• Italian Grand Prix

McLaren was fastest - Whitmarsh

ESPNF1 Staff
September 12, 2011 « Liuzzi given grid penalty | »
Martin Whitmarsh said the inability to challenge for victory was "deeply frustrating" © Sutton Images
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Martin Whitmarsh says that McLaren had the fastest car in the Italian Grand Prix, and that he was frustrated that it was unable to challenge Sebastian Vettel.

Having qualified second and third respectively, Lewis Hamilton found himself fourth and Jenson Button seventh following the race restart after a safety car. Michael Schumacher proceeded to hold off the pair until the 16th lap, with Sebastian Vettel easing away at the front at a rate of around a second per lap. Whitmarsh said that the pace of both drivers in clear air showed what might have been, but that ultimately their races were undone by the poor starts.

"Our cars were the quickest of the lot," Whitmarsh said. "Lewis posted fastest lap, while Jenson took second-fastest lap - but unfortunately our drivers didn't get off to good enough starts. The result was that they spent much of the race stuck behind Michael [Schumacher], whose Mercedes-Benz was remarkably quick in a straight line and extremely 'wide' on the approaches to the corners.

"Meanwhile, Seb [Vettel] was able to pull away, which was deeply frustrating for us because we knew we had the pace to take the race to him, had our guys got off to better starts. But that's motor racing: you've got to qualify well, start well and race well. Well, this weekend we qualified pretty well, we raced very well, but we didn't start well enough."