Martin Whitmarsh labelled Lewis Hamilton's recent performances as "gutsy" after he retired from the Brazilian Grand prix with a gearbox failure.

12896 - Whitmarsh praises 'gutsy' Hamilton

Hamilton ended the season in fifth place in the drivers' championship after his no-score, having been challenging Felipe Massa for fifth in the race. The gearbox problem had hampered him from an early stage, however, and he was in with a chance of a podium until losing time. Whitmarsh said that after "a challenging year" it was clear that the end of the season had seen an "emphatic return to form".

"Lewis has had a challenging year - but his gutsy performances here and, in particular, in Abu Dhabi, where he took his third win of the season, represent an eloquent testimony to an emphatic return to form on his part," Whitmarsh said. "He's already focusing on 2012, and I'm sure he'll prepare for the new season with his customary determination and will to win."

With the season complete, Whitmarsh said that the new car's development was well underway and that the team intended to win both titles next season after what he called a "pretty decent year".

"We've been concentrating our energies on MP4-27 for some time now, and we'll maintain that intensive effort throughout the winter months. All things considered, 2011 was a pretty decent year for us - we finished second in the constructors' world championship, 122 points ahead of the third-placed team and 332 points ahead of the fourth-placed team - but we aim to win outright. Next season we intend to do just that."