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Whitmarsh: F1 is tougher than ever before

Monday 24th December 2012

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Whitmarsh: F1 is tougher than ever before

Whitmarsh: F1 is tougher than ever before

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes the current F1 grid is the most competitive that he has ever experienced.

The 2012 season saw seven different drivers from five different constructors win the first seven races, with Kimi Raikkonen driving his Lotus to victory later in the year to add another constructor to the list of winners.

The Drivers' title went down to the last race where Sebastian Vettel edged out Fernando Alonso by three points, while Red Bull finished only 60 points ahead of Ferrari in the Constructors' standings with a total that was 190 less than they achieved in 2011.

McLaren endured a difficult season, performing in spits and spurts as they notched up seven race wins but failed to challenge in either the Constructors' or Drivers' Championships.

Looking back on the year, Whitmarsh feels that the cars and drivers on the grid are the strongest that have been on show since he started in the sport in 1989.

"The strength and depth of the grid in terms of drivers and teams in my view, casting back over 24 years personally, is stronger than it's ever been," he told ESPNF1.

"It's more difficult to go out there week after week winning and being dominant, and that's good. It's been great that these last two or three years have been really good Formula One seasons."

The Briton believes there are a number of reasons why this is the case.

"You've got well-funded teams, a period of comparative rule stability and I think the tyres have been quite tricky. For a good first half of this year they were a baffling ingredient in the performance package. So I think all those things mean it's close," he explained.

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