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Whitmarsh: F1 title will go down to wire

F1: McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is hoping he will still be put through the wringer come the dying stages of the closing grand prix of the year.

Whitmarsh was delighted to see his cars look competitive again in Sunday's German Grand Prix, a fortnight after an embarrassing performance in front of thousands of fans at Silverstone.

With a raft of updates on the car, Jenson Button returned to form to finish third, later converted to second by the stewards after Sebastian Vettel was penalised for an illegal overtake.

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton also appeared considerably quicker in dry conditions, but a puncture on lap two resulted in damage as he returned to the pits, forcing him to retire 10 laps from home.

With in-form Fernando Alonso collecting his third win this year, Hamilton and Button are 62 and 86 points adrift of the Ferrari driver at the halfway point of the 20-race campaign.

Whitmarsh, though, has far from given up hope his drivers will be fighting it out to the death in the season finale in Brazil.

"We're at the halfway point, we've a lot of racing ahead of us, and they can both do it," said Whitmarsh.

"This season is going to go to the very end. I believe we will be sat on the edge of our seats in the last few laps of the Brazilian Grand Prix."