Whitmarsh: McLaren “support Button fully”

Brazilian Grand Prix

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McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said the team will continue to support Jenson Button despite the reigning world champion’s slim hopes of retaining his title.

Whitmarsh said:

If Formula 1 has taught us competitors one thing over the past couple of years, it?s to never give up hope until the odds are no longer possible, and that the most unexpected outcome can become a very real and viable possibility sooner than you can readily imagine.

With that in mind, we go to Brazil, and then on to Abu Dhabi, still determined to wrest both world championships. Lewis is well-placed in the drivers? championship. While Jenson lies 42 points adrift, he has vowed to fight on. As the reigning world champion, and a great driver, he knows better than most that you can?t lift the title without being a resolute fighter. That?s exactly why we hired him, and we?ll be supporting him fully this weekend.
Martin Whitmarsh

He added the team are still hopeful of regaining the lead in the constructors’ championship, having cut Red Bull’s lead at Korea:

As for the constructors? championship, we?re only 27 points off the top spot ?ǣ a very slender margin, and one that both Jenson and Lewis are convinced we can bridge by the time the chequered flag falls in Abu Dhabi.

We?re ready for battle and working harder than ever to win both world championships.
Martin Whitmarsh

Button said he hasn’t given up hope of winning the championship a second time:

Given the points situation, I know that I face an uphill struggle to hold on to the world title, but I?ll be giving it everything I?ve got this weekend to stay in contention. I fought hard to become the 2009 world champion, and I won?t give up my title without a fight.
Jenson Button

Lewis Hamilton, who is 21 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso, said:

We go to Brazil knowing that we may not have the fastest car, but we?ll have a decent package that should work well. We have a strong engine and good straightline speed, so I think we?ll still be quick ?ǣ crucially, that combination should give us the opportunity to pass into the first corner, which is probably the best overtaking spot on the track.

I know the world championship is figuring in everybody?s thoughts at the moment, but I?m not thinking about it too much: I need to get a good result in Brazil to take the fight to Abu Dhabi, so that?s my priority. Whatever happens, it?s going to be a very tight battle.
Lewis Hamilton

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36 comments on “Whitmarsh: McLaren “support Button fully””

  1. blah blah blah… PR!! we all know jenosn won’t be ahead lewis. FACT!

  2. McLaren Pr, blah blah blah (hey, that rhymed).

    What we really want to know is when it’s going to be decided that Button has no chance and what he’d do in the circumstance. Would he let Hamilton by on the last lap? What if Button is leading Hamilton with any combination of Alonso/Webber/Vettel closing in because he’s being held up? Will Button say “wait until the finish line because something could happen to those guys”, only for both to be passed?

    1. actually jenson will never get ahead of Lewis. If he ever does, Lewis will pass him in the race or they’ll make sure lewis gets ahead during tyre changes.
      By keeping Button in the fight i guess they will try to secure as much points as possible for the constructors title.

      1. Yep, we saw it in Turkey. As soon as Button went to take Lewis, Lewis breezed by at the very next corner.

        Button has to beat Hamilton and he can’t do that unless Hamilton has problems.

        McLaren need to back Lewis.

  3. I am sure we can all read between the lines.

  4. Mclaren really needs to support him because with another race like korea, not only the wcc will be over for them but mclaren can lose 2nd place too. Ferrari is only 27 points behind with 86 points available.

  5. Actually i like the team supporting both drivers. And he would want Button to do the maximum to get the constructors championship anyhow.

    If they win, it is in their hands, so let them have a go, but if Button is miles behind, it would be good for the team if they could use him to at least give Lewis the chance to maximum points (a bit like Ferrari were probably keen to have Massa back Alonso up in Korea after his pitstop).

  6. Well, to be honest, if all 4 of Button’s opponents DNFs (what are the odds?) Button will be 3rd with 214 (Webber 2nd with 220, Alonso 1st with 231). That means Button has to get 18 points over Alonso, and 7 over Webber, to win.

    Well… good luck with that. I’d bet 500 EUR that Button won’t be WDC this year.

  7. Its Hammer time
    29th October 2010, 12:10

    I wish Mr Witmarsh would grow a pair.

    Back Lewis now Jense effectively can’t get it, stick to that plan. Win some trophies (and lots of money), both drivers have equal playing field next year.

    If Jens can’t see sense in that then he is a bigger fool than I ever had him down as. He is in the best form and team of his life.

    Nice guys finish last Mr Witmarsh/ Mr Button, as we all remember from 2007…

  8. If Jenson was leading a 1-2 in Abu Dhabi with Lewis needing a win to win the title I wonder if everyone who piped up about team orders would do so again. Different scenario but same principle

    1. The only way Jenson might be ahead of Hamilton at Abu Dhabi is if it rains… and there’s not much chance of that!

    2. No. Because, if both cars were fully competitive, Button would do it of his own accord, and there would be no team order or any threats on radio. That would be the clear, and decisive difference between the situations.

