Formula 1 News

Teams must improve to catch Red Bull: McLaren

The British team has been the only consistent threat -if any- to Vettel's season of dominance. But the team's Managing Director, Jonathan Neale, understands more is needed to challenge for the title next year.
Thursday, November 24, 2011

SAO PAULO, Nov 24, 2011 (AFP) - McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale on Thursday called for F1's leading teams to intensify their efforts to stop double champions Red Bull turning 2012 into another procession.

Neale, worried that Red Bull and their outstanding double champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany could carry on winning unchallenged, said: "The reality is the rest of us have to do a better job.

"They are not going to be holding back, but you would write McLaren or Ferrari off at your peril. I have to say - there is every chance that they can do it again."

Neale said he feared that the stability of the regulations for next season would favour Red Bull as they bid to carry forward their title-winning momentum - and that all of their rivals needed to work hard to beat them.

The one major change to the rules governing car design concerns the layout of the exhaust -- and a ban on using gasses to boost down-force by blowing them over the car's rear diffuser.

Neale added: "They've got themselves into a good position with a package that works well under these regulations and on these tyres and clearly they've been able to exploit that in the last two years.

"The one thing that is going to change quite dramatically are the technical regulations that affect the exhaust geometry and blown down-force -- so there will be some car changes from this year to next, but it's always a good boost to finish the season well.

"Our ambition is to be at the front - and so is Ferrari's - but you would never bet against Red Bull being very strong."

He added that he believed McLaren should be competitive in this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos following Briton Lewis Hamilton's triumph at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix two weeks ago.

"Both of our drivers want to win this race and we're all looking to a good race - and to the end of what's been a long season as well," said Neale, stressing that both Hamilton and his team-mate compatriot Jenson Button will be fighting for victory.

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F1 Standings

Drivers
Teams
1 Lewis Hamilton 384
2 Nico Rosberg 317
3 Daniel Ricciardo 238
4 Valtteri Bottas 186
5 Sebastian Vettel 167
6 Fernando Alonso 159
1 Mercedes 701
2 Red Bull Racing 405
3 Williams F1 320
4 Ferrari 214
5 McLaren 187
6 Sahara Force India 152

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Last F1 Race

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Yas Island, Yas Marina Circuit
1
Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes
2
Felipe Massa
Williams F1
3
Valtteri Bottas
Williams F1
Fastest Lap

Daniel Ricciardo
1'44.496s

Pole Position

Nico Rosberg

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