McLaren believes there is still everything to play for in the season finale in Abu Dhabi, even though Lewis Hamilton needs some good fortune to win the world championship.
Ahead of the last race of the season, Hamilton is 24 points behind leader Fernando Alonso - and needs to win at Yas Marina with none of his rivals scoring big points to come out on top. Although Hamilton himself has said it will take a "miracle" for that to happen, team principal Martin Whitmarsh thinks it is still well within the realms of possibility for his driver to come out on top.
"We are pushing hard to see what we can do," said Whitmarsh. "It is tough but winning any World Championship is tough, and while it is mathematically possible we will keep pushing."
When asked if he agreed with Hamilton's viewpoint that it would take a miracle, Whitmarsh said: "No. Drivers and cars not finishing races are not miracles, they happen quite frequently in motor racing, so we will see. If Lewis wins and Fernando doesn't finish, and there are not many points scored by the other boys, then he wins. There is a tense championship fight going on at the moment.
"It is fantastic for F1 that we are going to the last round and four drivers could potentially come out of it as World Champion. You have to say at the moment that Fernando looks very strong but we have seen things go wrong in the last minute in championships ourselves.
"Sometimes it has been against us, sometimes in our favor – you just have to keep pushing and anything can happen. That is the nature of motor racing."
Despite McLaren and Hamilton being favourites to clinch the title in the middle part of this season, a series of errors and lack of solid progress with its car has seen the team lose ground to Red Bull Racing and Ferrari. Whitmarsh says that the team knows why things did not quite work out this season – but thought that was ultimately good news for fans who have witnessed the closest F1 battle for years.
"You have to keep developing your car, you have to keep making it go quicker and you have to not make mistakes," he explained. "We have had a few mistakes and we have not developed the car quickly enough. But we will keep pushing and we will see what we can do at the next race.
"We have won championships, we know what it takes and this year, Ferrari have had a fantastic second half to the season as well, so it has been three great teams fighting it out.
"I don't think there has been this depth of quality in the teams and drivers all fighting for a championship – I believe it is the first time in history that we go to the last race with four drivers in contention. This is fantastic for the sport and I hope people really do appreciate what a fantastic championship it has been."