  9. Button is the fool here not Whitmarsh. Button needs to offer his full support to Hamilton.

    This is nothing like Kimi in 2007. I wish someone would sit down and explain the permutations with him – then maybe he would see sense.

    1. I’d have to agree with that; it may be possible for Jenson to win the Championship but it is now so improbable that it makes no difference and, for the sake of the team, I’d be putting my support firmly behind Lewis with the hope that Jenson can take enough points from the other drivers to help Lewis’s chances.

      If Jenson were in second place in the championship with his current points deficit then I could understand the team supporting his chances but to be that far behind with three other drivers between him and Alonso it would take some sort of cataclysmic event such as a repeat of the infamous crash at the start of the Spa GP a few years ago.

      1. One thing is mighty obvious that nobody will ever say that I will support one driver. Itz obvious they will support one driver. Itz just that they will not say it out loudly to the media.
        But deep inside i guess everyone knows whoz the driver they will support.

        1. You forgot, obviouz, zupport, zay, juzt, guezz, knowz and inzide.

  10. If at any point in the next two races the Mclaren’s are in formation with Button in front, I believe he WILL yield out of personal choice.

  11. mclaren need a strong race in brazil if they want have a chance to win the constructors in abu dabhi . . maybe a 2nd place and a 4th ..

  12. And if Button wins, Hami 2nd, Whitmarsh will be ungry xDD

  13. Hamilton would throw the kitchen sink at Button if he was ahead of him anyway (which he hardly ever is), McLaren would be unable to stop it even if they wanted to, which they won’t want to.

  14. Lewis will win against jenson no probs

  15. well i hate to say it….but the odds are no longer possible!

  16. Usual McLaren PR bs. They have been doing stuff like this all year. Ferrari could take some pointers.

  17. For those individuals who think McLaren favors Lewis; reflect back to the beginning of the season. When Jenson was signed by McLaren Martin Whitemarsh restructured the entire race team. He “promoted” Phil Prew, Lewis’s engineer to head engineer at all the races. He assigned both Jenson and Lewis new engineers who had not been F1 engineers before. As a matter of fact the engineer selected for Jenson was an assistant to Phil Pew on Lewis’s side last year.
    During race weekends the driver’s engineers communicate with Phil Pew and he has the final word on engineering decisions made for both cars.
    The car was not designed to meet the needs of either driver. It was designed as a neutral car to be modified to meet each drivers style and needs. This had to play havoc at the factory as they tried to develope the car throughout the year.
    Finally, I have not seen this level of effort to promote equality on any team.

    1. I second that.
      I’ve never seen a team go all the way undermine its established driver for another, all in the name of fairness.

  18. Wrong decision by the team. It will be tough to expect all four contender in front to have a DNF! It would have been sensible to put all their eggs in Hamilton’s basket.& Button have to play within the team & understand the situation.

  19. Aside from asking Jenson to move out of the way on track for Lewis (highly unnecessary considering of the few times Jenson has been in front of Lewis this year, Lewis has on more than one occasion been able to pass him), what exactly would McLaren and Button need to do to “back Lewis” over Jenson?

  20. Can’t make up my mind whose’s more pathetic at the moment ? Jenson (things don’t add up) Button, if I can’t win my team mate can’t win ……or Felipe (I give up) Massa,I’ll keep out of way and hope my team mate doesn’t win ?

  21. YOu all said it. Button is really not very good at driving F1 cars and can’t hold a candle to Hamilton. For god sakes Mr Mclaren, support Lewis.

    1. That’s just funny!

  22. Smoke and mirrors. It has been a long time since both of them have been on the track (sans retirements or accidents) that Jenson has been ahead of Lewis.

  23. How can Jenson help Hamilton when he can’t even help himself.

    1. Massa’s been slower than Alonso at pretty much every track this year but he’s ended up in front of him one way or another on several occasions. That’s racing.

  24. hmmm….lots of Hamilton fan boys!

    Too late for either McLaren driver IMO due to one reason or another.

    Hamilton needs a straight forward race in Brazil, and that’s never happened for him before at that location. Button has nothing to lose and will probably drive accordingly.

    And remember that team orders are still banned.

  25. Jeffrey Powell
    31st October 2010, 20:21

    I am a great Lewis fan ,but I think the only way Jenson should be asked to help is when he is ahead of Lewis and unable to pull away or being caught up.I think comments about Lewis easily being able to pass Jenson are a bit naive, we all know how difficult overtaking is for equal cars. I think Lewis finds it more difficult to try banzai type overtaking on Jenson simply because they are team mates .What should not happen is a repeat of a team having to tell its driver during the race not to hold up their teamate.

  26. Lewis will and should be on his own during this championship. He does not need Jenson support. He has won and lost without support from Alonso and Kovi, so why should that change with Jenson. Some might argue about Hiki at Germany but that argument is shaky because he went on to catch and overtake Massa and Piquet Jr for the win.
    Jenson has his own championship ambitions and he should be able to persue them without being incumbered by suggestions that he should support Lewis.

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