BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Motorsport: Formula One  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Statistics
Formula One
World Rally
Motorbikes
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

  Sunday, 18 August, 2002, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
McLaren save face
KImi Raikkonen leads David Coulthard during the Hungarian Grand Prix
McLaren were much stronger in race trim

McLaren were relieved to salvage some self-respect in the Hungarian Grand Prix after a disastrous qualifying session had left them in 10th and 11th places on the grid.

Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard recovered to finish fourth and fifth after well-judged races, with only the Ferraris and the Williams of Ralf Schumacher ahead.

Team boss Ron Dennis said that McLaren's Michelin tyres explained the team's improved performance.

Michelin took to Hungary a tyre that was too hard, so the team suffered a lack of grip in qualifying.

But race day was much hotter, which reduced the disadvantage this caused.

"Our improved race performance was a result of the higher ambient temperature which allowed us to maximise the performance of our Michelin tyres," Dennis said.

He praised the performances of Raikkonen and Coulthard as "excellent".

Earlier, Dennis had blamed tyres for McLaren's dreadful qualifying form.

He implied that both McLaren and Williams believed that Michelin had brought too hard a tyre to Hungary.

McLaren were expected to be strong after battling for victory at Monaco and Magny-Cours this year, circuits which demand similar strengths from a Formula One car.

"Our best estimate at the moment is tyres. That's not an excuse because of the competitiveness of other teams on Michelin tyres, but we know that Michelin was concerned after Hockenheim.

"Certainly ourselves, and Williams, were surprised at the tyre choice for this event."

He added: "Our lack of performance in light of the results we achieved in Monaco and Magny-Cours, which are circuits with similar characteristics, is something which we at this stage don't fully understand.

Coulthard won in Monaco having started from the front row of the grid and Raikkonen was on course to win in France before spinning on oil four laps from the end.

McLaren's greatest weakness this season has been a comparative lack of power from their Mercedes engine.

Many regard their chassis to be as good as the Ferrari's, which should have put them in good stead on the tight and twisty Hungaroring.

But McLaren have been struggling to find a good handling balance this weekend.

McLaren's tyre supplier, Michelin, appear to be at a disadvantage compared to the Bridgestones used by Ferrari.

And the McLaren is easier on its tyres than the Williams, which is probably why Ralf Schumacher was able to qualify just 0.4secs behind the Ferraris.

In-depth guide to the 2002 Formula One season

On-track action

Race statistics

Budapest build-up

Jonathan Legard

F1 2002
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Formula One stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Formula One stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales