McLaren have not topped the constructors' standings since 1998
EDDIE JORDAN'S 2012 VIEW
"Last season was an indifferent one for McLaren. The team won six races but they failed to mount a sustained title challenge because they started the season slowly.
"The car was off the pace in pre-season testing and beset with problems and the team just left themselves with too much to do to catch Red Bull.
"This year, testing has showed us that McLaren seem to be in a better place than at the same point in 2011. If that's the case and they can hit the ground running, they could be a thorn in the side of Red Bull.
"Jenson Button was the surprise package last year with some outstanding performances. Lewis Hamilton had a tougher season and was out of sorts, but he says he is in a much better place this season. Maybe now we will see him back to his brilliant best."
MEET THE BOSS - MARTIN WHITMARSH
What is F1's biggest challenge?
The teams working together, surviving, growing the sport and presenting an interesting and exciting spectacle for the fans.
Does F1 need road-car manufacturers?
MCLAREN FACTS AND STATS
Headquarters: Woking (UK)
Debut season: 1966
Test/reserve driver: Oliver Turvey (GB) and Gary Paffett (GB)
Team principal: Martin Whitmarsh
Technical director: Paddy Lowe
Engine: Mercedes-Benz V8
2011 position: 2nd
Constructors' titles: 8
It does not need road-car manufacturers. However, all the road-car manufacturers have made a significant contribution to the sport, and we should be absolutely grateful for that. What Formula 1 needs is an interesting sporting spectacle, to be financially viable and have some good professional teams that want to participate in it and want to create that show.
"It can do that with or without the manufacturers, but certainly we should thank the automotive manufacturers who made a contribution in the past, and we should welcome them in the future."
The best piece of advice I have ever given a driver is...
... come and drive for McLaren!
The best piece of advice I have ever received is...
... think a bit longer before making that decision.
What kind of team boss are you - hairdryer treatment or arm around the shoulder?
"Neither. I hope I'm a balanced individual who is part of the team, who wants to support drivers if they are trying hard. Mistakes will be made by drivers - that's part of motor racing. Mistakes will be made by the team. Provided everyone is working hard together as a team, we avoid the blame when things do not work out.
Are you a wheeler dealer or a techie?
Again, I hope that I'm neither. I hope that I am a balanced leader of this team but I guess by history I was more of a techie than a wheeler dealer.
What was your first paid job?
A paper round when I was 14.
What time do you set your alarm clock for?
Sadly, I don't. I wake up without one from any time around 6 o'clock. I don't need an alarm.
Can you explain your team's philosophy in three words?
McLaren exists to win: we win by being the most technologically advanced and by having the best team spirit within our organisation.
What is special about McLaren?
The people within the organisation are ultimately what makes it special.
The ethos of the company and its heritage are important, but it is the high-quality people working in a professional, dedicated way striving to meet the objectives of the organisation that makes it what it is.
Why should people support McLaren?
People should, we hope, take an interest in F1 and thereafter in determining the team they wish to support. They should look for one that they feel has the values and approach and excitement that they empathise with.
What is the most difficult thing about being a team boss?
The most difficult thing about being a team boss in F1 is the pressure and the desire to win. There are 10, we hope, teams at the first race which have good budgets, good organisations and which are extremely difficult to beat. So inevitably winning has never been more difficult than it is now in F1.
Are you worried about the future of F1?
F1 has evolved and changed many times over the years. It faces particular challenges, as does every other business or enterprise in the world at the moment.
But the underlying offering of the best drivers in the world, in the most advanced cars, racing each other is a solid proposition and, I'm sure, while it may change in form in response to outside pressures, it will be sustained as a sport.
Team McLaren-Mercedes 2011 Season StatsLast updated: Thursday, 15 November 2012 12:31 UK