• McLaren news

Whitmarsh not writing off Ferrari yet

ESPNF1 Staff
July 20, 2010 « Kovalainen expecting raucous atmosphere | »
Martin Whitmarsh [right] says it is not yet a two-horse race for the constructors' title © Getty Images

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh refuses to admit that the race for the drivers' and constructors' championship is now a two-horse battle between his team and rivals Red Bull.

Speaking at the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team phone-in before the German Grand Prix weekend, Whitmarsh insisted that he could not yet write off the challenge of Ferrari or Mercedes.

"I would love to believe that but experience has told me you can't write them [Ferrari] off," said Whitmarsh. "The fact is Ferrari are a strong team, they're technically capable have fantastic resource and have one former world champion and another top flight driver. Mercedes Benz similarly have one former multi world champion and a very good driver in Nico [Rosberg] as well so I think it's too early to write them off.

"We'll just try to improve our car and do as good a job as we can do. Red Bull are the principal challengers at the moment but I don't dismiss the others."

As for the individual battle between the drivers in the McLaren team, Whitmarsh does not see any clear number one emerging as yet although Lewis Hamilton is currently 12 points ahead of second placed Jenson Button in the drivers' standings.

"Jenson is second in the drivers' championship and has had two great wins this year. He has proven that he is a great racing driver and a great reader of the race and someone who can recover from fourteenth to fourth is a phenomenally adept and quick racing driver.

"I am sure Jenson hasn't given way to Lewis' charge to the championship and he will want to win this weekend and move the momentum back in his favour. It's just how it should be."