FORMULA1 - McLaren-Mercedes F1 France GP Race

FORMULA1 - McLaren-Mercedes F1 France GP Race

16.07.2006: FORMULA1 - McLaren-Mercedes F1 France GP Race




Magny Cours, France, Sunday 16th July 2006
Kimi Raikkonen, MP4-21 02
Pedro de la Rosa, MP4-21 07
T-car (Kimi), MP4-21 06

Team McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen finished fifth in today's 70-lap French Grand Prix. In only his first race for over a year Pedro de la Rosa put in a steady performance to come seventh. Both drivers were on three-stop strategies with Kimi coming in on laps 17 (7.0 seconds), 32 (11.4 seconds) and 53 (7.0 seconds) and Pedro stopping on laps 18 (6.5 seconds), 35 (6.7 seconds) and 50 (7.4 seconds).

Kimi remains fourth in the Drivers' Championship with 43 points and Pedro scored two points for the team on his 2006 race debut. Juan Pablo Montoya is sixth with 26 points. Team McLaren Mercedes is third in the Constructors' standings with 71 points. The Team returns to the test track in Jerez, Spain next week with Kimi, Pedro and Gary Paffett all taking to the track.

KIMI RAIKKONEN

"A disappointing race as the car was handling really well. We were lacking the speed to win, but I lost a few tenths in the second pit-stop which cost me fourth place today, so we definitely could have done better today. The car is steadily improving and we have further developments at the next test so we now look forward to the next race at Hockenheim in two weeks time, where hopefully we will score better in front of Mercedes-Benz home crowd."

PEDRO DE LA ROSA

"The car had the speed today and felt really good to drive. I feel I really could have scored more points if I had not lost position to Mark Webber at the start of the race. This meant that I lost a lot of time in the opening stint trying to pass him and when I eventually got passed during the pit stop I was behind a lot of traffic on different strategies. As a result following the first round of stops I was over 20 seconds behind Ralf Schumacher, so it was very difficult for me to improve on my position. I really enjoyed the race and I am pleased to have scored some points for the team and be one the fastest of the Michelin runners."

RON DENNIS

"We had a much more competitive pace today which indicates the continued improvement of the car. Unfortunately Bridgestone had an advantage and we will work hard with Michelin to reverse the situation at Hockenheim. We varied our race strategy in an attempt to improve the outcome of the race but to no avail. Both Kimi and Pedro drove well and as always we look forward to getting better results at the next grand prix."

 

NORBERT HAUG

"Our grid positions were decisive for the outcome of our race, the pace was better than in qualifying. So it was very difficult to improve on sixth and eighth despite the fact that our lap times were among the fastest of the Michelin runners. Kimi was the second placed Michelin car, but we want to do better. Pedro put in a good performance as well, however after the start he got stuck behind a slower car for the first third of the race.

Once he could run free he was immediately one and a half seconds quicker than before. We are now looking forward to our home grand prix at Hockenheim in a fortnight and will work hard to further improve our performance."

 

-. Ellen Kolby , Wolfgang Schattling -

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16.07.2006 / MaP

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