LITESPORT 38 Monday, 2 November 2009 London Lite MCLAREN boss Martin Whitmarsh today warned his Formula One rivals thatnextyearscarisalreadyquicker than this years model. The British team recovered from a wretched start -- 14 points from the first nine races -- to take 57 points from the closing eight grands prix and clinch third place in the contruc- tors championship. And, despite former world cham- pion Lewis Hamiltons McLaren succumbing to a rear brake fault just 20 laps into yesterdays final race of the season at Abu Dhabi, Whitmarsh islookingforwardtonextseasonwith optimism. He said: Work on next years car is already very encouraging -- its already quicker than the current one. So theres every reason for us to be confident well be able to continue to develop and improve it significantly- before the beginning of the 2010. Hamilton, who began the season with a dreadful car and endured the humiliation of Lie-gate, said: Whod have thought wed finish third in the constructors champion- ship at the start of this season? Its been an incredible year, and now I cant wait for next season to start. New Brit- ish world champion Jen- son Button, who fin- ishedthirdatAbuDhabis stunning Yas Marina circuit, is aware of the threat coming from McLaren and Ferrari next season. They are going to be competitive next season, he said. They have the resources, they have the expertise. But I dont think theyre suddenly going to be stronger than Red Bull and Brawn. Button, who finished behindtheRedBullsof SebastianVettel(left, with Button) and Mark Webber, could still line up along- side Hamilton for M c L a r e n n e x t season. The 29-year-old said: I need to be in a com- petitive team. I needacompetitive car. That is the most important thing for any rac- ing driver. Talksaimedatsaving the British GP will be halted out of respect for Tom Wheatcroft, 87-year- old owner of Donington, who died yesterday. Were fast becoming the best say McLaren PAULA RADCLIFFE has dismissed fears over her long-term fitness and insisted she will recover quickly from the injury problems which plagued her during yesterdays ING New York City Marathon. A tendinitis problem at the back of her left knee hit Radcliffes bid to win a fourth title, and a third in a row, as she struggled home in fourth place behind race winner Derartu Tulu, Ludmila Petrova and Christelle Daunay. It marked the end of an injury-hit year in which the British world record holder has undergone foot surgery, as well as suffering from tonsilitis and a hamstring injury that caused her to miss both the World Championships and world half-marathon championships. However, the 35-year-old is confident she will be back. I knew it was a risk, because if the injury came back then, obviously, I was going to run like I did. But I totally believed that if it hadnt come that I had a chance, and I think I could have won the race. BY DAVID DIBBLE FINAL STANDINGS DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP 1.JENSONBUTTON(GB)BRAWN 95PTS 2.SEBASTIANVETTEL(GER)REDBULL 84 3.RUBENSBARRICHELLO(BRZ)BRAWN 77 4.MARKWEBBER(AUS)REDBULL 69.5 5.LEWISHAMILTON(GB)MCLAREN 49 6.KIMIRAIKKONEN(FIN)FERRARI 48 7.NICOROSBERG(GER)WILLIAMS 34.5 8.JARNOTRULLI(ITA)TOYOTA 32.5 9.FERNANDOALONSO(SPA)RENAULT 26 10.TIMOGLOCK(GER)TOYOTA 24 11.FELIPEMASSA(BRZ)FERRARI 22 12.HEIKKIKOVALAINEN(FIN)MCLAREN 22 13.NICKHEIDFELD(GER)BMWSAUBER 19 14.ROBERTKUBICA(POL)BMWSAUBER 17 15.GIANCARLOFISICHELLA(ITA)FERRARI 8 16.SEBASTIENBUEMI(SWI)TOROROSSO 6 17.ADRIANSUTIL(GER)FORCEINDIA 5 18.KAMUIKOBAYASHI(JPN)TOYOTA 3 19.SEBASTIENBOURDAIS(FRA)TOROROSSO 2 CONSTRUCTORS 1.BRAWN-MERCEDES 172PTS 2.REDBULL-RENAULT 153.5 3.MCLAREN-MERCEDES 71 4.FERRARI 70 5.TOYOTA 59.5 6.BMWSAUBER 36 7.WILLIAMS-TOYOTA 34.5 8.RENAULT 26 9.FORCEINDIA-MERCEDES 13 10.TOROROSSO-FERRARI 8 Brit team warning for next F1 season BY GEOFF TEATHER Brawn again: Jenson Button holds aloft more silverware after his third place in the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix yesterday Another crying shame for poorly Paula Inbrief Leicester say thanks a Lote DEFENDING Guinness Premiership champions Leicester have confirmed the signing of Australia wing Lote Tuqiri. The 30-year-old dual-code international will begin training this week while his former Wallaby colleagues face England at Twickenham on Saturday in the first Autumn International. Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill said: To have Lote coming to Leicester is excellent. Gillette clash on razor edge SAM TOMKINS cannot wait for Englands do-or-die Gillette Four Nations clash with New Zealand. The 20-year-old Wigan half-back was at the heart of Englands spirited fightback on Saturday which gave the hosts renewed hope of reaching the final. Englands 26-16 defeat means they must beat the World Cup winners on Saturday to progress. Weve got to prove that we can beat the top teams, said Tomkins. Alls well that ends Wales... WALES came from 12-0 down to condemn Ireland to their heaviest defeat for eight years and reach the final of the European Cup. The Welsh scored eight tries without reply in their final pool two match in Pontypridd to earn a 42-12 victory and a place in next Sundays final against Scotland at Bridgends Brewery Field. The Scots beat Lebanon 22-10 in a match which saw five sin-binnings. Venus sister on another planet SERENA WILLIAMS claimed a fourth successive win over sister Venus to triumph at the Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha yesterday. Serena, who was guaranteed to end the season as world No1, completed her fifth straight win of the prestigious end-of-season tournament, easing to a 6-2 7-6 (7/4) victory. I didnt expect to come here and win, she said afterwards. Why Celtics are simply the Bost THE Boston Celtics continued their perfect start to the basketball season with a 97-87 win over the New Orleans Hornets. Paul Pierce led the Celtics charge with 27 points to ensure the 2007/08 champions have now won their opening four games of the new season. The Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns are all also unbeaten as they improved to 3-0 with wins of their own. Ends in tears: Radcliffe at the finish seasonthebeganwhoHamilton, andcardreadfulawith humiliationtheendured said:Lie-gate,of thoughthaveWhod nish third in thewed fi champion-constructors thisship at the start of anbeenIts year,incredible and now I cant nextforwait toseason worldish Jen-champion n-son Button, who fi DhabisAbuatthirdished MarinaYasstunning theofawareiscircuit, fromcomingthreat finishedwhoButton, ofBullsRedthebehind VettelSebastian Button)with couldWebber,Mark along-uplinestill forHamiltonside n e x tM c L a r e n season. The 29-year-old said: com-ainbetoneedI Iteam.petitive ing driver. savingataimedTalks the British GP will be forrespectofouthalted 87-year-Wheatcroft,Tom Donington,old owner of who died yesterday. index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html