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Gloves will come off - Whitmarsh
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes that Formula One will "really see the gloves come off" now that the championship has been decided.
Sebastian Vettel's third place in Japan was enough to secure him the 2011 title with four races remaining. With Vettel's first title being decided at the final race when any one of four drivers could have been champion in 2010, Whitmarsh admitted that this season's early finish would result in less interest in the final grands prix, but that the races themselves could be some of the most exciting with the pressure of a championship battle lifted.
"Inevitably, there will be a drop of interest - the tension and excitement that we've been fortunate to encounter in recent years is never a given," Whitmarsh told The Times of India. "I actually think you'll really see the gloves come off and we'll get to see some truly incredible racing by the greatest drivers in the world."
Whitmarsh also said that there was no less desire for either Jenson Button or Lewis Hamilton to win races now that the championship was out of reach.
"We've lost none of our ambition to win now that the drivers' championship has been resolved, and I know both our drivers would dearly love to score a one-two for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes to further proof that we have a superbly competitive car at the moment."