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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 May, 2005, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK
Gamble was worth taking - McLaren
EUROPEAN GP RESULT
Kimi Raikkonen lost victory at the Nurburgring with a last-lap suspension failure
1 F Alonso (Renault)
2 N Heidfeld (Williams)
3 R Barrichello (Ferrari)
4 D Coulthard (Red Bull)
5 M Schumacher (Ferrari)
6 G Fisichella (Renault)
7 JP Montoya (McLaren)
8 J Trulli (Toyota)
McLaren boss Ron Dennis said he had no regrets after Kimi Raikkonen's hopes of a European Grand Prix win were wrecked by a last-lap suspension failure.

A damaged front tyre caused the Finn to crash out, but changing it would have dropped him to third place.

Dennis said: "We are here to win. The phenomenal vibration obviously overloaded some suspension component.

"I discussed it after the race with Kimi and he is comfortable we took the right decision. Life is full of risks."

Raikkonen's retirement handed victory to Renault's Fernando Alonso, who now leads the Finn by 32 points with 12 races left.

"It's very a bad feeling," Raikkonen said. "I am really frustrated to retire from the race in the lead on the very last lap having dominated throughout.

"We lost 10 valuable points in the championship, but we will do our very best to try and win."

Dennis said the decision was "100% right".

"I believe in my mind we made the right decision. There was not sufficient evidence it was unsteady. We did what was necessary to win - almost," he added.

"Coming third with Alonso winning would of course have been better than what we had but we are fighting for the championship and winning is what we want to do.

These regulations have given us a dilemma that we would rather not have - this demonstrates how dangerous that is
Martin Whitmarsh
McLaren team director
"We took a calculated risk and paid the price."

Martin Whitmarsh, Dennis' right-hand man at McLaren, said the team's decision not to bring Raikkonen into the pits had also been influenced by the new rules governing tyres that were introduced this year.

These demand that drivers use only one set of tyres for qualifying and the whole race, and say a "punctured or damaged tyre" may only be changed for "clear and genuine safety reasons".

But it is governing body the FIA that decides whether a team was justified in changing a tyre - and only after the race.

If they decide that the driver who has changed a tyre could have continued, the FIA can disqualify him.

Whitmarsh said: "We would have had to negotiate on the tyre situation anyway. Obviously it has created a precedent now, which demonstrates how dangerous it is.

"It has been commented on all the way through the year - these regulations have given us a dilemma that we would rather not have."



SEE ALSO
Alonso accepts title is in sight
29 May 05 |  Formula One
Webber accepts blame for pile-up
29 May 05 |  Formula One
Coulthard rues minor misjudgement
29 May 05 |  Formula One
Barrichello eyes Ferrari revival
28 May 05 |  Formula One
Button perplexed by lack of pace
28 May 05 |  Formula One
Heidfeld charges to maiden pole
28 May 05 |  Formula One


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