MCLAREN duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button must finish ahead of Red Bull’s Mark Webber at this weekend’s Korean Grand Prix to have a chance of winning the world championship, says their chief engineer.
The English pair lie more than 25 points Behind Australian Webber, who holds a 14-point lead over his nearest rival in the drivers’ standings with just three races remaining.
Phil Prew, McLaren’s principal race engineer, believes his drivers need a strong grid position and a top-three finish to still be considered a championship threat.
He said: “I think our target this weekend is very much to get on the podium. In fact we need to be in front of Webber. We need two cars at the front, competing for the front row of the grid in qualifying, and then delivering a race result on the podium.”
Prew recognises that his team has finished poorly in the last two races, failing to secure a podium position in either, but feels both the car and drivers are ready for the challenge that the newly approved Yeongnam circuit presents.
He said: “I feel we’ve under-delivered points in the last couple of races, which is a frustration to the drivers and the team. But they know that the car has the pace and the potential to be competing, and finishing higher up than we’ve achieved recently. They both want to win races and they both want to win this championship, and to do that we have to be winning.”