The West McLaren Mercedes team completed the Canadian Grand Prix with David Coulthard finishing in a disappointing seventh position having had a commanding lead for most of the race. Mike Hakkinen had his race curtailed on the second corner...
The West McLaren Mercedes team completed the Canadian Grand Prix with David Coulthard finishing in a disappointing seventh position having had a commanding lead for most of the race. Mike Hakkinen had his race curtailed on the second corner of the first lap when one of the Prost cars drove into the rear of his MP4/12, rendering his car undrivable without considerable time consuming repairs. A well executed one stop strategy was complemented by many fastest laps by David, demonstrating the outstanding performance of the new F spec Mercedes-Benz engine. This coupled with the well balanced car, gives the team the ability to look forward to the remainder of the season.
DAVID COULTHARD: "Today's race was very disappointing but it shows once again that the new engine from Mercedes-Benz is very strong and, although it slipped away from us this time, we were capable of winning the race. We were running a one stop strategy but my second set of tyres were blistering badly so I came in for a precautionary stop. Unfortunately even thought the team had checked that we had no problems with the transmission or gear box on the telemetry, the clutch did not disengage, which led me stalling the engine. I ultimately managed to re-start off the jack, but by this time the safety car was out and the race was effectively over."
MIKA HAKKINEN: "I am naturally upset that I did not complete even the opening lap of the race. As I approached turn two, one of the Prost cars drove into the back of me which took off the rear wing and damaged the crash structure. Unfortunately in order to make the necessary repairs the team would have had to remove the floor of the car and this would have taken too long, so I had to retire."
RON DENNIS: "Everyone in the team is very disappointed with today's result, but I am comfortable that we took the right decision to take a precautionary pit stop for fresh tyres. Our one stop strategy was working very well and it was unfortunate that the outcome of the race was less than satisfactory. But, we have to take a positive attitude and acknowledge that we were extremely competitive and whilst you don't get points for this, I think ours was a moral victory."
NORBERT HAUG: "We were the fastest in the field but not the luckiest. We demonstrated that we are competitive and we can win on our own merit. Unfortunately the second set of tyres produced blisters and the team decided to come in for an additional pit stop when a clutch problem prevented David from retaining his lead. The new F engine proved, on it's race debut, that it is reliable and that we now have the required performance to win."
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