Strategy pays for McLaren

A strong pitstop strategy helped Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard finish fourth and fifth at the tight Hungaroring after starting a lowly 11th and 10th on the grid respectively

Strategy pays for McLaren

The Mercedes-powered team started the race with a bigger fuel load than its opposition, meaning that both drivers stopped later than anyone for their first and second stops. The strategy, combined with strong drives from both the Finn and the Scot, allowed them to finish ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella's Jordan and Felipe Massa's Sauber.

Raikkonen said: "Considering our starting positions and the lack of overtaking opportunities presented by the circuit lay-out, I'm pleased that we managed to get some points today. I made a good start and gained a couple of positions on the first lap.

"[Juan Pablo] Montoya and myself then had a clean battle for seventh. On lap 22 we were side-by-side coming into turn two and I managed to get the inside for turn three when he ran wide. I was then behind Button who went off and got past Fisichella and Massa in the pitstops.

"If we had qualified higher up the grid, we could have finished on the podium today as we were quick and had the right strategy, but once I had a clear track ahead of me and could start pushing it was too late."

Coulthard lost a couple of places at the start, but soon passed Nick Heidfeld for 10th and followed Raikkonen up the order. "The balance of the car was inconsistent and the rear end was rather nervous which was why I had a short off-track excursion on lap 45," he said.

Team boss Ron Dennis had suggested that Michelin's hard tyre compound had been the cause of McLaren's disappointing qualifying performance. "Our improved race performance was a result of the higher ambient temperature which allowed us to maximise the performance of our Michelins," he said.

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