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McLaren Faces Ferrari Resurgence

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  McLaren, Ferrari

McLaren Faces Ferrari Resurgence

Anthony Fontanelle
July 4, 2007

After dominating the two races in North America, British Formula One team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is facing resurgence of Italian Scuderia Ferrari. The Italian contingent posted its first one-two finish this season with Kimi Raikkonen taking the victory ahead of teammate Felipe Massa.

Meanwhile, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton finished third to take his eighth consecutive podium finish in his Formula One career. His teammate though, the double world champion Fernando Alonso only managed to take seventh place. Alonso’s woes started in the qualifying session as his car malfunctioned which only got him to the tenth slot in the starting grid.

While McLaren may have been beaten by Ferrari in the French Grand Prix, Hamilton is still the leader in the drivers’ championship standings. With his third place finish, Hamilton now has 64 points. McLaren is still at the top of the team standings with 114 points while Ferrari slightly closed the gap with 89 points so far on second place.

Ferrari’s victory at the French Grand Prix has led fans to reevaluate their expectations for the British Grand Prix. It was highly anticipated that the young rookie sensation Hamilton will take his third victory in France and possibly the fourth at the upcoming British Grand Prix.

Hamilton though is looking to study the race and use what they will learn at the British Grand Prix. He has this to say about hi start at the French Grand Prix. “My start was quite poor and I don't really know what happened. I definitely need to look at the data with my engineers, but it didn't go very well and I lost a place to Kimi, who made an exceptional start. Whatever it was, we weren't quick enough off the grid and I lost a bit of pace behind him.”

Meanwhile, McLaren confirmed that Fernando Alonso’s MP4-22 with the Mercedes-Benz engine and Mercedes-Benz fuel filter and other components suffered from transmission problems. “We have had the best possible level of reliability throughout the season so far but, today, Fernando had to stop with a gearbox problem,” said Norbert Haug, Mercedes-Benz’s motorsports head.

While team boss Ron Dennis is looking forward to rain offering Alonso a chance to overtake other drivers, the shower they waited for did not come back. Dennis has this to say after the dismal qualifying session for the Spaniard: “So far this year, we have not suffered from any major technical problems during race weekends and it's disappointing that the first one ruined Fernando's qualifying session today. He had the speed to qualify on the front row but, with a good strategy, he should be able to make up some positions in tomorrow's race. The suspected rain adds some unpredictability we may be able to turn to our advantage.”

Alonso is visibly disappointed with the problem that his car met at the French Grand Prix. The Spaniard now admitted that the biggest threat to his quest for his third consecutive driver’s title. “Lewis is the one I have got to worry about,” said Alonso. “He is the one out in front. He is the one I need to start clawing back points from and, God willing, I will start doing that at Silverstone next week.” He also said that Hamilton will run out of luck sooner or later. “One day, the problems I have had with the gearbox and the safety car will happen to him.”

Source:  Amazines.com

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