Ron Dennis Q&A

McLaren is firmly atop both the Formula 1 World Championship tables after victories in the opening races of the season. Kimi Raikkonen's success in Malaysia was a landmark for both the Finn and the team itself, for he is only the second driver to score his maiden grand prix victory under the leadership of Ron Dennis - the other being Mika Hakkinen. That little stat lends further credence to the obvious similarities between the paths the two Finns have taken. Can the team keep up the momentum? Adam Cooper spoke to Dennis just after the flag fell in Sepang

Ron Dennis Q&A



"I'm delighted for Kimi. It takes a lot of pressure from his shoulders. He will be much better for the race win, which always happens with drivers. It's a bit of a long time in coming, but I think it's the first of many. He did a tremendous job. We had great tyres, a strong engine, and a very competitive car. That's one of the strongest things that came out of today. If we can maintain our pace through the next few races it will take a little pressure away from us in getting the MP4-18 on the circuit."



"To be honest I've think I've experienced well over 10 races when the car has stopped on the last lap. The last lap tends to be a challenge to see if I can hold my breath that long!"



"A driver has some places on the circuit where in any situation there is a little more risk, and it just provides the driver with the ability to know that the team supports and actually instructs them to eliminate that risk in order to help the car come home, but also to avoid him making mistakes."



"I don't see them as a particularly competitive package. You might say that's a little bit tough, but we paced the race and I think all the Michelin runners definitely had the better tyre choice. But we've known it the other way round, so will take advantage of this. But I'm delighted for a young guy and for Renault to get a third place."



"There were some abnormalities. The temperature was very high, and as I said I think we had the stronger tyre. But at the end of the day we raced against BMW Williams, and beat them, although they had their problems too. But there's a long way to go and while it's great to have won the first two races, we know to win more races and have any chance of winning the world championship we have to maintain the pressure and if possible work even harder."



"I don't think they were the quickest car today. Of course part of the package is always tyres, and I think we had a better tyre today. But I also think we had a better racing car, which was typified by our ability to be so strong over the BMW Williams. This is a quirky formula, it swings around, and all you can do is just enjoy the successes that you achieve but make no mistakes in backing off. We've got to push through the advantage we have and hopefully maintain some sort of points performance in the next three to four races, and then hope the new car is even more competitive."



"I don't think the rules hurt anyone particularly, other than when you have a bad qualifying, or weather or something like this. But I'm still a bit of a purist, and I want F1 to be just that, the pinnacle of motor sport. Some of the things work, and some of them I think need to be considered for change. McLaren will most certainly contribute in the most positive way forward."



"To be fair I think it's important that we recognise that it was Sauber that took the initial gamble. There were still risks there, but some of the risks were eliminated by Peter. All credit to his choice. Also it's great for us because he didn't want to step in the way of Kimi having a drive with us. It was a little tough commercially, but in the end, fair."

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