Australian GP McLaren race notes

The West McLaren Mercedes team finished the first race of the season with David Coulthard claiming a strong second place to open his and the team's 2001 Formula One World Championship challenge. Mika Hakkinen's race finished on lap 25 when his car...

The West McLaren Mercedes team finished the first race of the season with David Coulthard claiming a strong second place to open his and the team's 2001 Formula One World Championship challenge. Mika Hakkinen's race finished on lap 25 when his car had a front right suspension failure which caused him to go off the track at Stewart corner.

The event was overshadowed by the death of a Marshall and it is difficult to reflect on the race in such circumstances. The entire West McLaren Mercedes team would like to express their deepest sympathy to the family of the Marshall who lost his life whilst performing his duties during the race.

David Coulthard:
'I was quicker off the line than the cars in front of me but my front wheels got caught between their rear wheels but fortunately I got away without any damage. I'm happy with my performance because I was able to overtake Trulli and Ralf Schumacher to claim fourth and then get past Barrichello on the outside to take third which became second after Mika's retirement. Having to start from the third row I'm pleased that I managed to get six points today and we now have to further improve the performance of the car before Malaysia where we should be even better.'

Mika Hakkinen:
'Something broke on the car, which caused me to go off the track and hit the barrier at the entry of Stewart. I hit the brakes and then lost control of the car. I went to the medical centre for a check up as something hit my helmet but I'm fine. It was a shame as we were looking good and in hindsight our strategy might have given us a race win.'

Ron Dennis:
'We had the right strategy for the race and Mika was well positioned to optimise this advantage until his accident which was caused by front right suspension failure. David drove a great race and his overtaking manoeuvre to claim second was superb - combined with a well executed race strategy his result was well deserved.'

Norbert Haug:
'Mika's strong performance was unrewarded when his accident prevented him from challenging for the lead. David drove a strong race and performed well overtaking three cars. Both drivers were scheduled to have their pit stop late which we are convinced was the right strategy. We are happy with the reliability of the engine following the teething problems we had to overcome after Barcelona testing and we are definitely heading in the right direction.'

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Norbert Haug
Teams Mercedes , McLaren