Pressure is on Ferrari claims McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh

 

Martin Whitmarsh has piled the pressure on Ferrari, despite seeing his McLaren team endure a difficult Japanese Grand Prix weekend which ended with Lewis Hamilton making another Twitter gaffe.

Button and Hamilton could only finish fourth and fifth at Suzuka as McLaren struggled for pace relative to the stunning performance of the Red Bulls.

Sebastian Vettel cruised to the win to narrow Fernando Alonso's championship lead to four points.

Hamilton did at least trim 10 points off his own deficit to Alonso after the Ferrari driver failed to finish, but it was a challenging weekend all round for the Woking-based team.

The race was the first since Hamilton's move to Mercedes was confirmed and that, understandably, was the major topic of paddock discussion, even allowing for Michael Schumacher's retirement announcement.

And he completed the weekend by taking Button to task on Twitter, having been led to believe his team-mate had stopped following him on the social media site.

In a series of tweets on his official feed, which has around 1.1million followers, Hamilton said: "Just noticed jensonbutton unfollowed, thats a shame. After 3 years as teammates, I thought we respected one another but clearly he doesn't.

"Funny thing is, we are STILL teammates! All good tho, I plan on giving this team & fans all I got til I cross the finish line in brazil!!!"

But the 27-year-old was left embarrassed when he realised Button did not follow his Twitter account in the first place.

That led him to tweet: "My bad, just found out Jenson never followed me. Don't blame him! Need to be on Twitter more!"

Hamilton's comments are unlikely to have impressed Button and could put a strain on a working relationship that, while seen as being largely harmonious, has been known to be tense.

Hamilton's Twitter climbdown is not the first time he has mis-stepped on the social networking site.

At the Belgian Grand Prix he posted a picture of the telemetry from his and Button's qualifying laps, which the team quickly told him to remove due to the sensitive nature of the data, on that occasion Button said he was "disappointed".

On the track things were not a great deal better. Having had the quickest car at the previous four races, McLaren will have been concerned about how Red Bull turned the tables to dominate in Japan.

But team principal Whitmarsh believes it is Ferrari and Alonso who are the ones under the most pressure after seeing their championship lead all but wiped out.

Whitmarsh, speaking before Hamilton's Twitter outburst, said: "Let's be positive about it. I guess Fernando will be going home more unhappy than most, he is under pressure, more pressure frankly from Sebastian than from us, but we have closed that gap again and we have five races to go.

"Red Bull were on form here and at the moment Ferrari are under some pressure from us and Red Bull. If they have some big updates they may be able to change that position, but obviously I don't know."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy