Whitmarsh: Out of the blocks quickly

Date published: November 18 2011

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh says his outfit needs a strong start next season if they hope to fight Red Bull for the World titles…

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh says his outfit needs a strong start to next year’s Championship if they hope to fight Red Bull for the World titles.

With Red Bull in top form this season, McLaren were left to pick up the pieces, claiming just six victories of which two were the result of Sebastian Vettel’s misfortunes.

McLaren did at least have the edge over Ferrari and secured second place in the Constructors’ Championship with Jenson Button on track to finish runner-up in the Drivers’.

However, Whitmarsh concedes McLaren need to come out firing next season if they want to finish top of the pile.

“We’re very proud of the performance at the weekend in Abu Dhabi to win that race,” he said of Lewis Hamilton’s victory at the Yas Marina circuit.

“That brings us to six victories, and obviously we’d like to make it seven (in the final race in Brazil on November 27) before the end of this year.

“But by the high standards of McLaren this has not been a vintage year.

“We’ve secured second place in the Constructors’ Championship, but clearly we want to win more races than this.

“We had a slow start this year, so we have to get out of the blocks quickly and effectively at the start of next year to make sure we are winning races straightaway.

“We’ve two great drivers, a fantastic team of men and women here who are continuously innovative and moving us forward to be competitive.

“So we’re optimistic about next year. If we weren’t then we would have to change something because we are here to win.”

Meanwhile, managing director Jonathan Neale, who joined Whitmarsh in speaking on the day that Prime Minister David Cameron paid a visit to the official opening of the new McLaren Production Centre, said that both Button and his team-mate Hamilton deserve better for the team as they both want to win their second World titles.

“We’ve consistently won races, we’re consistently on the podium, but we don’t win Championships enough and that’s a frustration,” said Neale.

“We love winning races, but we need to win more Championships. We have shown we can out-develop and stay close to everybody, but we have to get out of the blocks, start quick.

“We do that with graft. Lewis and Jenson, as back-to-back World Champions, deserve the best, so that’s a clear target.”