British GP: Race notes - McLaren


Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Fernando Alonso finished second in the 60-lap Santander British Grand Prix in Silverstone with his team mate Lewis Hamilton coming home in third place. After 59 laps, Fernando ended up 2.5 seconds behind winner Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari). Both drivers were on two-stop strategies; Fernando came in on laps 20 (6.3 seconds) and 37 (8.2 seconds) whilst Lewis pitted on laps 16 (8.2 seconds) and 38 (8.1 seconds). Lewis took his ninth podium finish in as many Formula 1 races and maintained the lead in the Drivers' Championship with 70 points followed by Fernando in second position with 58 points. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes heads the Constructors' table with 128 points ahead of Ferrari on 103.

Fernando Alonso: Second was the maximum we could really do today. We decided to change the strategy during the race to a shorter fuel stop for the middle stint, hoping we would be able to maintain the lead after the second stop. Unfortunately we did not build enough of a gap to Ferrari during this period, and Kimi's six laps with less fuel were too much to overcome. It was a gamble but definitely the right thing to do. I had a few problems with traffic, and we didn't quite have the pace of Ferrari, so it didn't pay off. The points are very important for the Championship, and we will work very hard at the test next week, in Spa-Francorchamps, to regain our advantage.

Lewis Hamilton: We had an interesting race. I got a good start and tried to pull out a gap, but Kimi was extremely quick. Unfortunately I made a mistake in the pitstop, which obviously lost me a few seconds of valuable time. I tried to push, but continued to struggle with the balance. I tried to drive round the issues and although I was a bit more consistent towards the end the team choose to save the engine for the Nürburgring and backed off for a safe third. I think that the tyre choice played a big role in the race, and ultimately starting with the harder tyre was not the best way to go as the softer tyre was clearly faster. However we have come away with more points. I have to say the fans have been tremendous this weekend, and the race would have been harder without their support.

Ron Dennis: Fernando did a tremendous job making every effort to turn our short fuel middle stint into a race win. Ultimately both he and Lewis were asked to turn their engines down in order to ensure that we had the best ability to attack again in Germany. It's of course clear that we didn't quite have the pace, but both drivers did a great job, and we still went away with valuable points and an even greater motivation to do better at the next event.

Norbert Haug: Despite not winning here today we have to be positive about the first half of the season. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is leading the Constructors' World Championship by a margin of 25 points and Lewis and Fernando are at the top of the list in the Drivers' World Championship with 18 and six points ahead of Kimi respectively. Congratulations to him on his win today. All the team in Woking, Brixworth and Stuttgart did a great job in the first nine of 17, races and I like to thank everybody for their efforts. Now we need to find even more speed and are looking forward to Mercedes-Benz' home race at the Nürburgring, where we expect a lot of supporters on the grandstands again. It was a great weekend in Silverstone, and we are sorry that we couldn't deliver a win for Lewis, as most of the spectators had wished for, but everybody should be pleased by the fact that he is leading the Drivers' Championship.

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Published: 08/07/2007
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