Dennis Confident despite No Pole

McLaren boss Ron Dennis still believes McLaren are in good shape for tomorrow's Brazilian Grand Prix despite the error that cost Kimi Raikkonen a front-row slot

Dennis Confident despite No Pole

Raikkonen, who needs a victory to keep his slim World Championship hopes alive, lost valuable time at the first corner on his qualifying lap when he locked up his left front wheel.

It left the Finn down in fifth on the grid, with title rival Fernando Alonso having secured pole.

Speaking to ITV, Dennis refused to criticise Raikkonen for the error and insisted that he was comfortable with McLaren's preparations for the race.

"It was just a mistake," said Dennis. "We know that everybody in the team is under pressure and in those situations you can make mistakes.

"It is not catastrophic. We have a great race strategy and we have used our performance advantage to improve our race strategy. People will say it looks close but people will see that we are strong.

"It is not the end of the world and Juan Pablo Montoya is up there - so I am not concerned. It is just frustrating. We take mistakes as a team and not as individuals."

Raikkonen's situation means that McLaren will be relying on front-row starter Juan Pablo Montoya to try and take the fight to Alonso in the opening stages of the race while his teammate fights his way through to the front.

And although Dennis played down suggestions that Montoya could get involved in a collision with Alonso, he admitted that the Colombian would be expected to put Alonso under some big pressure.

"There is no intention for Juan Pablo to be aggressive or obstructive with any car on the circuit," he said. "Clearly Alonso has more at stake and therefore I don't think he will take any chances on the opening laps while Juan Pablo can go for it.

"Hopefully it will be a clean fight and we don't want to see any outcome that is the result of drivers having an accident."

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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