Date: 25th August 2011 at 10:47am
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All the talk from McLaren over the enforced summer break has been that McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have not given up on the 2011 F1 drivers title.

Defending F1 title holder Vettel may have an 83-point championship lead over team-mate Mark Webber, with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton 88-points behind in third and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso a further 1-point behind in fourth and Jenson Button trailing by 100-points in fifth but there are no change of plans or targets for the McLaren team.

‘We certainly haven’t given our drivers any change of brief, we still intend to give both drivers equal opportunity in terms of all of the upgrades that we bring to the circuit and they should both attack at all opportunities. So we are not in a position where we want to play any kind of safe game here.’ McLaren’s managing director Jonathan Neale told Autosport Magazine.

The fact that McLaren continue to give both driver equal billing is refreshing, especially when you look over to the Ferrari team and it’s clear that the whole set-up is build around Fernando Alonso.

You could even argue that Red Bull have continued to give preference to Sebastian Vettel, last season he was given the upgrades ahead of Mark Webber and this season, Webber has already been told to not race his team-mate.

The position at McLaren is far from like that though. With both drivers being urged to attack and a team committed to supporting both drivers until the end.

Neale added: ‘The most important thing for us is to continue to win races and the only way we are able to do that when the competition is as tight as it is, is to keep our drivers focussed on taking every opportunity that they can and for us in the team to get behind them and say we will work on the reliability and give them confidence in the systems.

‘But also that we give the drivers the confidence by bringing a series of upgrades to the car where they can materially feel a difference from race-to-race.


He concluded: ‘There has been no change of mission for the drivers, and it is still very much two number one drivers, both are out to win races.’

Realistically the season has been over for some time. Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel’s start to the year while all around them struggled for consistency ended any hope of a repeat of recent seasons with the title going down to the final race with various drivers still in contention.

But while the titles may have already been all but claimed, there is still going to be some exciting twists and turns during the remainder of this championship, with three teams all pushing for the race win!

 

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