McLaren drivers call on team to improve

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have called on McLaren to improve, following the team’s failure to compete for victory in Germany.

Although McLaren recorded a credible fourth and fifth placed finish in the race, both cars finished nearly half a minute behind race winner Fernando Alonso.

As a result, the Woking-based team will now hope to work hard on its 2010 challenger to ensure that both of its drivers can maintain their dominant position in the championship standings.

Lewis Hamilton – 4th: “I did everything I could at the start, because I knew that that was the place where I could really make up some ground. Unfortunately, the guys in front were phenomenally quick, but I still managed to make up a couple of places.

“It was a very tough race today – the car didn’t feel fantastic and the Ferraris and Red Bulls were very fast. We hoped the gap would be closer in the race than it was in qualifying, and it was but, even so, we’ve got to make up some pace on our main rivals.

“We need to go back and figure out where we can improve, and pick it up again very quickly. Today, we did everything we could do now we just have to work harder than ever to get ahead of the cars in front.”

Jenson Button – 5th: “My start was pretty good, I got away fantastically well off the line but we got to Turn One, and Sebastian [Vettel], who was fighting the Ferraris, braked pretty early, and I nearly went into the back of him. I had to take avoiding action and go wide at Turn One the thing is, I hit the brakes, and soon as you do that in Turn One, you lose a lot of time. So I lost three places, but thankfully I got one of those back pretty quickly.

“In the first stint, I looked after the tyres pretty well. I was at the back of the group, and it was a strategy that we’d planned before the race. After my stop, my pace relative to Lewis was very similar, and I settled in never less than two seconds behind him. But I couldn’t go any quicker because I was losing downforce to the car in front.

“Lewis and I showed today that we got the maximum out of the car it’s just that the car isn’t quite quick enough at the moment.”

Martin Whitmarsh – Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: “Today we saw yet another impressively competent day’s work from both our drivers and the result was 22 very valuable world championship points.

“In truth, in the circumstances, that’s probably about as many as we could have hoped to score today.

“We arrived in Germany in first place in the Constructors’ Championship and in first and second places in the drivers’ championship and we leave Germany in exactly the same positions. So that’s extremely positive.

“From here on in, we’ll work as hard as we can to maintain and improve our positions at the head of both world championships. We’ll continue to develop our car in the weeks and months ahead, with a view to adding as many world championship points to the milestone total of 300 we’ve amassed this season as of today.”