F1 tougher than ever - Whitmarsh

by Dave Maher , 24 December 2012

McLaren chief Martin Whitmarsh believes that the competition level in Formula 1 has never been so high.

Six different constructors claimed race wins during the 2012 season, while eight drivers stood on the top step of the podium. The drivers' title battle went down to the wire, with Sebastian Vettel eventually defeating Fernando Alonso by a mere three points.

Through Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, McLaren enjoyed seven race victories, yet were unable to make a serious push for either the drivers' or constructors' crowns.

"The strength and depth of the grid in terms of drivers and teams is, in my view, casting back over 24 years personally, stronger than it's ever been," Whitmarsh, McLaren's team principal, told ESPNF1.

"It's more difficult to go out there week after week winning and being dominant, and that's good. It's been great that these last two or three years have been really good Formula 1 seasons."

Whitmarsh picked out three factors that he believes are amongst the main reasons for the highly competitive nature of the current series.

"You've got well-funded teams, a period of comparative rule stability and I think the tyres have been quite tricky," he said.

"For a good first half of this year, (the tyres) were a baffling ingredient in the performance package. So, I think all those things mean it's close."

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