Dennis Urges Raikkonen to Stay

McLaren boss Ron Dennis has warned Kimi Raikkonen against being tempted to switch teams at the end of next year, despite the Finn's frustrations at the outfit's continued reliability problems

Dennis Urges Raikkonen to Stay

Raikkonen's title chances suffered another blow at last weekend's Italian Grand Prix when he was forced to take a 10-place grid penalty for having an engine changed before qualifying.

That, allied to a tyre delamination in the race caused by set-up issues on the McLaren, has left Raikkonen 27 points adrift of leader Fernando Alonso in the World Championship title chase despite having a quicker car.

And with Dennis well aware of rumours linking Raikkonen with Ferrari in 2007, he knows that the Finn could well be tempted to believe that his chances of winning of future world title would be improved if he switched teams.

But Dennis is adamant that Raikkonen will be better off sticking at McLaren - and re-iterated the example of Chris Amon who never won a Grand Prix after constantly switching teams at the wrong moment.

"It's his decision," said Dennis. "At the end of the day any driver can choose where he goes when his contract expires. But I've seen racing drivers who move around and normally you can move around and suffer the consequences of some bad decisions.

"Chris Amon was the world's best at being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Every time he moved to a team, that team would lose competitiveness.

"If Kimi will stay with McLaren he will win races and championships. Do you think we like to be unreliable and have any failures? Of course we don't. But we push and at the moment we are in catch-up mode."

Dennis believes that the reliability problems that have blighted McLaren's season can be traced back to the fact that the team has needed to go on the attack against Renault all season - something that began when Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya lost out on decent grid positions in the downpour during qualifying in Melbourne.

"If you want to know where it all started to go wrong, it started with the rain in Australia," said Dennis. "That screwed our season because it put us right in a position away from the front row.

"We had some fragility on the car, both drivers went off trying to pass cars that wouldn't have been there in normal circumstances and suffered the consequences.

"We were on the back foot from the first race. It could have been completely different without the rain in qualifying for the first race."

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