Team McLaren Mercedes drivers Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard finished the Mobil 1 French Grand Prix at Magny Cours in fourth and fifth positions respectively. Both drivers were on a three stop strategy with David coming in on laps 15 (7 ...
Team McLaren Mercedes drivers Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard finished the Mobil 1 French Grand Prix at Magny Cours in fourth and fifth positions respectively. Both drivers were on a three stop strategy with David coming in on laps 15 (7 seconds), 32 (6.6 seconds) and 48 (17.4 seconds). Kimi had his pitstops on lap 16 (6.8 seconds), 31 (7.9 seconds) and 47 (8 seconds). Kimi remains second in the Drivers' Championship with 56 points and David is seventh with 29 points. The Team McLaren Mercedes is third in the Constructors' Championship with 85 points.
"I'm not satisfied by finishing fourth as I was third for most of the race. However I lost so much time stuck in traffic behind cars which seemed to be ignoring the blue flags that Michael was able to get past me after his final pitstop. In addition I had no brakes during the last few laps as I lost the rear disk and you can't drive fast without brakes, so not a brilliant day. However on the bright side Michael only managed to extend his lead by one point but the Championship is getting closer with Ralf Schumacher closing on me. It should be an exciting race at Silverstone in two weeks time."
"I made a good start and was fighting with Michael throughout turn one and two but couldn't really get past. When the race settled Kimi and I were able to run at the same pace but were not fast enough to challenge for the lead. Unfortunately there were a couple of problems during my third pitstop. Initially the fuel nozzle didn't attach correctly and we had to use the second one and then struggled when we had to remove it. Fortunately nobody was injured in the incident but I lost a possible third place."
Ron Dennis, team principal:
"Perhaps it's understandable that when the first five cars are quite strung out it's a little more difficult for the marshalls to understand exactly which drivers are in what position. Even so it was extremely frustrating for both David and Kimi to lose so much time when overtaking backmarkers. Neither car's performance was perfect. David suffered a fuel rig problem and Kimi a rear brake disk failure three laps from the end of the race. In the circumstances the single point differential to Michael fell squarely into the category of damage limitation. This year we have a fantastically competitive World Championship and I'm sure that all the contenders will fight to the end, we certainly will."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes motorsport director:
"Fourth and fifth places were what we could have achieved today taking into account the problems we had. Kimi experienced a brake disk problem in the latter part of the race and David's refuelling incident during his third stop cost him valuable time and a possible third place. The Formula One World Championships battle is now very close with the first three drivers within 11 points and the teams' within 18. We are certainly looking forward to Silverstone, one of our three home races and the entire team is working hard to improve on today's performance."
David Coulthard: MP4-17D 08
Kimi Raikkonen: MP4-17D 09
T-car (David): MP4-17D 06
Spare: MP4-17D 05