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McLaren: Alonso is now under pressure

McLaren team Principal Martin Whitmarsh says that championship leader Fernando Alonso is now under some real pressure in the 2012 F1 title battle, following the Spaniard retired from the opening lap of the Japanese GP.

Opening lap of the race at Suzuka, Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus front wing touch with Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari rear tyre, right away the Spaniard’s lost control and spin out at Turn 1.

McLaren guys are struggled with the traffic and tyre degradation in the race, but following the second pit-stop the duo back to the better form and Button and Hamilton finished fourth and fifth respectively, they are start from eighth and ninth on the grid.

Whitmarsh also pleased with dual points finish, they are earned 22 points. Now McLaren second on the drivers’ championship, 41 points behind the leader Red Bull Racing.

“I guess Fernando will be going home more unhappy than most,” Whitmarsh told Autosport.

“He is under some real pressure, more pressure from Sebastian than us, but nonetheless we have closed that gap and we have got five races to go.

“This was not the most sterling performance from us this weekend I think, and in those situations you have to go back, look at the car and make sure that we get it as good as we can in Korea. Both guys are capable of winning races and we have five left to go.”

“Both Jenson and Lewis drove good and combative races, scoring 22 world championship points between them; but, obviously, given our impressive points-scoring record over the past few grands prix, we’d hoped to achieve rather better than fourth and fifth when we arrived in Suzuka earlier this week.

“Today (Sunday) we struggled with our tyres at various times during the race. Moreover, Jenson was unlucky to get stuck behind Daniel [Ricciardo], and lost quite a bit of time after his first pitstop as a result.

“Lewis’s second stop was excellent – a superb strategy call backed by super-slick work by our pitcrew – and as a result Lewis emerged from the pitlane more or less alongside Kimi [Raikkonen], edged ahead of him through Turn One, then skilfully held him at bay and collected 10 valuable points for fifth place as a result.

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