Max Davies, F1 correspondent
- McLaren team confident about new season
- Whitmarsh comments on strong driver relationship
Whitmarsh sure of healthy relationship being maintained at McLaren
"We have got two great world champions; they're great racing drivers and they definitely want to beat each other and the other drivers," Whitmarsh said. "That is extremely healthy and normal. It was the case last year and I think this time last year people were speculating that there would be lots of difficulties but the truth is that both drivers have respect for one another. They genuinely like each other and it doesn't matter what I say or how we as a team try to spin it, I think anyone who sees them in close proximity can see that they get on."
I don't foresee any problems this managing the relationship between our two drivers.
Whitmarsh was also quick to emphasize that he is confident that although there remains the prospect of McLaren entering a third consecutive season without a race-winning car at the first race of the year, tensions between the team and the drivers themselves will remain fluid and that both men will be free to race one another.
"They have an understanding, and I've always been completely open with the pair of them," he confirmed. "Even down to the end of the season in the very last race in Abu Dhabi. Before the start of the race I told Jenson he was entitled to race even though Lewis was in contention for the championship and I think Jenson respected that. Lewis respects how we've been fair and open and I don't foresee any problems this managing the relationship between our two drivers."