Martin Whitmarsh may have a different management style to Flavio, but he still has his ways of getting his message across, and of making life very difficult for a #2 driver.
MB Jonathan Noble of you-know-who has been keeping his ear to the ground on the McLaren media phone-ins.
“Heikki is doing, as a team player, a fantastic job in this team,” Whitmarsh said in a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ‘Phone-In’ media call. “On his own evaluation he has not raced as well as he would have liked and we would have liked him to this year.
“I was frankly just talking to him on the subject a few minutes before this call. He is working hard…
“A lot of us want to see Heikki get some good results this year, and that will ensure that he remains with us. That is certainly our wish. His goal going into Valencia this weekend is to win – and he is capable of winning the race this weekend.
“He has been a good qualifier, he has done some good qualifying times, and he is capable of qualifying well and winning this race. So that is what he is going to focus on, and I’ve just had that conversation with him. Then on Sunday evening he will start thinking about Spa, and that is what we want him to focus on – not all the speculation.”
Speculation being the operative word. Whitmarsh also told reporters that McLaren are not currently talking to any other drivers (such as Nico Rosberg or Timo Glock, presumably) about possibly taking the Finn’s place. He did, however, allude to the marketing potential of drivers with certain nationalities.
But coming into this weekend what I want to know is whether the #2 car will be the same as the #1 in Valencia.