Title chase not over for McLaren says Whitmarsh

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh feels Sunday's Korean Grand Prix perfectly illustrated the vagaries of an extraordinary Formula One season that is far from over for his team.

In the space of one rain-lashed race, Red Bull went from favourites to land both drivers' and constructors' titles to wondering how it could all go so horrifyingly wrong.

Mark Webber's crash and Sebastian Vettel's blown engine means they are both now hunters as they chase down the in-form Fernando Alonso who made it four wins from his last seven races.

Webber, who had started the day 14 points clear, is now 11 adrift of the Spaniard, whilst Vettel, who at one stage could have been leading the standings if his engine had not given way, is fourth and 25 points down.

Ahead of the final two races of the year in Brazil and Abu Dhabi on November 7 and 14, it underlines there are no guarantees for any of the drivers.

With Lewis Hamilton firmly in the hunt after finishing second to Alonso to leave him 21 points down, Whitmarsh said: "We are still very much in contention with Lewis.

"We've two really interesting races ahead, in particular Brazil, with Interlagos a great circuit which always produces a great race.

"But there is little doubt now the championship decider is going to be in Abu Dhabi, which is great for Formula One.

"But there has never been a better race than the one in Korea to demonstrate anything can happen in this championship. It really is still wide open."

As far as Whitmarsh is concerned, it is the driver who now makes the fewest mistakes who will be crowned champion, with Alonso at present flawless.

Webber underlined he is fallible when he put a wheel out of place that sent him spinning out on Sunday.

Hamilton, too, had one minor detour off track, but that was enough to cost him what may well have been a win given Vettel's retirement later on.

"Errors were costly for Red Bull, and they will feel they are under pressure," added Whitmarsh.

"Of course Lewis will be disappointed he fell off and let Fernando through, and okay it didn't quite work out for him.

"But he is definitely up for racing. He still has self confidence and self belief.

"Overall Ferrari have made a great recovery. From struggling mid-season they are leading the championship. They're tough to beat.

"Fernando is a phenomenal competitor, so that will be a good fight as well. It's great.

"Red Bull are also tough to beat, so we have to make sure we're at our best, that we keep improving the car and we minimise errors.

"If we do that then there is no reason why we can't win this world championship."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power