Whitmarsh targeting top ten finishes in final six races

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Martin Whitmarsh has said that he would like McLaren to score regular top ten finishes in the final six races of the 2013 Formula One season, drawing a curtain across a difficult year for all involved at the team.

Having been regular front-runners for the best part of a decade, 2013 has seen McLaren drop to being the fifth fastest team on the grid with Jenson Button and Sergio Perez failing to finish on the podium so far this season. However, Whitmarsh has not put any pressure on the team to go out and win races in the final third of the year, instead preferring consistent point scoring finishes that will keep McLaren in fifth place in the constructors’ championship.

“We go into these final races with the very clear intention of consolidating our position in the constructors’ championship,” Whitmarsh explained. “While improving our position sadly looks impossible, it’s important to consistently achieve top-ten finishes with both drivers in order to strengthen our points cushion over our closest rivals behind. We achieved that in Singapore and will be looking for similar performances from now until the end of the season.

“That may not be a particularly glamorous task for a team that enjoys winning, but it nonetheless calls for constant application, focus and commitment as we count down the remaining races during this important phase of the season.”

Button currently boasts the team’s best finish of fifth at the Chinese Grand Prix, with Sergio Perez thought to be under pressure for 2014 after a difficult first year at Woking, having moved to McLaren after two years at Sauber. The team will be keen on taking advantage of the great change in the regulations next year to return to the head of the field, but in the short-term, it is merely a case of doing the best job possible and finishing in the points.