McLaren slipped to third in the championship in 2012 despite winning the same number of races as champions Red Bull Racing.
“For 2013, of course, we go racing to win,” he said. “With Jenson and Checo, and this fantastic-looking new car, I believe we’re extremely well prepared for another competitive season. Jenson is driving better than ever – he’s the most experienced driver in Formula 1, but he makes every ounce of that experience count: he’s peerless in his ability to read a race and one of the very fastest drivers out there. He’s a consummate professional, too, and will revel in working hard to drive this team through the year.”
Whitmarsh insists that McLaren isn’t putting pressure on their new recruit.
“Checo joins us after a sensational 2012 season and he’s immediately proved that he’s intelligent, modest, hard-working and, make no mistake; very, very quick. Of course, there’ll be a learning curve to overcome as he gets used to our organisation, particularly during the hustle and bustle of the early-season race weekends, but he understands that we are placing no pressure on him.”
“This is an exciting time for the whole team. In our 50th anniversary season, I want Vodafone McLaren Mercedes to underline why we are the finest grand prix team in the world.”