LONDON — McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh says that Jenson Button’s sensational race from last to first in Canada has motivated the team immensely.
“Jenson’s fantastic last-to-first result in Canada last weekend proved beyond doubt that, as a team, we never give up,” said Whitmarsh on the McLaren web site.
“That victory was a great fillip for the entire organisation and shows that our tireless efforts to bring constant upgrades to the track are really paying off. As a team, it’s particularly satisfying that our upgrade ‘hit-rate’ has been successful and that we’ve really been able to translate the results we’ve seen at the factory into concrete performance at the track. Again, that’s the result of good teamwork and is what will successfully carry us through this championship fight.
“We’re now into the heart of the season and need to ensure that we’re regularly delivering performance to the car. We’ve shown time and time again that this is one of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ key strengths and I’m confident we can continue to deliver. For Valencia and beyond, our aim is clear — we want to win.”
2009 world champion Button, who moved up into second place in the championship, said that his win would boost confidence in the team, the only one on the grid to beat Red Bull this year.
“I wouldn’t say that winning in Montreal has given me extra motivation because I was already totally committed, but I think it will help to sharpen the focus and conviction of everyone in the team,” he suggested. “We’ve proved we can challenge and beat Sebastian and we know we can fight for this world championship.”
Whitmarsh still sees Red Bull as very much the team to beat as the series heads to Valencia for the European Grand Prix on June 26. “I think we go into the weekend feeling encouraged and motivated by our performance, but still realistic that Red Bull remains the pacesetter — particularly in qualifying,” he said.
2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton, the only other driver to win a race this year apart from Button and Vettel, is aiming for consistency after crashes in Monaco and Canada.
“For me, Valencia will be a weekend of consolidation after two disappointing results in Monaco and Canada,” said Hamilton.
“Those two races were particularly frustrating for me because we showed we had the pace to win both of them, yet I only came away with eight points. We’ve arguably had the fastest race car in the last three races and that’s really encouraging because I know that, when it’s put to best use, I should be able to finish at the front.
“I’ve always gone well at Valencia, finishing second there in every race and I really enjoy attacking the track. It’s a difficult circuit with no let-up, but that won’t deter me as I’m really keen to get back on track and get back in the points. This race will be our third street circuit in a row, so hopefully it’ll give me the chance to reverse the bad luck I’ve encountered in the previous two!” —Supersport.com