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McLaren rues lost points

ESPN Staff
November 27, 2012 « Car the only weak point - Domenicali | Hamilton set for Mercedes contact »
McLaren failed to turn any one of its four front-row lockouts in to a one-two finish © Sutton Images
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McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh says McLaren has to capitalise on point-scoring opportunities better in 2013.

Lewis Hamilton retired from the lead for the third time in the last seven races when he collided with Nico Hulkenberg in Brazil, with the team's four front-row lockouts this season yielding a total of 105 points out of a possible 172. McLaren suffered a total of 12 retirements or scoreless races compared to eight each for Red Bull and Ferrari, and Whitmarsh said that the car had been quick but the team had failed to capitalise on enough occasions.

"It wasn't how we wanted to end but I think we've had a good competitive car for the last part of this season," Whitmarsh said. "That means we've just got to make sure we can do that for the beginning of next year. I think we've had a quick car for a lot of this year but we've got to make sure we're really taking the points when they're there to be taken.

"Too many have slipped through our fingers this year which is frustrating, but we come away with seven great victories. Many teams would be delighted with that - we're not delighted with it - but I think we've got a good foundation for next year, relative stability in the rules so we ought to be able to come out with a decent package next year."

Whitmarsh agreed that Hamilton himself had endured an up and down season in his final year with the team, but said despite it being his last race Whitmarsh was always going to let the two drivers fight freely for the victory in Brazil.

"From being an innocent victim - he should have breezed it in Abu Dhabi - he did a fantastic job in the US and had a reasonable chance [in Brazil]; I think it was going to be between him and Jenson [Button] to take the top step. They had a great fight, one that gives me a few more grey hairs and the guys were worrying about it but you've got to trust them and I do trust them. It sometimes is a distraction but overall those sort of healthy dynamics within the team are the way we go motor racing so I think you have to watch some of those uncomfortable moments if you're in my seat."