West McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen claimed third place in the final race of the 2002 Formula One season in Japan which was also the 100th Grand Prix contested by the West McLaren Mercedes team. It was the third time this season that Kimi...
West McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen claimed third place in the final race of the 2002 Formula One season in Japan which was also the 100th Grand Prix contested by the West McLaren Mercedes team. It was the third time this season that Kimi finished third. Team mate David Coulthard retired from third place on lap seven. Kimi did his pitstops on lap 22 (9.9 seconds) and lap 41 (7.3 seconds). David finishes fifth in the 2002 FIA Formula One Drivers' World Championship with 41 points whilst Kimi claims sixth with 24 points. The West McLaren Mercedes ends the season in third place in the Constructors' standings with 65 points.
"Ralf Schumacher got past me at the start and as a result I was initially running in fifth. I had a fairly straight forward race until a few laps from the end when I experienced a fault with the throttle control system, which fortunately was rectified by the default strategy. At the end, I was able to take the final podium position when Ralf Schumacher retired. I claimed third in the first race in Australia and finished the last race in my first season with West McLaren Mercedes in third. I have enjoyed this year and am already looking forward to the start of testing."
"I would have liked to finish the season with a podium which I think would have been possible today, so obviously I'm disappointed. I had the pace and was able to open up a gap to the cars behind. However I lost throttle at turn nine which I was told was due to a failure on one bank of the control system. I was able to get the car back to the garage but there was nothing the team could do. I will now enjoy a bit of a break and then we will resume testing on 26th November in Valencia."
"Despite the progress that we have made in the last two races, we are under no illusions that next year's Ferrari will be only better. We have not lost the ability, knowledge and motivation required to win and coupled with the extensive restructuring and recruitment processes in both McLaren and Mercedes-Benz, the increased efforts from Michelin and ExxonMobil and the total commitment of David, Kimi and Alex, we believe that we can look forward to a much more competitive 2003 season. Both drivers did an excellent job this weekend. Our apologies to David and well done to Kimi."
"It's nice for Kimi and the team to finish with a podium position in the final race of the 2002 Championship. It's a pity for David that he had to retire early. We definitely know that we have to catch up the opposition. A very busy winter is lying ahead of the team."
David Coulthard: Chassis 06
Kimi Raikkonen: Chassis 09
T-car (David): Chassis 07
Spare: Chassis 03