McLaren says no crash needed to beat rival Red Bull

London: Buoyed by the lucky break that gave them a one-two finish in Turkey, McLaren`s Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button believe they can beat Red Bull on their own merits in this weekend`s Canadian Formula One Grand Prix.

McLaren were gifted their top-two finish when Australian Mark Webber and Germany`s Sebastian Vettel collided with each other with the race at their mercy, but Britain`s most recent world champions feel they can win without help this weekend.

"This is a circuit where perhaps there is less opportunity for the advantage of the Red Bull," said Hamilton, who won the world title in 2008.

"There are a couple of corners, turn four, turn seven, and I think turn 10, turn nine maybe where the Red Bull will be quite strong on those exits but otherwise we should be strong on the straights."

Red Bull have dominated the early part of the season, claiming pole position in all seven races, but their speed advantage has not always been reflected on race days.

They have won three races -- Webber two and Vettel one -- and although Webber leads the drivers` title race, Red Bull trail in the constructors` championship by a point after Vettel failed to finish the last race in Turkey and Webber had to settle for third despite leading before the collision.

"We`re improving and we`re catching the Red Bulls and at this type of circuit, where straight-line speed is important and there aren`t any real high-speed corners, our car should work here," said Button, the reigning world champion.

Despite being helped by their rivals in Istanbul, McLaren almost came unstuck themselves when Button tried to overtake Hamilton in the closing laps.

The pair were driving wheel to wheel at high-speed before Hamilton managed to regain the lead and Button eased off after the team ordered him to conserve fuel. Hamilton went on to claim his first win of the year with Button taking second.

Both incidents have triggered intense debate about whether drivers should challenge their own team mates or concede to ensure they both make it to the finish safely.

"We don`t have any team orders and of course we always want to support the team in getting the most points," Hamilton said. "But clearly both drivers always want to win, so if there is an opportunity you take it."

Button said there was no animosity between himself and Lewis over the incident and both drivers enjoyed the tussle.

"Obviously I would rather have finished first but it was a fun battle," Button said. "If you can`t finish first it`s the second best thing."

Bureau Report