Raikkonen Cheers up his 'Bad Loser' Boss

McLaren boss Ron Dennis looked forward to a good night's sleep on Sunday and many more weekends to come this season after Kimi Raikkonen's runaway Spanish Grand Prix victory

Raikkonen Cheers up his 'Bad Loser' Boss

The young Finn's success in Barcelona lifted the gloom that descended on the Mercedes-powered team after a San Marino race two weeks ago that Raikkonen led from pole position until a driveshaft failed.

"I'm a very bad loser and for days after Imola I had pain," Dennis told reporters after Raikkonen handed the team their first win since Belgium in August last year. He led from start to finish.

"It (Imola) was really a tough race to lose.

"The best emotion of all is that I can wake up tomorrow morning along with all the other people in the team who have similar levels of pain and say 'Okay, we've done it," he said.

"It will put us in the best possible frame of mind for Monte Carlo."

Sunday's race showed that McLaren, who started the Championship as strongly fancied as leaders Renault, are getting into their stride at last and can be considered serious contenders at the next race in Monaco on May 22.

"I think we were very, very strong," said Dennis. "The most difficult thing was to give Kimi the right guidance to maintain the pace but also to conserve tyres and engine.

"Now we have an engine that is completely unstressed. We ran most of the race on low revs and the tyres were in great shape at the end of the race. We could have gone a lot quicker if necessary," he added.

"I think we're going to keep this momentum going, we've got a very, very good racing car. I'm very confident that the additional improvements we've got in the pipeline will keep us ahead."

Raikkonen, the Championship runner-up in 2003 when he took Ferrari's Michael Schumacher all the way to the last race of the season, said his car had been perfect all weekend.

"I pushed until the pitstop and then I saw I was leading by so much that there was no point really, any more, to put the car under so much pressure," he said. "I kept the pace up but I didn't go full speed and won quite easily. Finally it happened."

Raikkonen's teammate Juan Pablo Montoya had a mixed day with a seventh-place finish on his return to action after two races out through injury.

The Colombian spun his car unchallenged early on and then had to pit twice within a couple of laps after the refuelling equipment malfunctioned.

"We're frustrated because Montoya could have come third," Dennis added. "We had a nozzle problem but that's one of those things in motor racing."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Author Alan Baldwin
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