West McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen maintained his Formula One World Championship lead after finishing second in today's Austrian Grand Prix. Team mate David Coulthard managed fifth place despite starting the race from 14th on the grid.
West McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen maintained his Formula One World Championship lead after finishing second in today's Austrian Grand Prix. Team mate David Coulthard managed fifth place despite starting the race from 14th on the grid. David had his pit stops on laps 20 (9.4 seconds) and 50 (7.6 seconds). Kimi pitted on laps 23 (8.8 seconds) and 48 (8.8 seconds). David is fifth in the Championship with 23 points whilst the West McLaren Mercedes team is second in the Constructors with 63 points.
"I'm pleased that I managed to keep the lead in the Championship even though it is getting smaller. I was a bit slow getting off the line at the start and lost a position to Montoya. I was then fighting to keep Rubens behind me but after a few laps the car became more stable and I was able to start pushing again. We did not always rev the engine to its full potential after the mechanics had done a great job this morning in fixing a valve problem and all their efforts meant that I was able to finish second. Towards the end Rubens and myself had an exciting fight but when we had started the last lap and were through the first corner I knew I could stay ahead if I kept my line."
"It was good to score some points after struggling throughout the weekend with the balance of the car. I had a tough race with a lot of battles, overtakings and heavy traffic. Fortunately the team's strategy helped me to claim fifth place. I'm now looking forward to Monaco which is a great drivers' circuit and we will work very hard to ensure that we have a competitive package there."
Ron Dennis, Team principal:
"Another weekend where our race strategy rewarded us with points scoring finishes. Our ability to fight for the lead was hampered by Kimi's poor start whilst a need for him to look after his engine required him to drop his pace. David's fifth place gave us valuable Constructors' points and it's great going to Monaco still leading the Drivers' Championship. The whole team is looking forward to the first run of the MP4-18 next week."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes motorsport director:
"A super job by Kimi, David and the whole team. Kimi fought like a lion under difficult circumstances and stayed cool under a lot of pressure. To stay ahead in the World Championship is a good reward for his and the team's efforts. Thanks to the guys who fixed Kimi's engine by changing an exhaust valve this morning. He drove his car for quite a while with reduced revs but brought it home safely."
David Coulthard: MP4-17D 08
Kimi Raikkonen: MP4-17D 09
T-car (David): MP4-17D 07
Spare: MP4-17D 06