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Japan GP: Race notes - McLaren

NEWS STORY
08/10/2006

Kimi Raikkonen finished fifth in today's 53-lap Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. Pedro de la Rosa crossed the line in 11th place. Both drivers were on a two-stop strategy, with Kimi pitting on laps 22 (8.7 seconds) and 41 (5.7 seconds) and Pedro on laps 20 (7.5 seconds) and 40 (6.6 seconds). Kimi is fifth in the Drivers' Championship with 61 points and Pedro is 11th with 18 points. Team McLaren Mercedes is third in the Constructors' standings with 105 points. The team will take to the test track in Jerez this week before the final race of the season in Brazil in two weeks time.

Kimi Raikkonen: "That was a good result for where we started the race, but it is not really enough to be fighting for fifth place, and not what we wanted out of the weekend. The car felt a lot better today especially in the long runs, but our race was lost in qualifying yesterday where we just couldn't get the speed out of the car that was possible."

Pedro de la Rosa: "That was really a difficult race for me today. Starting from 13th on the grid it was always going to be tough to move through the field, as everyone around me was on very similar strategies. I really struggled to get any pace out of the car as my tyres just had no grip. This weekend could have been a lot better if we had been on different tyres."

Ron Dennis: "A tremendous race by Kimi, fifth place was the best he could do under the circumstances. Our race pace was not so bad and would have been even better with the right tyre choice. With that in mind we are looking forward to Brazil where we expect to be more competitive. Pedro drove a solid race. However coming from this low grid position it was difficult for him to improve further through the field."

Norbert Haug: "The race speed was better than qualifying had indicated. This was shown by Kimi's fourth fastest lap of the race. However more than fifth place was not really possible, taking into account that he came from 11th on the grid and we probably didn't take the optimum tyre choice. We now focus all our work on being more competitive in the final race at Brazil."

To check out our Japan GP gallery, click here

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