McLaren Technical Director Paddy Lowe insists there are still enough points up for grabs to turn the title tide in his team's favour
Lowe says run of McLaren 1-2s can bring them right back into play
Last Updated: 10/10/12 3:14pm
Despite a run of three consecutive victories either side of the summer break McLaren find themselves heading into the final five rounds facing stern uphill challenges in both title races after successive disappointing races in Singapore, when Lewis Hamilton dropped out with a gearbox failure, and Japan, where Red Bull dominated.
But despite the competitive pendulum appearing to have swung firmly in defending two-time title winners Red Bull's favour in recent weeks, Lowe is refusing to write off McLaren's chances.
"You've only got to look how [Sebastian] Vettel has gained on [Fernando] Alonso just on the last two races," the McLaren technical chief told Sky Sports News' Rachel Brookes.
"There are a lot of points on the table: forty three if you get a one-two. That's been very elusive [for McLaren].
"But if we can do that, even if the other guys get third and fourth, that is a very big points haul."
Nonetheless, although Fernando Alonso still officially leads the Drivers' standings by four points, Sebastian Vettel is poised to overhaul the Spaniard for the first time since the start of the European season in Korea this weekend.
The defending Champion's recent return to dominant form has been aided by a big step forward in Red Bull's qualifying pace, the introduction of a Double DRS from Singapore believed to be the key to the improved performance
However, also speaking to Sky Sports News in Korea, Christian Horner has offered a glimmer of hope for the chasing pack by suggesting that grid positions won't be the be-all-and-end-all for race prospects at the next two grands prix in particular.
"You've got to be on the first two rows," the Red Bull Team Principal told Rachel.
"The next couple of venues, here in Korea and the next race in India, have got very long straights and overtaking is going to be crucial. There's big opportunities on kilometre-long straights so it does open up the possibility with DRS to make a passing manoeuvre.
"So there is a premium on qualifying but it's not the essential factor it was a year or two ago."