Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team Principal Martin Whitmarsh expecting that no particular team dominates in season kick-off racing at Melbourne in Australian GP. Last year current champions Red Bull racing dominated entire session in all races.
“The bad news is we don’t look dominant; the good news is that no-one else [does] either,” Autosport reported that Martin Whitmarsh said during a Vodafone phone-in on Monday.
“Our sense it that we are competitive. The car seems quite reliable, the drivers like it and they seem to be quite buoyant. We always say it at this at this time of year, but fuel loads, tyre programmes and test programmes interfere with the ability of the teams to judge performance.
“Race simulations and longer runs give a better indication though of where teams are at than headline lap times, and based upon that we feel that we are competitive.”
Said about McLaren title chances in 2012, Whitmarsh added: “I wish I could say yes.
“It may be that people are sandbagging but ourselves and Red Bull didn’t do any proper qualifying simulations. Some others may have run lighter fuel than us. The winter has been better than last year, and we have two hungry, fast and great racing drivers [and that] should mean that we can win races this year.
“If we win enough of them then we can win championships.”
Asked about Hamilton’s mindset following his well-documented travails in 2011, Whitmarsh added: “He has exceptionally high standards and he won three races last year but that’s not what he expects of himself.
“When you have a season that falls below you high expectations I think you would, as a professional athlete, reconsider every aspect of your life and how you do that better. I think you can see around testing and how he has conducted himself in the media suggests that he’s definitely focused on beating one, his team mate and two, everyone else.”
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