McLaren seems likely to begin the 2009 season very strongly, FIA president Max Mosley has predicted.

McLaren seems likely to begin the 2009 season very strongly, FIA president Max Mosley has predicted.

"McLaren have done a very good job over the winter -- everything indicates that," he told selected reporters at a media lunch in London on Thursday.

Rival 'big two' team Ferrari is the reigning constructors' champion, whose Felipe Massa won the last race of the 2008 season and trailed title winner Lewis Hamilton by just a single point.

But Mosley confirms the impression that Ferrari's pre-season has been less smooth.

"Ferrari are still getting their act together after a very big management change, whereas I don't think the management change at McLaren is as big -- there is more continuity," he said.

2008 was Stefano Domenicali's first season as Ferrari team boss, following the long reign and very different style and approach of Jean Todt.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis, meanwhile, is handing over to his long-time deputy Martin Whitmarsh on March 1, but remaining the company's CEO and chairman.

When asked which driver he would place a bet on for 2009 honours, Mosley said Hamilton.

"But it might be someone unexpected like Kubica or Alonso," he added.

 

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