We're making a meal of launch control, says Dennis

McLaren boss Ron Dennis says the team is 'making a meal' out of optimising its launch control system following David Coulthard's stall before the formation lap of Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix. But the Woking-based squad will not be sanctioned for its latest faux pas, according to the president of the sport's governing body

We're making a meal of launch control, says Dennis

Coulthard failed to get away from the dummy grid for the second time in three races after a software glitch caused his Mercedes engine to stall. The Scot was forced to start from the back, but worked his way through to fifth at the end and two world championship points.

"I would like to make lots of excuses," Dennis told the Daily Express newspaper, "but it is not that complex. We are just making a meal of trying to optimise everything, and as we introduce higher levels of sophistication into the car, that complexity catches us out."

After the furore caused when he accused Coulthard of 'brain fade' for stalling at the start of the Spanish GP, Dennis was careful to distance his driver from any blame for the Monaco incident.

"We like to think of ourselves as professionals and when you suffer this kind of problem twice, professionalism is not the word that springs to mind," he said. "It is pretty painful, but we have to take the pain. It's our screw-up. The things we are good at we will continue and the things we are bad at will improve. The responsibility for this does not lie with the drivers."

Meanwhile, FIA president Max Mosley says that McLaren will not be punished for its Monaco stall.

Prior to the race, the governing body had said that the onus was on the teams to ensure their launch control systems were sufficiently reliable before committing to using them and that hefty fines could be levied if the start was disrupted. The Monaco circuit has an extremely narrow grid and the FIA was adamant there would be no repeat of the four cars that stalled on the Austrian GP grid two weeks earlier.

"I told all the teams before Monaco they should use the system only if they were certain it would work efficiently," said Mosley. "In this latest case, the only people who suffered were McLaren and Coulthard. I am sure that they are mortified enough without us taking any action.

"But no one can ignore what happened," he added, "and I shall have a word with them before the next race."

McLaren has headed to Magny-Cours for a three-day test attended by all the teams bar Sauber and Minardi. Coulthard is scheduled to test for two days, with launch control high on the list of priorities.




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