Whitmarsh: McLaren must continue aggressive approach

Martin Whitmarsh believes that McLaren must continue to push on with it vigorous development programme if it is to continue its recent run of form.

Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button record the team’s second one-two finish in succession – a result which resulted in the Woking-based outfit taking charge of both championships. However, Whitmarsh believes that this year’s title race remains wide open and that McLaren will be forced to remain aggressive in its development of the MP4-25.

“We are quite a battle-hardened team,” the McLaren team principal is quoted as saying by Autosport.

“We have been through a lot of world championship fights and we have probably got a bit more experience in our team than Red Bull Racing – but we don’t underestimate them. They are going to come back strongly, for sure, and we have to make sure that we continue to develop the car.

“It is a classic case that if we don’t develop the car at a quick-enough pace, then we will not win races and we will not win this championship.

“We have got an underlying development programme, and we are trying to bring 0.15-0.25 seconds every race. If you do that upper end of the scale in four races then that is one second.

“We won’t stand still. We have a reasonably big upgrade that we are fighting to have for Silverstone, and if that is there then I would be disappointed if it is not a much bigger step than that. But I also expect, Red Bull Racing to fight back.

“They have not won a championship and they are determined to win one, and that will be tough. Ferrari are there as well and, at the moment, we should not underestimate Mercedes even though they have slipped back a little bit.”

Whitmarsh also believes that the team will have to use its experience of past championship battles to be successful in 2010.

“We’ve been through championship campaigns, so have both of our drivers, and they know how tough it is,” he said. “The drivers and the team are very determined to make sure that we carry on winning races.

“We have to take it one race at a time. We’ve been delighted over the last two races, but we have to go to Valencia and try to capitalise on the form we have at the moment with the type of the circuit that Valencia is, and then make sure that we secure a decent step forward at Silverstone that helps us maintain the pace.

“If we don’t, if we fail to develop the car, we will get overhauled and beaten by more than just Red Bull.”