McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has admitted that past successes mean the team 'cannot get away with not winning' as he reflected on the F1 season so far.
Although one of only two teams to have won more than once in 2011, McLaren has just two wins compared to six for rivals Red Bull – with the other win having gone to Ferrari in last weekend's British Grand Prix.
Speaking in an interview with the official F1 website, Whitmarsh admitted that the tally of victories this season wasn't one that McLaren could be happy with, with expectations having been for more than two wins at the half way stage of the campaign.
“It's not satisfying enough,” he said. “Of course we arrive at a race venue trying to win - and we have had some good wins - but that will never be enough for McLaren. The fact is that for Ferrari and McLaren, if we are not winning then we are in for a tough time. McLaren has been racing in Formula One since 1967 and have won 25 percent of all the races, so we are not excused if we don't win - nor are Ferrari.
“Two or three years ago Red Bull weren't winning and nobody criticised them. And all the other teams can also getting away with not winning - but we can't. And I don't have a problem with that. We want to win and therefore we are tough on ourselves and of course hugely disappointed if we are not winning. So two wins are nice, but we'd like it to be much more.”
Admitting that the team has been a 'disaster' during winter testing before making a recovery when racing started, Whitmarsh said he wasn't surprised at the dominance shown by Red Bull so far in 2011 with F1 being a sport that runs in cycles.
“I know that Formula One goes in cycles of performance,” he said. “I know Adrian (Newey) very well - and he is doing an excellent job at Red Bull, at a very well-funded team. If you take Sebastian, he has made one mistake in Canada but that was it from his side. If you can qualify very well, as he can, you are in the quickest car, you are on pole position and you don't make any mistakes then you can hopefully win the race. We had two or three races where we had the quickest race car but we have not matched Red Bull in qualifying.
“Typically we've been the second-fastest car in qualifying, sometimes the third-fastest car, and sometimes fastest. We were deeply frustrated in Monaco - I think we should have won there - but we won the next race. That's motor racing! We've got two great race drivers and if we get them to the same position as Sebastian then I am sure they can beat Sebastian.”