Japanese GP: McLaren race notes

West McLaren Mercedes drivers Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard finished the last round of the 2003 Formula One World Championship in second and third positions respectively. Kimi claimed second place in the Drivers' World ...

West McLaren Mercedes drivers Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard finished the last round of the 2003 Formula One World Championship in second and third positions respectively. Kimi claimed second place in the Drivers' World Championship with 91 points -- only two points from Michael Schumacher. Kimi had his pitstops on laps 13 (9.2 seconds) and 32 (9.1 seconds) whilst David came in on laps 12 (7.5 seconds), 26 (7.6 seconds) and 41 (6.4 seconds). David finished seventh in the 2003 Championship with 51 points whilst the West McLaren Mercedes team took third in the Constructors' battle with 142 points.

KIMI RAIKKONEN

"Obviously I'm a bit disappointed not to win the World Championship, but we needed a bit of luck to do it, and whilst we were close, we were not close enough - however at least we took the battle to the last round. I want to thank everybody in the team, both here and back at base, who have worked so hard during the season and pushed as much as possible, and I'm confident that we will mount an even stronger title challenge next season. I made an OK start, but we were quite far down the grid after weather affected our qualifying yesterday, which always makes things more difficult. I struggled with the handling on my last two sets of tyres but continued to push as hard as I could until the very last lap as you never know what might happen in racing, but it was not enough. I have enjoyed the 2003 season and am already looking forward to next year."

DAVID COULTHARD

"I was able to run at a reasonable pace today and was pushing as hard as I could to make the best from my three-stop strategy. I experienced a few handling problems with my second set of tyres, but at the end of the day third was what we could do today. I had a relatively unexciting race and was not really involved in any battles, but I was pleased that we were on the pace. Congratulations to Kimi on finishing second in the Championship and I'm sure that next year we will be back with an even stronger challenge.

RON DENNIS

"It was quite close and anything was possible in the race. Kimi and David performed well, and we had a good strategy for both cars. However it's the combined result of the 16 races which decide the World Championship but we were able to fight until the very end. The entire team is already working hard on planning our 2004 season."

NORBERT HAUG

"Kimi is runner-up in the World Championship two points behind, which is a good result at the end of an exciting season. The whole team did a great job and worked very hard to keep Kimi in contention for the title until the last race. David showed a strong drive coming home in third today. Congratulations to Michael Schumacher on his sixth World Championship title -- at least he can't say we made it easy for him. Thanks to all our team members for their hard work during 2003. We will all continue our efforts in order to finish one better in 2004"

David Coulthard MP4-17D 07
Kimi Raikkonen MP4-17D 06
T-car (Kimi) MP4-17D 08

-mclaren-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , David Coulthard , Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Mercedes , McLaren