Raikkonen very dissapointed

Sun, 19 March 2006, 01:56

McLaren Mercedes driver Juan Pablo Montoya finished today’s 56 lap Malaysian Grand Prix in fourth place.

Montoya was on a two-stop strategy coming in on laps 23 and 42.

Kimi Raikkonen was hit by Christian Klien’s Red Bull on the opening lap of the race which damaged his rear suspension and caused him to retire.

Montoya remains fifth in the Drivers’ standings with nine points and Raikkonen is sixth with six. Team McLaren Mercedes is joint second with Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship with a total of 15 points.

Juan Pablo Montoya
“The car was good today and I think we had a solid race. We lost a lot of time in the first stint as my front tyres were graining, but as soon as we changed the tyres the car came back to life and if you look at my pace against Jenson Button later on it was pretty much the same. With the hot temperatures here we did have to look after the engine, which means that we had to sacrifice downforce, so finishing fourth is encouraging. We have scored some more points for the team and I think we look strong going into the next race.”

Kimi Raikkonen
“I am very disappointed because I had a great car set-up and very good race strategy. I think it was fairly obvious that Christian Klien made a pretty fundamental mistake and ran into the back of me at turn five, breaking my rear suspension in the process.
A positive side, the team has had good race reliability in the first two races and I am already looking forward to Melbourne in two weeks.”

Ron Dennis
“Kimi being taken out in the first lap and Juan Pablo’s first stint tyre graining problems masked our true competitiveness. We also had to sacrifice some downforce to improve the cooling efficiency of the car. The whole team is looking forward to the scheduled improvements to both the car and engine, which should make us even more competitive in two weeks time. Unlike many teams, we have enjoyed good engine reliability which also supports our positive expectations for Melbourne.”

Norbert Haug
“Kimi was pushed out in the opening lap and we missed him a lot in this race. Our reliability was there and Juan Pablo drove a solid race. I would like to thank everybody in the team in Woking, Brixworth and Stuttgart for all their efforts over the last busy month to create this level. Our engines ran fine in both races within a week’s time. We have a solid basis, however we definitely want to do better and we will continue to work hard.”

Press release
McLaren Mercedes

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