Japanese GP: McLaren race notes

West McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen finished today's Japanese Grand Prix in sixth place whilst team mate David Coulthard was forced to retire on lap 38 after an incident with Rubens Barrichello. David had started the race from eighth ...

West McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen finished today's Japanese Grand Prix in sixth place whilst team mate David Coulthard was forced to retire on lap 38 after an incident with Rubens Barrichello. David had started the race from eighth position. He took his two pitstops on laps 15 (8.1 seconds) and 32 (9.9 seconds).

Kimi started the race from 12th and like David he was on a two stop strategy and came in on laps 14 (10.6 seconds) and 36 (8.9 seconds). The qualifying for the 53-lap-race took place earlier this morning after a predicted typhoon caused the Suzuka circuit to suspend all running on Saturday. The track was drying continuously during both pre-qualifying and qualifying which affected both Kimi and David's grid positions.

Kimi Raikkonen:

"A fairly uneventful race for me. I was struggling with the car and from 12th it's fairly limited what you can do. I didn't make a brilliant start, but I gained one place and that was really it. I had an incident with one of the Jordan cars when I was trying to lap it towards the end of the race at turn nine. Basically I was on the inside and he just turned in on me. He hit me quite hard and damaged my steering a bit, so I was struggling to keep the car on the road. A race to forget to be honest but bring on Brazil."

David Coulthard:

"It goes without saying that I'm really disappointed with the end to my Japanese Grand Prix. We were looking to score points but unfortunately on lap 38 I had a coming together with Rubens at the Chicane whilst he was trying to pass me. I don't think anybody is to blame; it's just one of those things which happen when you are battling for positions. The incident broke the front right hand suspension and that was it, but it was a good race until then. I gained a place at the start but got stuck behind Webber, however when I finally got past I was immediately able to speed up. It was a shame for things to end this way ? it would have been nice to have scored five points or even more."

Ron Dennis:

"The finishing positions of the race pretty much reflected qualifying, which unusually took place on a Sunday morning on a drying circuit. David was lying fifth until the collision with Rubens. Kimi's sixth place from 12th on the grid was the result of the team's strategy which served both drivers well. We now all look forward to the final round of the 2004 World Championship in Brazil."

Norbert Haug:

"Not the result that we had hoped for but coming from grid positions eight and 12th your chances are limited. Unfortunately there was a misunderstanding between David and Rubens which cost David a good points scoring position because he was able to keep up with Takuma Sato and Jenson Button. Considering his grid position Kimi did a good job finishing sixth. We now look forward to the last race in Sao Paolo where we want to finish the season on a high."

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 Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Rubens Barrichello , David Coulthard , Kimi Raikkonen , Norbert Haug
Teams Mercedes , McLaren , Jordan