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Whitmarsh 'very proud' of drivers

ESPN Staff
October 21, 2013 « Maldonado rubbishes Williams rumours | Daniil Kvyat named as Toro Rosso driver for 2014 »
Martin Whitmarsh: "[The drivers] have been a motivational force for the entire organisation" © Sutton Images

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh says he is "very proud" of the approach to the season shown by both Jenson Button and Sergio Perez.

Having ended 2012 with the fastest car, McLaren has been off the pace this season after a poor start led to it switching its attentions to 2014 early. Ahead of this weekend's Indian Grand Prix, Whitmarsh has been keen to praise the team's ability to make the most of its potential at each race and highlighted Button and Perez as the driving force behind McLaren's efforts.

"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," Whitmarsh said. "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.

"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 proud of the way they've responded."

Perez himself said he can still take satisfaction from performances which make the most of the car he has available.

"We know we don't have the machinery to fight the top four teams, but there's always fierce competition around the fringes of the top 10," Perez said. "Scrapping for points might not be what Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is all about, but it's nonetheless satisfying to nail the set-up and the strategy and drive a perfect race. That'll be my aim again this weekend."