Sucking up the pressure

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 October, 2007, 12:00am

Of all the battles McLaren have had to fight this season, there is none they are prouder of than the success they had in sticking to their task as all swirled around them.

'The most difficult part is to step away from the emotions and stick to discipline,' said team principal Ron Dennis. 'To ensure we provide equality [to drivers Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso], it requires strong emotions to be controlled, to be dispassionate.'

The benefits of that battle could well come today in Shanghai, with Hamilton on the verge of becoming world champion in his rookie season and ending a drivers' title drought for McLaren that goes back to 1998 when Mika Hakkinen prevailed.

Mercedes motorsport chief Norbert Haug agreed. 'We are under a lot of pressure, but if you look at our record since July, when the [spying] incident started to unfold, we have not wavered,' he said. 'We have won seven out of the last 11 races, throughout the most difficult patch of the season. That's what really makes me proud. There might have been some argument between the drivers but, on the track, the performance was there.'