Mercedes take blame for Raikkonen woe
‘We deserve to be criticised on it’ – Haug
Mercedes boss Norbert Haug accepted his company must be criticised after a rare failure ruined Kimi Raikkonen’s chances of claiming pole position for the British Grand Prix here Saturday.
Raikkonen, who has been on the pace all weekend, was stopped by an oil pump failure in practice ahead of the vital qualifying session and dropped ten places on the grid after the team were forced to change his engine.
The incident was the second failure in consecutive weekends and Haug admitted: “If you have two failures in two races, last Friday, this Saturday, then it is an issue, but we have a very good process in place.
“We are taking a chance, but we will work very hard to avoid the problems in the future. I cannot justify this, I am heavily critical, and we deserve to be criticised on it.
“Having said that, it cost us probably two points in France last weekend, and we are a team that works together. These guys have done a good job and they have the full support from me.”
Haug said the problems had hit the team because of the rapid development that has pushed them right to the front of the field and into a position to challenge for the championship.
Raikkonen won two of the last five races as he tried to make up ground on championship leader Fernando Alonso, of Renault, who has a 24-point advantage heading into Sunday’s race.
McLaren boss Ron Dennis added: “If you look at the mathematics, we have had two failures and this is two more than you would like but it is still, you have to take into account the pace of our development.”
“We have not stood still, we haven’t gone for the safe route on the car or engine development programme, and inevitably you are going to get caught out occasionally.”