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Whitmarsh happy with Valencia haul.


McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh has said that he expects the Formula One championship battle to go to the wire, with the varying conditions expected at the remaining six venues set to play an important part in the outcome.

Speaking after the first European Grand Prix held around the Americas Cup port in Valencia, Whitmarsh claimed that Felipe Massa's romp to victory had been aided by a change in temperature that suited the Ferrari, but insisted that things would not always play into the Scuderia's hands over the remaining rounds.

"I think Ferrari were pleased the sun came out on Sunday, as I'm sure they feel that, when the track temperature really heats up, that's when their car really comes to them," he analysed, "We're now entering extremely interesting territory, where we wont be entirely certain what sort of temperatures we'll be encountering at some of the future races. Monza is likely to be hot and Singapore will probably be cooler, but the races at Spa, Fuji, Shanghai and Brazil could just as easily be sweltering as torrential."

As if to reply to quotes from Lewis Hamilton that appeared in the British press in the wake of Valencia, Whitmarsh insisted, however, that there would be no let up in the development of the MP4-23 between now and the end of the season.

“My car is quick, but their car is quicker,” Hamilton told The Times, "We dropped everyone at Valencia - it was just me and Felipe in a completely different world, but he was still just edging away from me and I could do nothing about it.

"It is something I am constantly telling the team that we need to fix. There are certain things that we need to fix and they are working on it, [but] it probably won't be fixed for the next race - it might not be fixed until next year's car.”

Whitmarsh revealed that McLaren's simulations for the European Grand Prix had factored in drama on a Monaco and Montreal scale, which may have contributed to Hamilton's inability to take Massa on head-to-head over the 57 laps.

"It's fair to say we predicted more drama from a track lined with concrete walls and had factored the appearance of at least one safety car period into our pre-race calculations," he admitted, "The reality is that the race had its moments of controversy, but never quite delivered the level of incident we'd been anticipating beforehand.

"I don't know whether that's down to us misinterpreting the level of risk involved in racing around this track, or whether it was just a testament to the good driving standards of modern Formula One drivers, but we did not have the package to beat Felipe Massa. However, we feel we did a first-rate job and secured a very useful haul of world championship points. Lewis extended his lead in the drivers' championship and, in the constructors', we extended our lead over BMW Sauber and closed down the gap to Ferrari."



Related Pictures

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Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-23, Valencia F1 Grand Prix, 22nd-24th, August 2008
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
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Joe K, Ireland - Unregistered

August 28, 2008 10:49 PM

Well, hopefully alternating weather conditions will spice up the races into the end of the year. I have been a Formula One fan since the sixties when I was a kid. It was very good up to when Michael Schumacher was racing Damon Hill. After that it has all gone downhill. The adrenalin rush has gone !!!!! Boring!! I cant imagine what all the spectators at Valentia were thinking on Sunday after Alonso went out and the rest was a spaced out procession. The money they spent on going there. I bet they wont come back in a rush next year. There''s no magic left. We''re watching two "ego" teams battle it out and I am not sure at this stage what the point of it all is. JK Ireland.....

Schumi - Unregistered

August 29, 2008 3:26 PM

this is the part of the season where massa usually shoots himself in the foot and basically does not get as many points, as soon as the weather changes and the track cools down and a few spots of rain appear the real drivers step up the pace and leave him so come on kimi prove me right



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