- Monaco Grand Prix
'Very frustrated' Whitmarsh eyes victoryChris Medland May 23, 2012 « HRT to run Ma Qing Hua at Silverstone Young Driver Test | Williams 'not far away' from being the best team - Maldonado »
Martin Whitmarsh admits that he is "very frustrated" at the way McLaren has failed to capitalise on its potential so far this season.
McLaren arrived in Australia at the start of the season and clearly had the quickest car as it secured a front-row lockout in qualifying before finishing first and third in the race. Despite another all-McLaren front row in Malaysia, the team has yet to win since and currently lies behind Red Bull in the constructors' championship while Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are third and sixth in the standings respectively.
When asked by ESPNF1 if he was slightly frustrated by the way the start of the season has gone, Whitmarsh admitted McLaren has not won as many races as he feels it should have.
"I'm not slightly frustrated, I'm very frustrated! But that's good for the show I guess," Whitmarsh told a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in. "I think we've got a reasonable car and we've got two great drivers so looking back on it I feel we should have had more success than we've had. We've been competitive or thereabouts in most races, I think it turned out we were very uncompetitive in the race in Bahrain but I think that's one of the challenges. So, massively frustrating but that's again a great challenge.
"Rather than focus on the frustration that's been I think we'll look forward at the opportunity that exists with this team. Either of our drivers could win the drivers' championship and this team could definitely win the constructors' title. At 25% of the way in (to the season) there might be a few other team principals that feel similarly but I think we're in a strong position to do so."
Though he wouldn't be drawn on any frustrations among the drivers, Whitmarsh pointed to the fact that a victory in Monaco could well see the team on top of both championships come the end of the weekend.
"I think in life we all have moments of frustration and we all have this year. But again, I think going to Monaco I don't think we're going to dwell on the frustration of what's been, I think we're going to look ahead at the opportunity. McLaren has won Monaco 15 times - I'm not the greatest statistician but I think that's more than Ferrari, Red Bull and Williams added together - I think we know how to win there, both of our drivers are good around that circuit and I think we stand a pretty good chance of having a victory there but you're often millimetres away from disaster out on the track and you can be milliseconds away from disaster in the garage. So lots of things can happen, but I think we go there with a reasonable level of confidence that we can have a good job and potentially could be leading both world championships next week."
Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1