Dennis says 'we will fight on'

McLaren boss Ron Dennis insists that his team has not given up on winning this year's Formula 1 World Championship despite another crushing defeat at the hands of Michael Schumacher in the French Grand Prix

Dennis says 'we will fight on'

Schumacher finished first, with his Ferrari team mate Rubens Barrichello third and the Italian team has amassed 108 points - almost double McLaren's total in the constructors' championship, which went up by only three points from David Coulthard's fourth place in Sunday's race.

Mika Hakkinen failed to get off the grid for the third time this season while Coulthard fell back after receiving a10-second stop-go penalty for speeding in the pitlane. The extra stop destroyed the Scot's chances of battling for victory and leaves him 31 points behind Schumacher in the title race with seven rounds remaining.

"The championships are not over and we will immediately start to focus on our home Grand Prix at Silverstone [in two weeks' time]," said Dennis. "There is no way we are going to give up and if anyone thinks we will, they are a fool. We did not come here to finish fourth, that is for sure, but you either do it or you don't."

McLaren revealed after the race that Hakkinen's non-start was down to human error, but not the driver's. A component in the gearbox had been assembled incorrectly preventing the Finn's Car from being re-started after it stalled at the beginning of the formation lap.

"It was a mechanical problem with Mika's gearbox, not his own fault at all," continued Dennis. "At times like this it is important to remember that through thick and thin we are a team and we all make mistakes."

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