McLaren team principal has said that Jenson Button arrives in Brazil intending to win the world championship.
The Englishman lies furthest adrift in his quest to retain his title, and looks likely to fall out of contention before the final race in Abu Dhabi.
But his boss said that he would be going for broke nonetheless.
“I think the right thing for a racing driver is to go there and win and I’d be disappointed if Jenson wasn’t going there trying to win,” Whitmarsh told BBC Sport.
“I think the championship for Jenson in particular is tough but if he was telling me that he has given up I would be deeply disappointed.
“So I think the right target is for him to get his car in front of all of our competitors.”
Whitmarsh did suggest that the position of the team might change during the race, however.
“We’ll see what the situation is during the race,” he suggested.