Driveshaft Failure Costs Raikkonen

McLaren have discovered that a failure in the left-hand side driveshaft was to blame for Kimi Raikkonen's early exit from the San Marino Grand Prix - after claiming that his speed and strategy should have been enough to secure him victory

Driveshaft Failure Costs Raikkonen

Raikkonen had been comfortably leading on lap eight when he was forced to slow and come into the pits to retire - costing him further vital ground in the World Championship.

"Obviously I am disappointed as I had a great start and was really building on my lead," said the Finn. "At least we know that the car has the pace in both qualifying as well as the race, and with some improvements due for Spain in two weeks I am looking forward to a good race there."

Mercedes-Benz motorsport boss Norbert Haug apologised to Raikkonen for the failure but claimed the incident would not detract from the team's determination to recover from their relatively poor start to the year.

"It's a pity that Kimi retired in the lead with a driveshaft failure, sorry Kimi," explained Haug. "He did everything right starting from pole position and pulling away from the field after a perfect start.

"We had the right strategy, which would have given Kimi even more of an advantage. This is our first failure to lead to retirement this year, and the team will sort that out."

McLaren reserve driver Alexander Wurz gave the team some reason to smile at the end of the race, however, with a run to fourth place on his debut for the outfit.

"I am really happy with my result today," said the Austrian. "I drove a tactical race, particularly right before the first pit stop, when I needed to close the gap between Mark Webber and Takuma Sato.

"I managed to gain an advantage once they pitted and as a result came out ahead of them. I could have been faster; however early on in the race I was stuck in traffic, so could not close the gap to Jenson Button. I am pleased that the team gave me this opportunity and I did my best to justify their commitment to me."

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