McLaren explains tyre problems

A depressing prospect for those looking ahead to the tight Hungarian Grand Prix predicted two days ago by Jenson Button, is the 10th and 12th starting positions of Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard on the Budapest grid

McLaren explains tyre problems

McLaren is the only Michelin team on the harder 'option' tyre and was caught out by cooler than expected qualifying conditions. Having admitted to making the wrong decision, the team has explained how it happened.

In Friday's free practice, Raikkonen finished the day with the quickest time, achieved on the harder tyre, and McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh said: "Perhaps we were over-confident from the result we had on Friday. Ferrari clearly has a strong race tyre here and we were mindful of ensuring that we had too. Perhaps because of that, we believed we had enough performance to use the harder tyre."

David Coulthard, meanwhile, said of his Friday use of the softer tyre, "There were some internal blisters which influenced our decision - but that in itself is not unusual. Quite often you'll see some small internal blisters on the option tyre and you take a calculated guess on how the track will evolve and what you'll expect on race day. But in this instance, because Kimi was such a step quicker (on the harder tyre) that largely dictated the route we went down."

One of the problems at Budapest is the amount of dust, with the performance equation influenced even more strongly by the track cleaning up and rubbering in as the day progresses. It seems as if McLaren did not attribute enough of Raikkonen's Friday speed simply to that.

"We just hope it's going to be a bit hotter in the race," Whitmarsh added.

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