Lewis Hamilton’s measured run to third place in Sunday’s superb inaugural Singapore Grand Prix night race reflected a sea change in the tactics deployed by the McLaren-Mercedes squad - and an approach which will be maintained throughout the remaining three races of the year in Japan, China and Brazil.

Lewis Singapore Hitherto McLaren’s abiding philosophy has been that winning all – or most – of the races will land the championship crown.

And, if it didn’t, then the team could not be blamed for failing to give it their very best shot.

Now, according to Martin Whitmarsh, the McLaren’s chief operating officer, things are going to be different.  On reflection the team now believes it adopted too aggressive a strategy during its 2007 campaign, this becoming a weakness which compromised its prospects of taking the title.

From now on, the team is determined to take the strategic view in its quest to put the championship title mathematically beyond reach as quickly as possible, even if that means not going for a win in every race.

“I think an inherent weakness in the team and Lewis last year was the overwhelming desire to win the race at almost any risk,” said Whitmarsh in Singapore. “And in truth that is more forgivable in Lewis. You would like to have that in a young racing driver.”