McLaren believes that Lewis Hamilton's Belgian Grand Prix victory has put the momentum back into its World Championship charge – but thinks the title fight is still wide open.
Although Hamilton and Red Bull Racing rival Mark Webber pulled clear of their main opposition with strong results in Spa as other championship contenders hit trouble, the fluctuating form seen this year, allied to the new points system, means the season has not yet boiled down a simple two-way fight.
"We have some momentum back," said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh after Hamilton's success ended recent struggles. "We knew we had to come here and try for a win. We delivered that. And we are going to go to Monza now and see what we can do there.
"Everyone keeps asking how important each race is. This is a tight championship, so it doesn't matter if it is here, Monza, Singapore…whatever. It is a tough championship and the points swing backward and forward. They all count and we will be doing our best in all of them."
Although McLaren should maintain its strong form for the next race in Italy, the team knows the update package it has planned for Singapore will dictate how much it can challenge Red Bull on the final tracks that will likely favor the RB6. But Whitmarsh does not believe any single race is more or less vital than another.
"I think it hinges all the way through," he said. "Every race is important, we've got to continue to improve the car, we've got to not make mistakes and we've got to continue to race well. I am sure Red Bull Racing will not stand still, and it will be a tough season. People are saying that we are going to be very, very strong at Monza but I don't know how they deduce that. We aim to be as strong as we can, but I don't know how other people have such confidence. They have obviously got more information than me."
Asked about Red Bull team principal Christian Horner's view that Monza will be his team's weakest track of the year, Whitmarsh said: "For once, I really hope that Christian is right! We will see."