Reliability key for McLaren chief as F1 title race enters closing laps

PUBLISHED: 16:48 26 September 2008 | UPDATED: 09:40 27 October 2009

Lewis Hamilton leads the world championship  Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

Lewis Hamilton leads the world championship Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

A McLAREN chief has pinpointed the car s reliability as one of the key factors in the forthcoming four-race battle for the world championship. The Formula 1 circus hits Asia for the next month with the grands prix of Singapore, Japan and China over the fo

A McLAREN chief has pinpointed the car's reliability as one of the key factors in the forthcoming four-race battle for the world championship.

The Formula 1 circus hits Asia for the next month with the grands prix of Singapore, Japan and China over the forthcoming three weeks.

Singapore is first up this Sunday with the sport's historic first night race under floodlights around the spectacular Marina Bay street circuit.

After Japan and China next month, the series finishes in Brazil on November 2.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is currently one point ahead of Ferrari rival Felipe Massa in the title standings.

McLaren Group chief operating officer Martin Whitmarsh has detailed what he feels will be the defining characteristic of this four-race battle for the world crown.

He said: "The cars are extremely closely-matched, so I think it will be hard for either team to establish a decisive advantage in the four final races.

"More importantly, I think this world championship will boil down to whichever team and driver makes the fewest mistakes from now on.

"It's about preparing the cars with immaculate reliability, running them responsibly and not taking any unnecessary risks."

He feels the McLarens of Tewin racer Hamilton and Finnish team-mate Heikki Kovalainen have the edge in the wet.

They also have the advantage of still being able to change their engine.

Whitmarsh said: "We're lucky that both our drivers can still play their engine 'joker' card ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix, which is reassuring, but it's all about finding strength in every single area and not exposing any weaknesses.

"It will be a tough battle but we are gearing up for the fight."

* Come back throughout the weekend for updates on Lewis Hamilton's fortunes in Singapore.

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