McLaren rues tyre choice

McLaren blamed its dismal qualifying session at the Hungaroring on Saturday on its wrong choice of Michelin tyre. Traditionally the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend is run under an intense sun with the Michelin-shod teams in particular thriving on the high track temperature

McLaren rues tyre choice

This year, however, has witnessed a cooler weekend catching out the likes of McLaren who opted for the harder tyre compound for the weekend. The result was a poor qualifying session with drivers Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard setting the 10th and 12th quickest times respectively.

"Obviously we are not where we wanted to be as following this morning's practice we were expecting to qualify in the top five," Raikkonen said. "I didn't really get the set-up perfect and was sliding too much, but hopefully the conditions will be more to our advantage tomorrow. It will be a difficult race, but I qualified seventh last year and finished second, so anything can happen."

Hungary is a notoriously difficult circuit to overtake on, a fact that Coulthard knows only too well. "I think we have been too conservative with our tyre choice and are paying the price," he said. "It's hard to judge where the car is on the circuit and we are sliding around a bit. Unfortunately here in Hungary you have a problem if you qualify badly as it's really hard to overtake. However, we just need to get on with it and do the best we can in tomorrow's race, but it will be tough."

Team boss Ron Dennis remains upbeat though having been told that temperatures are expected to rise for Sunday's race.

"The ambient temperature dropped significantly lower than we anticipated and our Friday qualifying tyre choice has subsequently proven to be incorrect," he said. "Tomorrow should be a hotter day which will help, but of course our grid positions are going to hamper our overall race performance. However despite the outcome of today we believe that the strong performances from Silverstone and Germany will continue for the remainder of this season's races."

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