McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has said he is 'very proud' of the way both Jenson Button and Sergio Perez have acted this year in light of the squad's difficulties with the uncompetitive MP4-28.
McLaren were a force to be reckoned with in 2012, winning seven races - the same as Red Bull. However, this season has been abysmal and it is looking increasingly likely the outfit will now fail to take a single podium finish, something that hasn't happened since 1980.
Speaking ahead of this weekend's Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit, Whitmarsh added that JB and Perez have been a 'motivational force for the entire organisation'.
“There is little rest for our personnel as we quickly turn ourselves around from a fortnight in the Far East and prepare for this weekend's Indian Grand Prix. While we didn't possess the machinery to enable us to fight the top four teams at either of the last two events, I think we can be pleased from an operational standpoint – despite issues that affected both drivers in Japan and Korea – most notably a broken front wing and two punctures – we were strategically efficient, and were able to deliver some consistent finishes for both Jenson and Checo,” Whitmarsh said in the countdown to the 16th round.
“Equally, I must also single-out praise for both drivers: it's been a difficult season, but they have each remained calm, measured and dedicated.
“They have been a motivational force for the entire organisation, and I am very, very proud of the way they have responded.”
India will take a break from F1 next year, and while there are rumours about the events future viability, Whitmarsh is keen to see it return and prosper.
“The Indian Grand Prix has quickly developed into an important F1 event – it's popular and well attended, and the next few years will be critical if the sport is to establish a foothold in such a vast territory.
“It's been pleasing to see the enthusiasm that Indian fans have for our sport – and our love for their country is equally reciprocated – and I would love to see the race grow in significance over the coming years,” Whitmarsh summed-up.