McLaren is still holding out hope that it can delay Red Bull Racing's World Championship party celebrations a bit longer, as Sebastian Vettel targets clinching his title in Japan.
Vettel's triumph in the Singapore Grand Prix was not enough to secure him the crown, thanks to Jenson Button's second place finish. Although it is highly unlikely that Button will win every remaining race, with Vettel outside of the points, as is required for Button to win the championship, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh says he will take satisfaction in simply delaying Red Bull Racing's crowning moment.
"I think it is a tough one," he said after the Singapore Grand Prix, "but it is mathematically possible. Adrian [Newey], Red Bull and Sebastian are doing a fantastic job, but in a way I am a little bit happy they are not having a party here in Singapore. I am happy for the fans and everything else, and we will keep fighting on.
"Who knows? It would be nice if they could not have that party in Japan, but they are looking pretty strong."
Whitmarsh has said his team will keep pushing to improve its car over the remainder of the campaign, and he believes it should be well suited to the Suzuka track.
"I think they [Red Bull Racing] will be strong, but we will be working hard," he said. "We will continue to develop the car and we will try and be as strong as we can there. We know the weather can play a part there, it can be fairly torrid. All sorts of things can happen, but we will try and be as quick as we can and we will try and win that race."
Whitmarsh also said that his team does not take any heart from the fact it is the only one that can still beat Vettel to the crown.
"At the moment, you have to say Sebastian and Red Bull are doing a fantastic job," he said. "They are the ones you have to beat. Jenson is now in second place in the championship and deservedly so, but we can do all the self analysis we like – what we have to do is make the quickest racing car we can, not make any mistakes, perform as well as we can, and we can win some races.
"We have won four this year, some fantastic ones, and we would quite like to win some more. And there are five more that are possible to win."