Raikkonen's reliability call

McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen has warned his team that it must improve the reliability of its cars if it's to stand any chance of fighting with World Champions Ferrari next year

Raikkonen's reliability call

Raikkonen proved that the new MP4-19B has the speed at the Belgian Grand Prix nearly two weeks ago when he won the team's first race of the season.

But the Finn has been forced to retire on seven occasions so far this year due to mechanical failures - one of these was whilst he was leading the German Grand Prix and his rear wing failed. In contrast, Michael Schumacher's one and only retirement at the Monaco Grand Prix caused by an accident.

"Michael's car is reliable and it also goes fast," Raikkonen told Autosport magazine. "Right now we also have good speed compared to what we had at the beginning of the season but, at the same time, when we have had to retire 10 times Ferrari is failing once at maximum. That makes a huge difference."

In the 47 races Raikkonen has contested while with McLaren, he has retired from 21 of them "What can I do for that? You cannot help it," he said. "I think I have not made many mistakes. It seems these problems happen at the beginning of the season and they destroy the whole championship fight. The team is working very hard trying to sort the problems out, otherwise we will not be able to challenge for the championship."

At the start of the season Raikkonen suffered a string of engine failures. Now the Mercedes is performing well but there are now problems on other aspects of the car.

"This year has not been terribly good," he added. "It was painful that something went wrong and we had to retire. First the engine did not last, but right now the engine works well and we have encountered problems in other areas. It is these areas that the team is now focusing on."

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