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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 March, 2004, 05:15 GMT
Raikkonen slates McLaren
Kimi Raikkonen looks back in disgust at his McLaren after its engine failure
To say it was a difficult weekend for the team would be somewhat of an understatement
Ron Dennis
McLaren boss
Kimi Raikkonen has expressed his dissatisfaction at his McLaren team's poor performance in Australia.

The Finn, who retired on lap nine with an engine failure, said: "We were not expecting 10th place on the grid. It's very disappointing.

"We shouldn't be in that position, we should be fighting for first place. Nobody's happy."

Team-mate David Coulthard, who finished eighth, said: "Given our performance in the event, it's what we deserve."

The Scot added: "We weren't quick enough in any of the sessions. Even when I was trapped behind [BAR driver Takuma] Sato, he wasn't holding me up that much and the others were just gone.

"We have the pace at times, but it's not there on the first lap and we're not consistent."

Coulthard said he expected McLaren to struggle in Melbourne.

"I've been realistic all winter. The reality is we've been in among the field in all our running [over the winter], and we've got to improve the car.

"We've had our first reality check on our performance.

1 M Schumacher (Ferrari)
2 R Barrichello (Ferrari)
3 F Alonso (Renault)
4 R Schumacher (Williams)
5 JP Montoya (Williams)
6 J Button (BAR)
7 J Trulli (Renault)
8 D Coulthard (McLaren)
"We are going to improve, but I can't honestly say we are going to be running at the front. But we'll do our best.

"If we knew exactly what was the one problem you would be working flat out on that.

"But I think generally we're not making the most of the tyres on one lap, the car's difficult to position, and our race pace, although closer to the pace than in qualifying, isn't good enough."

Team boss Ron Dennis said: "To say it was a difficult weekend for the team would be somewhat of an understatement.

"Our poor performance was amplified by the low ambient temperatures which certainly didn't favour any of the Michelin runners.

"It's the first race, there's a long way to go yet.

"It's early in the season, one race, and we know what our weaknesses are, and they'll be addressed as speedily as possible.

"This circuit and climatic conditions play heavily into the hands of Ferrari.

"Hats off to them, they've done a great job this weekend, but we're not going to stand and do nothing, we'll fight back."

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