McLaren says team and drivers 'will keep taking risks'

By Lawrence BarrettoBBC Sport
Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button
Button and Hamilton are 117 and 126 points respectively behind leader Vettel

McLaren say the team and its drivers will keep taking risks - despite the approach harming their title challenge.

A series of mistakes have proved costly for the team in 2011 with Jenson Button conceding that the title has now gone.

When asked by BBC Sport whether McLaren would continue to take risks, the team's managing director Jonathan Neale said: "Yes, very much so.

"We're dissatisfied with not winning but [Formula 1] is not a game of being risk-averse."

Button and McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton are 117 and 126 points respectively behind Red Bull's championship leader Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' standings with 150 remaining.

The two drivers have each won two races this season but also racked up two retirements apiece with the team, at times, failing to capitalise when they had the quickest car at certain points in the season.

Button saw his race end early when the team did not fully secure his right front wheel in the pits at the British Grand Prix, while, at Spa, the 2009 world champion had to battle from 13th on the grid to third after a "miscommunication" with his team in qualifying.

In Hungary, Hamilton lost the lead when he made the wrong tyre choice and crashed out in Belgium when he tried to pass the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi.

And in Canada, the two drivers banged wheels during the race. Button went on to win but Hamilton was forced to retire.

Despite the big gap to Vettel in the drivers' standings and teams such as Ferrari deciding to put their effort into their 2012 vehicle, Neale insisted the team are not disheartened and will continue to develop this year's car.

He added: "I think we have put up, at times, a very credible fight this year and we will continue to do that until the end of the season.

"It's true you have to be good everywhere and there are lots of teams, including ourselves, who would look back at operational issues and race incidents [this season] and think, 'if only'. That's the nature of the sport.

"We're not disheartened, downbeat or anything other than determined to win races between now and the start of next season.

"We look at six more races and six more opportunities to win. Winning is why we're here - races as well as championships - and it's too early for us to bail out completely.

"It's still possible to get performance on this year's car and generate know-how for next year. These are the areas we are focusing on now so there will be no lift at this end.

"We're determined to start next year with a car that is quick and reliable from the outset."