Whitmarsh demands focus
Martin Whitmarsh is demanding "commitment" and "focus" from every McLaren team member as the tail end of the season begins in earnest.
Formula One drivers face a gruelling slog of six races in eight weekends, starting with Sunday's Korean Grand Prix in Mokpo, before the competition reaches its finish line.
McLaren are normally still in the hunt for championships come this stage of a campaign but all the Woking-based marque have left to fight for is fifth place in the constructors' standings with Force India.
That is a sign of how far the once-mighty McLaren have fallen this year, yet Whitmarsh is demanding no let up in a bid to achieve an objective that would have been viewed as embarrassing at the start of the season.
"This final leg of the world championship - six grands prix in just eight weeks - is an incredibly tough physical feat," Whitmarsh said.
"After 13 races, and with the prospect of many more weeks spent on the road and thousands of miles spent away from home, it's essential to remain fit, focused and dedicated in order to stave off the inevitable burnout that comes at the end of such a long year.
"For McLaren, we go into these final races with the very clear intention of consolidating our position in the constructors' championship.
"While improving our position sadly looks impossible, it's important to consistently achieve top-10 finishes with both drivers in order to strengthen our points cushion over our closest rivals behind.
"We achieved that (at the last race) in Singapore and will be looking for similar performances from now until the end of the season.
"That may not be a particularly glamorous task for a team that enjoys winning.
"But it nonetheless calls for constant application, focus and commitment as we count down the remaining races during this important phase of the season."
Jenson Button is of the same mind because, although his challenge for honours ended a long time ago with a car that has not once this year been able to fight with the leading lights, that does not mean he is putting his feet up.
In his three visits, Mokpo has not been the happiest of hunting grounds for Button, with the low point being last year's first-lap crash.
"It would be easy for that to make your head drop," Button said.
"But in fact the opposite is true. I travel to Korea even more determined than normal to reverse the trend, get the absolute maximum from the car and get a good result.
"We had a solid weekend in Singapore as the engineers, strategists and mechanics got the best from the car.
"We couldn't have realistically expected more, and that's the aim again this weekend.
"With this the first of three pairs of back-to-back races to conclude the season, it's very important for us to further consolidate our position in the championship, so getting points in both Korea and Japan will be important.
"We go into this weekend with maximum commitment."