Newey denies Hakkinen favouritism

Adrian Newey has denied Ferrari criticisms that McLaren are favouring Mika Hakkinen over team mate David Coulthard

Newey denies Hakkinen favouritism

Rival technical director Ross Brawn claims McLaren's team strategy in the last two races in Austria and Germany has clearly worked in favour of the Finn.

Brawn's observations are the latest salvo in a long-running war of words between the two championship contenders as Ferrari face claims they are biased towards Michael Schumacher.

"In the last two races McLaren have heavily favoured Mika and not David," said Brawn.

"In Austria, David had a different strategy, but as soon as the race started and they had a clear lead, McLaren slowed the cars down and he didn't get the opportunity to use that strategy.

"In Germany they brought Mika in under the safety car and not David, so David's race was ruined.

"Favouritism happens in all teams - it just happens that for some reason Ferrari are in the spotlight."

But Adrian Newey denies there is any favouritism as the duo head into a race in which they will create a record 77-race partnership.

"We are putting as much weight as possible behind both of them," said Newey.

"I am totally happy from inside the team that there is no favouritism of one driver over then other.

"In Hockenheim Mika came in first because he was in front and that is the way it works at McLaren.

"When our drivers are just racing each other, rather than risking a car problem or one of them going off, we may tell them to hold position - so then it depends on their positions at the time."

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