Sebastian Vettel title charge made 'too easy' concedes McLaren chief

 

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has conceded to making it all too easy of late for Sebastian Vettel as he closes in on his third consecutive Formula One world title.

McLaren may have equalled a new F1 benchmark in Sunday's Indian Grand Prix as they managed to bring a car home in the points for the 55th successive time, but that has done nothing for their title hopes.

For the fourth straight season McLaren will end it empty-handed as neither Lewis Hamilton - barring the mother of all miracles - nor Jenson Button can win the drivers' crown, whilst Red Bull can wrap up the constructors' this weekend in Abu Dhabi.

For the Woking-based marque, nothing has gone right since Hamilton retired from the Singapore Grand Prix with a gearbox failure whilst leading on lap 23.

From that moment Vettel has led every single lap - now 204 - and has taken four consecutive wins to edge 13 points clear of Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari with three races remaining.

Assessing why Vettel and Red Bull have suddenly taken a stranglehold on proceedings, Whitmarsh said: "They've a fast car, a driver who is consistent and the team has been doing a good job.

"But we have made it all too easy for him. In India, for instance, we needed to get up there and give him a harder time at the start.

"But we weren't able to make anything stick, and instead our two guys found themselves fighting each other and Fernando on the first lap.

"That was probably the dream ticket for them (Red Bull), but they have done a great job."

McLaren can still win the constructors' championship, but it is now a mathematical long shot as they trail by 101 points, with a maximum of 129 available.

It appears as if McLaren's unwanted record of never having won the constructors' title since 1998 is set to continue, leaving them with nothing more than three race wins to aim for.

"Of course there's frustration and disappointment at not winning the constructors', but they're not the most useful emotions," added Whitmarsh.

"We produced a solid performance in India where we were quick at the end, although we were not quick enough at the beginning, and we had underperformed in the two races prior to that.

"The fact is we've three races to go, the motivation is very high, which you can sense in Lewis, within everyone in the team.

"We want to go out and win some more races before the end of this year. That's all we can focus on now."

PA

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