F1: Martin Whitmarsh hails 'exemplary' Jenson Button and Sergio Perez in face of dreadful start for McLaren

The British based team struggled in the opening Grand Prix of the season

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has vowed to deliver the goods for Jenson Button and Sergio Perez after hailing them “exemplary” in the face of such a poor start to the new Formula One season.

Whitmarsh has admitted it was the inspirational attitude of Button and Perez over the course of the Australian Grand Prix weekend that raised the spirits of not just himself, but everyone in the team.

McLaren's latest car is woefully off the pace - three seconds to the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel in qualifying - whilst Button finished ninth and 81 seconds down on race winner Kimi Raikkonen in his Lotus, with Perez 11th.

The decision to radically redevelop a car that won in the United States and Brazil at the end of last year rather than opt for a natural evolution into this season has proven costly.

Although frank in his assessment of his team's failings in Melbourne, it clearly pained Whitmarsh to admit the gravity of the problems.

To that end, he was grateful to old-hand Button and young Mexican Perez for remaining so upbeat.

"On a weekend like we had you look for positives, and one of them was how great the drivers were," said Whitmarsh.

"Their attitude, their approach over a difficult weekend was very, very good.

"Jenson we know and love, so we expect that from him. He is that sort of professional.

"For a young driver like Checo to arrive in this situation, and to cope with it so well and perform in such difficult circumstances and in such a positive way, is very encouraging.

"They're working with the team, they are team players, and we are all in this together."

Instead of McLaren's management doing the tub-thumping, it was left to the drivers, which in turn has left Whitmarsh promising to repay them for their energy.

"Both the guys were an inspiration with how they conducted themselves and helped pull the team together," added Whitmarsh.

"They were exemplary, and I can tell you, even myself you get raised by them, you want to fight for them, they deserve it.

"It makes you even more determined to deliver for them because they did a great job over the weekend in circumstances that were not good for them."

In turn, Button has defended Whitmarsh, whose head is potentially on the chopping block after four barren years in charge without a title, and after overseeing this latest horrendous wrong turn.

The 33-year-old, speaking to Press Association Sport, said: "He is the boss. Everyone looks up to Martin.

"It's difficult to always be strong, but he is doing a bloody good job.

"It is everybody's job to stay positive. We have to say what we think about the car, that is how it is. We cannot say everything is hunky-dory because it is not.

"We know we have work to do, but we are all very strong within this team, and we do work very closely together as a family. There is no finger-pointing.

"We want to improve, but it is going to be a long journey for us I think."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
books
Arts and Entertainment
filmSir Ian McKellen will play retired detective in new film
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil