McLaren Curse Bad Luck in Australia

McLaren were cursing their bad luck after their crack new driving combination of Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya failed to make the podium at Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

McLaren Curse Bad Luck in Australia

McLaren were cursing their bad luck after their crack new driving combination of Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya failed to make the podium at Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Raikkonen snuck into the points in eighth place after he stalled on the grid and had to start the race from the pitlane while Montoya survived an off-road excursion to finish sixth in his first outing with the British-based team.

Both cars were also hampered when their deflectors fell off mid-race and all that came after a torrential rain storm ruined their chances of qualifying in better positions on the grid.

"I would have been able to finish higher up had things gone our way," Montoya said. "I lost valuable time during my second stint as I was pushing really hard on the in-lap and got the rear tyre on the grass.

"Later on, there was a misunderstanding with one of the Jordans which meant I was pushed off the track, then towards the end I slowed down to conserve the package for Malaysia."

Raikkonen said he was also the victim of bad luck.

"My race was really over when I stalled at the start," he said. "In the opening stages I was stuck behind Michael Schumacher which cost me some time but when I got past him in the first round of pitstops I was able to pick up speed again.

"My deflector came off and went underneath the car. The team removed it during my scheduled pitstop but the loss obviously affected the handling of my car in the closing stages."

Despite their misfortune, both drivers were optimistic about their prospects for the rest of the season.

Both cars showed they were capable of the same speeds as their main rivals and unlike previous seasons there were no problems with the reliability as both completed the race.

"The result might not show this but we have the pace to challenge for victories, which is great," Raikkonen said. "I'm really looking forward to Malaysia where hopefully we should be able to get the result we are capable of."

McLaren team boss Ron Dennis was also upbeat about the future: "If things had gone our way we would have finished on the podium.

"But the positive outcomes of the opening race were the very good performance of our tyres and that we had the pace to win."

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Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren
Author Julian Linden
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