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McLaren rues errors which made Ferrari look good

McLaren boss Ron Dennis does not believe that Ferrari have gained a speed advantage over his team.
AFP | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON JUL 02, 2007 07:17 PM IST

McLaren boss Ron Dennis believes that a poor weekend from his team at Magny-Cours made Ferrari appear faster than they actually were.

Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa finished first and second respectively in Sunday's French Grand Prix and the Italian team have welcomed the result as a sign that recent technical upgrades have significantly improved their pace.

However, Dennis does not believe that Ferrari have gained a speed advantage over his team who will now look to reassert themselves in next weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

"We flattered them (Ferrari) this weekend," said Dennis. "They did a good job, and probably improved the car a little bit. But we made them look a lot better than they were. Hopefully, we will demonstrate that at Silverstone."

McLaren never found the ideal set-up for the idiosyncrasies of the Magny-Cours circuit and were also hindered by Spaniard Fernando Alonso starting tenth on the grid after suffering a gearbox problem in qualifying.

Alonso could only recover to finish seventh and his British rookie teammate Lewis Hamilton finished third, half a minute behind the Ferraris.

But as Hamilton remains top of the driver's championship and McLaren are 25 points clear in the constructor's standings, Dennis is not too disheartened by Ferrari's French dominance.

"Overall, it was damage limitation from beginning to end," he said, reflecting on the weekend's events.

"Obviously we're delighted that Kimi won over Massa. It means he is only a couple of points closer to Lewis, and didn't close the gap that much, even on Fernando.

"If this is going to be our worst race then we'll be comfortable with that. And if we hadn't had such good races before, we wouldn't be where we are in the world championship. So we've got to put it down to the fact you can't win every race, and this is one we didn't win."

"But we've won here previously, and there is no reason that we can't win at Silverstone. You know, as history has shown, when you have got a good lead in the world championship, you have got to be pragmatic about your races."

"Lewis did a really solid job at finishing third. It's his eighth podium position, and there is no luck that gives you that sort of result. For me, I loved Fernando's fight; I think he was fighting from beginning to end, and he got the most out of a difficult situation. And that's motor racing."

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