Whitmarsh keen to limit mistakes
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh feels it will be more crucial than ever to cut down on mistakes in order to clinch the world title this season.
McLaren head into this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix with the lead in the constructors' championship, and Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button first and second in the drivers'.
But team principal Whitmarsh concedes the Woking-based marque have been "imperfect" so far, with incidents such a Button's tangle with Narain Karthikeyan in Malaysia and Hamilton's five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change in Shanghai potentially costing the team even better results.
"To have left China leading the constructors' championship, first and second in the drivers', is a reasonable start to the year," said Whitmarsh.
"That race was a great one for the fans, and I think we've a great championship on our hands here - three different winners and three very different races so far this year.
"Sadly, we're not dominating, but fortunately no one else is, so this has to be a season where you limit mistakes, you have to deliver.
"You also have to be able to overtake on the circuit as we saw in China. You can't just do it through strategy and pit stops."
The gap between most of the teams in Shanghai was marginal. Although Mercedes' Nico Rosberg won the race by over 20 seconds, further back it was a different story, with just 22 seconds covering Button in second place down to Force India's Paul di Resta in 12th.
If further races follow suit, it will undoubtedly make driver skill of paramount importance.
"This is going to be a season where you have to take your chances," added Whitmarsh.
"It's sufficiently close where you have to deal with traffic. If you're running a strategy you can't always drop drivers into clear air having opened a gap.
"You are being forced to drop drivers into traffic, and they've got to do their job, they've got to overtake on the circuit.
"Look at how many cars our drivers had to overtake. It was very difficult.
"But if you can get yourself into a position where you can control the race like Nico did, then it's a big advantage."