The ‘Silver Arrows’ proved to be Red Bull Racing’s nearest challengers for most of 2013, winning three races en route to second in the constructors’ standings.
Next season will mark the return of V6 Turbo power-units. Whitmarsh, whose team will end its engine partnership with Mercedes next season before switching to Honda, has tipped the Brackley-based squad for success.
“Anyone who says at any team, even Red Bull, that they are super confident they are going to win the world championship, you cannot be,” he told AUTOSPORT. “My suspicion is that Mercedes will be strongest. I am saying it because I am probably a bit biased, but I also have some reasonable knowledge of the budgets of the three companies.
“I think Mercedes has got a good budget, good facilities and good people. I have no real insight and I think nobody has, but I think I have a slightly better insight than most. But if you had an absolutely free choice of which one to go for next year, I would say go for Mercedes-Benz next year.”
The McLaren boss is excited for the rule changes and believes it is a good opportunity for his team to return to the front. “To be honest, do I think we can win next year? Yes,” he added. “Is everything we are doing and everything we are focused on to do that? Yes. So we can do it. Do I know we will? No.
“We like change. I think it is a great opportunity, I see it as an opportunity. It is pretty exciting, very exciting. There is always that tingle of what is happening over the winter, but we have really got it this year. When those cars are unveiled, we will all be crawling all over them…”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic