Martin Whitmarsh says that both McLaren drivers are still in the championship fight, despite them dropping down the order over recent races and losing ground to Fernando Alonso and the Red Bull drivers.
The update package introduced in Germany clearly brought some speed to the car, and Whitmarsh hopes the trend can continue.
“We’re at the half way point and we’ve got a lot of racing ahead of us, and they can both do it,” he said. “This season is going to go right to the very end. I believe that we’ll be sat on the edge of our seats in the last few laps of the Brazilian GP, and I hope I’m in deep agony on those last few laps, because it means we’re in contention to win!
“Fernando is doing a great job, and so are Ferrari. They are difficult to beat, but it’s doable. We’re a motor racing team, and we are fighters. We are a great motor racing team and what we’ve got to do is just concentrate now race by race on trying to win and maximise points, and see if we can erode that situation.”
Whitmarsh was pleased with the updates that improved the car for Germany, but says there is no time to relax: “It’s good enough at the moment, but we’ve got half the season to go. The onus is on us to keep developing it. We’ve got a reasonable amount of momentum in the system at the moment, so we will be making the car quicker. Sadly our competitors will be trying to respond as well. I think that’s what makes motor racing and F1 in particular as exciting as it is.
“We’re on the pace anyway now. We’ve got to keep the faith, keep focussed, and not make mistakes. Both our drivers are capable of winning races and they are both still capable of winning this year’s World Championship.”
Whitmarsh also had some interesting views on the Red Bull engine mapping controversy.
“In fairness I can give you an emotional reaction, but I can’t give you an informed reaction because I don’t have the data. I can speculate, and there’s been a lot of speculation about what they’re doing, and it would be wrong for me to comment on that, but I think it’s clear that the Technical Working Group [on Monday] will be a good opportunity.
“If now it is a decision that you are allowed to do that then everyone is going to spend a lot of money to be running that sort of map and will be doing it as quickly as you can. If that’s what it’s got to be it’s got to be. Clearly the FIA is frustrated by it, so I think it will be better for there to be clarity and to stop doing it in the future.”