We are in there fighting Ferrari for second place in the constructors' standings, and we will treat [Abu Dhabi] as we do any other race – we are fighters and we aim to win it.”

Indeed, focussing now on the finale, the Englishman forecasts a Middle Eastern thriller, although he eschews the opportunity to offer his opinion on who he would like to see prevail should Hamilton not be able to – after the 14-time grand prix-winner revealed earlier this week that if he cannot emerge on top, then his preference would be for Mark Webber to do so [see separate story – click here], whilst Button cast doubt upon how well an Alonso success story would be received in the wake of the now infamous Hockenheim team orders row [see separate story – click here].

“I think it's great for F1 that it all goes down to the last race again,” Neale affirmed. “I think Sebastian had a very strong first half of the year, and Mark has really dug in from Silverstone onwards and has done a great job. Ferrari have come on strong with their car and Fernando has hustled everybody. I think the drivers in contention would all be worthy winners, and I'm looking forward to Abu Dhabi.”

“I wasn't that surprised by what Red Bull did in Brazil [in not switching Vettel and Webber around]. They've obviously had their challenges during the year, and when you've got a very competitive car and two good drivers it's very difficult – it's a delicate balance, and one that it's very easy to get wrong. The media are constantly waiting for you to slip or trip up or something, because it makes great news – but the drivers know what's at stake and they will sort it out on the circuit.

“Red Bull and Ferrari will be trying to bring last-minute upgrades, as will we. It should be a conventional race weather-wise, but I think reliability will play a big part, because it's getting to the end of the season and people are taking risks. I think it's going to be a really tough race – and it's going to be close.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Markus Belte, CEO Alutec Belte AG and Jonathan Neale, Managing Director, McLaren Racing in the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes garage
Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Friday Practice 1, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Friday Practice 1, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Friday Practice 1, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Alfonso Celis Jr, Force India, F1 [Credit: Force India]
15.11.2015 - Race, A Ferrari fan
15.11.2015 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10
15.11.2015 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 waves to the fans
15.11.2015 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 leads Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-30.
15.11.2015 - Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
15.11.2015 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
15.11.2015 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
15.11.2015 - Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11 leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
15.11.2015 - Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E23
15.11.2015 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E23

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Paul - Unregistered

November 10, 2010 4:55 PM

Lewis and jenson did the best with what they had, at no point during the season mclaren had the best car or even second best... They need to rethink their design philosophy and get some down force on their car next year!

Marybeth - Unregistered

November 11, 2010 3:04 PM

@MichaelE, LH cracks under pressure. Kimi doesn't. That is what the difference for McL at the of this year. But LH is their golden boy as Vettel is RB's.

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