McLaren: We Had It Under Control

McLaren's CEO Martin Whitmarsh admitted shortly after the Brazilian Grand Prix that his team – Lewis Hamilton in particular – was in full control of the situation in the closing laps of the race. As Hamilton was passed by Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel with 2 laps to go, Felipe Massa was in pole position to winning a maiden F1 title when crossing the finish line.

Nevertheless, Vettel and Hamilton both passed German Timo Glock in the dying corners of the race, as the Toyota driver chose to run on dry tires in the final 5 laps. He practically gifted Hamilton the 5th place and, consequently, the world title. Nevertheless, Whitmarsh insisted everything was under control despite Hamilton losing 5th place to Vettel.

“We couldn't take any risks with Vettel, he is a young charger, we were saying to Lewis just take it easy. We knew we were racing Glock. We came here for fifth place, we could see Glock, we had the GPS and we could see Glock coming back towards us. We had the conviction, that we were going to catch him. But then you start to worry, 'Is it raining as hard as we think it is?', 'Are we going to catch him?' staring at the predictions and wondering whether we had got this wrong,” said Whitmarsh according to British broadcaster ITV.

“Obviously we told Lewis, don't worry about Vettel, Glock's on dry tires, you are going to find him in that last lap, but you know, until you do it, you haven't done it! I'm sure he was much cooler than the rest of us on the pitwall anyway,” added the McLaren official.

Ron Dennis backed Whitmarsh's sayings, admitting that “we were just looking at it in the last two laps thinking; 'Do we fight for the position with Vettel, or do we let him go, and how's it going to happen? Boy I tell you that was one hell of a call and we're pleased for the team, but delighted for Lewis.”

On the other hand, had Glock entered the pits to switch to intermediate tires, Hamilton would have probably returned from the pits in 4th place and all this madness wouldn't have happened in the first place. Nonetheless, having the German on the track in the last couple of laps gave the fans one of the most thrilling finale in the history of the sport.
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