McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh says his outfit must remain focused only on its own performance rather than what Sebastian Vettel is up to if it is going to deliver the race wins needed to get itself genuinely back in the championship fight.
Lewis Hamilton's victory ahead of Fernando Alonso in the German Grand Prix, with Vettel finishing only fourth after a spin early in the race, has lifted hopes that the second half of the season will not deliver the kind of Red Bull Racing dominance that happened at the start of the year. Although Vettel's comfortable gap at the head of the points table means he and his team will need to make more mistakes if he is to be beaten, Whitmarsh says there is little point in his outfit thinking about what can go wrong for the German.
"We cannot bring about his failure," explained Whitmarsh. "All we can do is put the pressure on him, and I think Sebastian made a couple of mistakes here. But balance that at the start of the year he was supreme in his confidence, not making any mistakes whatsoever.
"We have to just concentrate on our own act and improve our performance, improve our reliability and improve everything that we do. That is all you can do. If that turns out to be good enough to win races then that will be great."
McLaren is planning to bring further updates to its car for this weekend's race in Hungary, but Whitmarsh thinks the fact that current form tends to fluctuate between his team, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing means that it is difficult to make any confident claims about potential.
"I think giving predictions in this sport is virtually impossible," he said. "There is a see-saw of form here and I don't think we can say that this victory shows them we are on a roll. I don't think we are.
"I think we have to say that yes we could win. We can win or it can see-saw and go the other way, so we will be working very, very hard to make sure that we do the best job possible in the next race."
Whitmarsh also said that he would not use Hamilton's victory to hit back at critics who suggested his job was on the line recently, after a run of poor results.
"I think we are a pretty resilient team," he said. "We have good people and we don't pay too much attention to outside. We are tough on ourselves, and we don't like not winning. I think all that stuff that I enjoyed two weeks ago – remember that at that point we were second in the World Championship, more than 50 points ahead of Ferrari, and ahead of some pretty good teams. We lapped some pretty big teams here.
"I think we believe in ourselves, and we believe we can be better. But at the same time we also know we are not too bad either. It proves the resilience and the toughness of this team."