McLaren: We will rise to Red Bull's challenge insists Martin Whitmarsh
McLaren's team principal, Martin Whitmarsh, is confident they can respond to Red Bull's step forward in pace at this weekend's Korean Grand Prix.
Prior to last Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, McLaren had been the car to beat for four races in a row, but they were given a rude awakening as Red Bull dominated qualifying and the race itself. Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button could finish only fifth and fourth respectively and their title hopes are fading fast.
Hamilton is 42 points adrift of the championship leader, Fernando Alonso, and 38 behind the winner at Suzuka and new title favourite, Sebastian Vettel, with five races left. Button is 63 behind Alonso.
Whitmarsh said of Red Bull's challenge: "They looked good, it was the strongest car over the course of the weekend. We only had a car capable of the second row in qualifying because Red Bull were quicker.
"We need to look at the car, how we set it up, what developments we can make, the character of the coming circuits, and see if we can get back. We have had a quick car for a few races but we are in a development race. Red Bull look strong, that is the challenge for us. That is the kind of challenge we like to try and respond to."
Suzuka also saw Hamilton, who will join Mercedes next season, involved in a battle with his replacement at McLaren, Sergio Perez.
Hamilton called the Sauber driver's manoeuvres "crazy" but Whitmarsh was pleased by the Mexican's intent. "It shows we have someone who wants to go out there and race and challenge. There is a diamond that needs to be honed there and that is quite an interesting challenge."
New day (slowly) rising – As Brasileirão gets underway, Brazilian football stumbles, rather than leaps into the future
The average Serie A crowd last year was 13,000 - comparable to Australia’s A-League.
by James Young
24 May 2013 04:31 PM
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
'Too expensive and too corporate' – ITV presenter Adrian Chiles says of English football as he praises the German Bundesliga ahead of Bayern Munich facing Borussia Dortmund
Why Manchester City were willing to fork out $500m on stake in MLS
Champions League final: Biggest German invasion since the fifth century as Borussia Dortmund face Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich: 50 things you should know about the Champions League final
Champions League Final: Can Jürgen Klopp and Borussia Dortmund stop the Bayern Munich machine?
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.