McLaren has to shoulder blame, says Dennis

McLaren boss Ron Dennis says his team must shoulder blame for Mika Hakkinen's failure to take a world title hat-trick

McLaren has to shoulder blame, says Dennis

Speaking in Autosport magazine, Dennis said: "The drops of rain that fell just as he made his second (Suzuka) pit stop lost us the race, but championships aren't won or lost in one race."

Hakkinen's McLaren-Mercedes suffered engine failures in the season-opening Australian and Brazilian Grands Prix, with a third engine failure at the United States GP effectively ending his realistic title chances prior to the title-deciding race at Suzuka. But Dennis believes that metal and physical fatigue also played a significant part.

"I think we sideswiped him to have had the failures after leading both of the first races," he said. "That blunted the edge, although I don't think either he or we knew at the time.

"We really intensified the testing. As a result of that I think both drivers were drained, both physically and mentally and a little more so with Mika than David. The consequences were that he lost a bit of motivation through mental fatigue.

"As I said at the time, I was disappointed in my own performance for not having been able to to recognise the problem sooner," he added. "I think Mika also struggled with mid-season car characteristics. But I don't think that was a significant factor: the main problem was a bit of mental fatigue, which we induced. It wasn't a shortcoming on Mika's side."

Mercedes sports boss Norbert Haug said after the Japanese GP that the Stuttgart marque and its engine builder Ilmor would need to raise its game next season.

McLaren can still win the constructors' championship at this weekend's season-closing Malaysian race. But with Ferrari needing just three points to guarantee it a drivers' and constructors' title double, the Woking-based squad looks likely to end its season without a title for the first time since 1997.

shares
comments
Minardi future not in jeopardy, says team boss
Previous article

Minardi future not in jeopardy, says team boss

Next article

Barrichello targets bronze medal spot

Barrichello targets bronze medal spot
The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season Plus

The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season

It’s 13 down, nine to go as the Formula 1 teams pause for breath in the summer break. But what can we expect to happen over the next three months from Belgium to Abu Dhabi? Here's the key storylines to keep an eye out for the rest of the 2022 season

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream Plus

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream

OPINION: The Formula 1 grid's wait for a new American driver looks set to continue into 2023 as the few remaining places up for grabs - most notably at McLaren - look set to go elsewhere. This is despite the Woking outfit giving tests to IndyCar aces recently, showing that the Stateside single-seater series still has some way to go to being seen as a viable feeder option for F1

Formula 1
Aug 17, 2022
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022