McLaren out to turn the screw on F1 title rivals Red Bull at Singapore Grand Prix
09:53 GMT, 18 September 2012
McLaren sporting director Sam Michael has cranked up the pressure on unsettled Lewis Hamiltion and Jenson Button by admitting this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix could make or break their world championship hopes.
The Woking-based outfit are on a roll after winning the last three grands prix despite speculation over the future of Hamilton, a 60million target for Mercedes.
Eye-catching: An aerial view at dusk shows the illuminated Marina Bay Street Circuit
McLaren have cut Red Bull's lead to 31 points at the top of the constructors' championship with seven races remaining.
And Michael says their performance at the Marina Bay circuit will prove if they have stolen a march on Red Bull.
'I think now it is a critical point of the championship for us,” Michael told the official podcast for the Australian Grand Prix.
'We are coming from behind and we know we have a big challenge to try and get up there in the constructors' [championship].
'The next race is important because if you look at the last three [races] there are various circumstances that may have contributed to our main competitor, such as Red Bull, suffering in performance.
'One in particular is the lift to drag ratios of tracks. We have been to two low-drag circuits, Spa and Monza, and those are quite different aero packages compared to what you normally run. We are now going back to Singapore, which is a maximum downforce circuit.
'If we go there and still have same sort of advantage as we had in the last two [races], then I would say we are in a really strong position to challenge [for the title].
'If RBR is quick again and on the front row with both cars, then I think it doesn't mean we cannot win the championship – but it will be a tougher job.'