Dennis: JPM Disadvantaged at British GP

McLaren boss Ron Dennis fears that Juan Pablo Montoya's chances of helping his team's World Championship bid in this weekend's British Grand Prix will be hampered by his early slot for qualifying

Dennis: JPM Disadvantaged at British GP

The fact that drivers have to go out early in qualifying if they retire from the previous race has been widely accepted as a major handicap, and Dennis is worried by the fact Montoya goes out fifth at Silverstone following his retirement at Magny-Cours.

"Of course we have to deal with Juan's situation," said Dennis, whose McLaren team are favourites for victory at Silverstone. "Because not only do you not finish a race, which is bad enough, but you carry this disadvantage to the next event, because of your start position on the next qualifying session.

"When you had two qualifying sessions there was some possibility of minimising the effects of your start position, but now with one qualifying session it is really hard. We'll be giving JPM the best car to pull himself up the grid and we'll do our best."

Dennis' comments about qualifying come on the back of critical comments about the format from his former driver David Coulthard. These criticisms have led to FIA president Max Mosley canceling a planned meeting at Silverstone with the GPDA to discuss safety.

Coulthard said: "If you go out early in one race, you have to start early in qualifying for the next. That means you have a bad qualifying, because physically you just cannot go quicker than someone else who has an equal lap later in the session because the track is in a better condition.

"So it is a handicapped F1 system we have. You are handicapped if you have an engine failure, even if it is no fault of the driver, and then the crowd are deprived of what may be a fantastic race, as they were in France."

Mark Webber also admitted that he was forced to push on in the French GP, despite being burned in the cockpit, because he did not want to be too handicapped in qualifying at this weekend's British Grand Prix.

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