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Whitmarsh: Rivals won't have stood still during break

McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh acknowledges that the team's rival won't have been idle during the break between Malaysia and China, but warns that McLaren, too, has been busy improving its MP4-27.
McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has said that he does not expect McLaren to automatically return to winning ways when the F1 season picks up again in China next weekend.

Speaking during the three-week break between events, Whitmarsh admitted that, while he would like to see Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton lock out the front row for a third race running, and then go on to take a second win of the season for the Woking equipe, they could not afford to write off the likes of Red Bull, Mercedes or even Ferrari, which took a surprise win last time out in Malaysia, as Fernando Alonso coped best with the changeable conditions.

"Make no mistake, we're acutely aware that our rivals won't have stood still during the past three weeks," he noted, knowing that Red Bull, in particular, will have been stung by being knocked off the number one spot.

"We've certainly been extremely busy, too, but we don't take anything for granted. If the overall competitive order was a little hard to read in the first two races, I have no doubt that it will start to become clearer next weekend, and I strongly believe that, once again, it will be closely fought at the front."

On McLaren's side heading to China is the team's record at the Shanghai International Circuit, where it has won three times, including with both of its current drivers in the past two years. However, the team is coming off a disappointing Malaysian Grand Prix where, despite Hamilton and Button filling the front row for the second race in succession, it was left to settle for another third place courtesy of the former after wet weather and a clash with Narain Karthikeyan accounted for Button's challenge.

"While there are mixed feelings to have only been able to convert two all-front-row starting positions into one race win, everybody here feels extremely encouraged by our pace in the first two grands prix of the season," he pointed out.

"The Chinese Grand Prix is a race in which we've traditionally gone very well - we've won three of the past four races here, all of which have come through faultless performances from Jenson and Lewis - and we head to Shanghai this year keen to add to that tally."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2008, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-23, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2008, Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Shanghai, 17th-19th October 2008
Winner Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-25, 2nd position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-25 & 3rd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01
17.04.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 race winner
26.11.2011- Team Picture, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
17.04.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 race winner
25.03.2012- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
Fernando Alonso - McLaren Honda
Kevin Magnussen - McLaren Honda
Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button - McLaren Honda
McLaren Honda MP4-30
McLaren Honda MP4-30
Jenson Button - McLaren Honda
Jenson Button - McLaren Honda
Fernando Alonso - McLaren Honda
McLaren Honda MP4-30
McLaren Honda MP4-30
The McLaren-Honda MP4-30

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Salan - Unregistered

April 08, 2012 10:57 AM

Man, what is it with this dude! Just make sure the team get Lewis's pit stops to perfection, no **** ups as has been the case for the past goodness knows how many races. Give Lewis the car he deserves and just watch the difference between your boy Jensen and the pound for pound fastest man in F1. For all the Lewis hatters out there, you would probably lose half the International viewers if Lewis was not in F1, not to mention he is the most marketable F1 driver on the grid. He has far more marketing commitments than Jensen because he is in more demand Internationally. I must admit I am sick and tired of the amount of negative posts about the one driver who has single handedly increased the global audience of F1 to a level which F1 never had and that is from the horses mouth Bernie Ecclestone. Of course it wasn't single handed in the quote but we all know what he meant.


April 07, 2012 1:43 PM

People and teams in F1 say alot of things. 90 percent of it comes out the side of their mouth. But Rich,Sunny and Taigherkin eat them up because its what they want to hear. They then run to the computer and pronounce and type things until blue in the finger tips. All because they want you to believe that same crap they just ate.

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