McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh is confident that the team can add to their previous successes at the Chinese Grand Prix, when Formula 1 visits the Shanghai International Circuit next week.
“The Chinese Grand Prix is a race in which we’ve traditionally gone very well - we’ve won three of the past four races here, all of which have come through faultless performances from Jenson (Button) and Lewis (Hamilton) - and we head to Shanghai this year keen to add to that tally,” the team principal said.
McLaren had very strong packages at the opening two events of the season, in Australia and Malaysia, picking up 55 points so far. The total is enough to see the squad leading the constructors’ championship, but Whitmarsh admits that his team should have turned their pace into a greater haul.
“While there are mixed feelings to have only been able to convert two all-front row starting positions into one race win, everybody here at McLaren feels extremely encouraged by our pace in the first two Grands Prix of the season," he said.
“Make no mistake, however - we’re acutely aware that our rivals won’t have stood still during the past three weeks. We’ve certainly been extremely busy, too, and we don’t take anything for granted.
"If the overall competitive order was a little hard to read in the first two races, I have no doubt that it will start to become clearer next weekend and I strongly believe that, once again, it will be closely fought at the front.”