Formula 1 News

McLaren optimistic after Button's Montreal win

Motivation is running high. The team drivers have been the only one capable of stealing vitories from Vettel.
Saturday, June 18, 2011

LONDON, June 18, 2011 (AFP) - Team chief Martin Whitmarsh believes Jenson Button's sensational drive to victory in last Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix delivered proof that McLaren are now ready to make winning a habit.

In particular, Whitmarsh said he felt that the triumph on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve where Button drove through the field to take the chequered flag after a dramatic last lap mistake by Sebastian Vettel proved that McLaren's push for regular upgrades on the car has paid off.

"Jenson's fantastic last-to-first result in Canada last weekend proved beyond doubt that, as a team, we never give up," he said.

"That victory was a great fillip for the entire organisation and shows that our tireless efforts to bring constant upgrades to the track are really paying off.

"As a team, it's particularly satisfying that our upgrade 'hit-rate' has been successful and that we've really been able to translate the results we've seen at the factory into concrete performance at the track.

"Again, that's the result of good teamwork, and is what will successfully carry us through this championship fight. We're now into the heart of the season and need to ensure that we're regularly delivering performance to the car."

"We've shown time and time again that this is one of our key strengths and I'm confident we can continue to
deliver. For next weekend's race in Valencia and beyond, our aim is clear -- we want to win and keep winning."

Button survived a crash with his team-mate and fellow Englishman Lewis Hamilton on his way to what he described as the greatest win of his career.

He said the Canadian GP triumph was well-timed -- and would give the McLaren crew greater confidence going into the remainder of the season. Button said: "I wouldn't say that winning in Montreal has given me extra motivation, because I was already totally committed, but I think it will help to sharpen the focus and conviction of everyone in the team.

"We've proved we can challenge and beat Sebastian, and we know we can fight for this world championship."
McLaren are the only team to have won races this year apart from defending champion Vettel's Red Bull outfit.

But Whitmarsh warned that one win does not mean anything more than one win. He said: "I think we go into the weekend (of the European Grand Prix) feeling encouraged and motivated by our performance, but still realistic that Red Bull remains the pacesetter - particularly in qualifying."

Hamilton said his aim for Valencia was to get his season 'back on course' after the disruption of his incident-packed and controversial races in Monte Carlo and Montreal.

"For me, Valencia will be a weekend of consolidation after two disappointing results in Monaco and Canada," said Hamilton, who was penalised for two collisions in Monaco and retired with damage from his collision with Button in Montreal.

"Those two races were particularly frustrating for me because we showed we had the pace to win both of them, yet I only came away with eight points," he added.

"We've arguably had the fastest race car in the last three races, and that's really encouraging because I know that, when it's put to best use, I should be able to finish at the front. So that's the aim."

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