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McLaren: Lewis Hamilton's Formula One car will be even faster next year

McLaren: Lewis Hamilton's Formula One car will be even faster next year
McLaren chief Martin Whitmarsh has warned his Formula One rivals that next year's car is already quicker than this year's model.

By Telegraph staff and agencies
Published: 10:59AM GMT 02 Nov 2009
McLaren: Lewis Hamilton's Formula One car will be even faster next year

Lewis Hamilton failed to end 2009 with the win that was expected of him after he dominated practice and qualifying for the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton's year as world champion sadly came to a premature end after 20 laps around the stunning Yas Marina circuit due to an issue with a right rear brake.

Despite that, Whitmarsh and Hamilton had every reason to feel proud of the team's fighting finish following a wretched start which saw the team take a miserable 14 points from the first nine races.

In the closing eight grands prix they netted 57 - 40 from Hamilton - to clinch a superb third place in the constructors' standings, a point ahead of their great rivals Ferrari.

Now the focus turns to next year, with McLaren seemingly already ahead of the game.

"The race was a disappointing end to a challenging season, but overall there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful about it," said Whitmarsh.

"The team has worked tremendously hard all year to improve the car, which started as one of the slower, but ended it with two fine wins and a string of impressive points-scoring finishes.

"The fact we beat Ferrari to third place is also a matter of pride to us, and I want to pay tribute to all at the team for the superhuman efforts they made in achieving that milestone.

"Ferrari are always formidable opponents for us, and next year we hope to beat them again - this time for first place rather than third.

"Perhaps more important still is that work on next year's car is already going very encouragingly - it's already quicker than the current car.

"So there's every reason for us to be confident we'll be able to continue to develop and improve it significantly between now and the beginning of the 2010 season."

Hamilton's 40 points from the last eight races was still more than any other driver, and in three of those he failed to finish.

There was natural disappointment at being unable to end the season on a high.

But the 24-year-old is already looking forward to next year, and a more sustained tilt at the championship when he hopes to regain his crown.

"Of course, it's a shame we couldn't show the performance we'd had throughout the weekend, but sometimes that's racing," said Hamilton.

"However, I think we can be really proud of our efforts. Who'd have thought we'd finish third in the constructors' championship at the start of this season?

"It's been an incredible year, and now I can't wait for next season to start so I can fight for the world championship again."
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