Chinese GP: McLaren race notes

West McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen finished third in today's inaugural Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai after a thrilling race, which saw the top three finishing within 1.4 seconds. Team mate David Coulthard started the 56-laps-race from ...

West McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen finished third in today's inaugural Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai after a thrilling race, which saw the top three finishing within 1.4 seconds. Team mate David Coulthard started the 56-laps-race from ninth and took the chequered flag in the same position.

Both drivers were on three-stop strategies with Kimi coming in on laps 12 (7.91 seconds), 27 (5.85 seconds) and 36 (9.26 seconds). David came in for his stops on laps 11 (7.64 seconds) 28 (6.82 seconds) and 38 (9.08 seconds). Kimi and David are seventh and ninth in the Drivers World Championship with 34 and 24 points respectively. The West McLaren Mercedes team remains fifth in the Constructors' battle with 58 points.

Kimi Raikkonen:

"From where I was sitting that was a close and exciting debut race and hopefully the Chinese fans agree. I was able to keep up with Rubens but just lacked that final speed to get past and take the lead. As always we are here to win races and decided to change my strategy in an attempt to get past Rubens with a short middle stint."

"However it didn't work out and we lost second place to Jenson, but I'm not too disappointed. The car has felt good throughout the weekend and once again my Michelin tyres were working well. My times were consistent during the race and I'm looking forward to the last two races where we will continue to go for victory."

David Coulthard:

"An exciting race with a disappointing outcome for me. As always with a low grid position it is difficult to achieve a decent result particularly as you inevitably get involved in the mid-field battles. There is no doubt that the pace was there, but I got stuck behind one of the Saubers in the opening stages and lost a lot of time."

"On lap 37 I unfortunately had a coming together with Ralf Schumacher at the hairpin and damaged my left front wheel. I'm sorry for him but it also affected my race significantly as I could have finished higher up in the points. It took me quite some time to reach the pits to replace the wheel. At the end of day the team could have used the points, but at least we put on a good show in China."

Ron Dennis:

"A thrilling race and a fantastic debut for Formula One in China. We have always made it clear that we exist to win and that was what we wanted to do today. As a result we took the decision to change Kimi's strategy to see if we could get him ahead of Rubens. On this occasion it didn't work out and in effect we handed second place to Jenson. David's result was affected by his starting position and the often inevitable mid-field incidents, which put him out of contention despite having the speed."

Norbert Haug:

"An exciting race which saw two strong Ferrari challengers with Kimi performing exceptionally well. Our speed was good throughout the race and Kimi could put a lot of pressure on Rubens and Jenson. David was quick, too but lost the possibility of scoring quite a few points in his accident with Ralf Schumacher."

"This was an important event for Formula One and our team here at this debut in China. The outcome shows the development of the MP4-19B continues to go in the right direction, and we are looking forward to the next race in Japan, where we will try to do two places better."

David Coulthard: MP4-19B 03
Kimi Raikkonen: MP4-19B 01
T-car (Kimi): MP4-19B 02

-mclaren-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , David Coulthard , Kimi Raikkonen , Norbert Haug
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren