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McLaren boss remains cautious

Team principle reveals why they won't be counting their chickens just yet

Posted Apr 03, 2011 by Weekend Round-Up

Lewis Hamilton

This time next week the teams will be in Malaysia battling it out in the next stage of the 2011 season.

The Sepang Circuit, where the F1 is held combined lengthy high-speed straights making it an overtaking-friendly track combined with the complex twisty sections requiring a great degree of technical prowess from the drivers are sure to make the Malaysia GP a high-octane race.

This year is expected to be even more interesting than usual because the new Pirelli tyres have yet to be tested in extreme heat and Kuala Lumpur tends to enjoy a very warm climate with the track soaring to sizzling temperatures at this time of year so the teams certainly have a challenge on their hands and would be well-placed to get as much practice time in as possible in the preceding days to ensure success on Sunday.

Meanwhile back in Woking, McLaren team principle Martin Whitmarsh has urged caution even despite the impressive start to the season that the team has had. In Melbourne, Lewis Hamilton finished in second place (still a long way off defending champion Sebastian Vettle) but second place nevertheless – this gave the British team and its fans a ray of hope that the pre-season struggle with pace and reliability of the car may be over.

Hamilton has been in publicity mode for the last week singing the praises of the team and telling the world how excited he is for the season ahead. This has inevitably sparked discussion that McLaren is back on form however Whitmarsh’s announcement certainly poured sand on the flames.

He commented “Melbourne's Albert Park perhaps didn’t show us the best of our competitors' pace. We are motivated to bring more to the party but essentially we have yet to see the other teams at their peak which means we still have a mountain to climb if we are to become 2011 champions.

Hamilton finished in Melbourne a whole 0.8 seconds off Vettel in the practice session and then 22 seconds off the pace on Sunday when Vettel lead the race from start to finish with a spectacular performance which reminded everyone why he is the reigning champion.

The placing in Melbourne inevitably went straight to Hamilton’s head who claimed he was back in the fight – attempting to regain some of the glory from his first few seasons in F1 – sadly for him, I think the time has come to hand over the title of “F1 young hotshot” to Sebastian Vettel.

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