McLaren Rely on Fuel Strategy
McLaren have downplayed their disappointing qualifying results and pinned hopes of a strong race finish, on their planned race strategy.

Both McLaren drivers lost positions in the final qualifying results compared to their places in first qualifying. Kimi Raikkonen lost two places while teammate Juan Pablo Montoya lost four, having made a mistake on his flying lap this morning.

But the team said the qualifying results also refelct the team's choice of strategy for the race, hinting both drivers have qualified with a heavy fuel load.

"I made a small mistake at the high speed hairpin which cost me about two and half tenths," Montoya commented. "The second qualifying does reflect the race strategies of the different teams so we will have to wait and see. However even though we lost some positions compared to yesterday I still think we should be in with a good chance in the race."

Teammate Raikkonen said he suffered understeer. "I'm a little bit disappointed with my qualifying lap today," the Finn said. "In contrast to yesterday I experienced some understeer and lost two grid positions. However it's a long and demanding race for both drivers and car, so let's see what happens."

Mercedes' motorsport director Norbert Haug, and McLaren team chief Ron Dennis both remained optimistic however.

"It will be interesting to see the strategies in the race," the German said. "We should be in good shape if we compare today's times with what we have experienced in Friday's and Saturday's practice sessions."

"Hopefully our race result should be some what better than our final qualifying," Dennis added. "We believe we have a strong race strategy so let's wait and see."



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