McLaren slight favourites for Korea
"There are three races to go and 75 points to be scored. It would be unwise to write Lewis and Jenson off," says McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh. "Both are former champions and understand the difficulties posed by this unique situation. They will keep battling right to the end." McLaren are considered to be slight favourites for the unknown quantity that is the Korean GP in one week's time, with the new circuit seeming to favour Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
"The track looks interesting, with a mix of different characteristics," says Button. "There are some good opportunities for overtaking, though they've built the wall very close in places, so that should be interesting." Like team-mate Hamilton, his only experience of the track so far has been gained from the McLaren simulator.
"My first impression is positive. In Sector One, you need good speed and strong brakes - both of which are qualities that our car has in abundance," says the reigning champion optimistically. "The middle sector is fast and flowing whereas the final sector is somewhat slower and tighter. It's all about finding the right rhythm, so as I see it, this definitely qualifies as a driver's track."
In Friday's free practice, the team will be using the new components that they already tested at Suzuka. "Like everyone else, we'll keep on pushing and developing the car," adds Button. "I'm confident that the tests will work out well and that we'll be using the parts in the actual race."
Following two retirements and one P5 finish in the last three races, Hamilton agrees that his priority has to be a solid, problem-free weekend: "Our recent results have not done justice to the strong package we have here. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to prove that on the track this time."