Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report

Second Place Not Important for McLaren

Friday August 31st, 2001

Second place in the Formula One Championship means little to McLaren, team principal Ron Dennis said on Friday.

"Unimportant really," he commented at a news conference ahead of Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix when asked of the significance. "There are some financial consequences of being not second in the Constructors' Championship but, in the overall scheme of the finances of Formula One, they are relatively small.

"I don't think we are driving the team on the basis of finishing second in either Championship. We're driving it, as always, with a view to winning each and every race. If we are successful in winning some of the remaining races then probably we should achieve enough points to stay ahead of our good friends at Williams."

McLaren, with Briton David Coulthard, are currently second in both the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships. Ferrari and Michael Schumacher have already won both. There are four races remaining to be won and the battle for second place, both among drivers and teams, has become one of the main talking points along with driver contracts.

Both McLaren-Mercedes and BMW-powered Williams, third overall in the Constructors' rankings, have won three races each this season. Williams technical director Patrick Head said his team was not "really looking at positions at all" and was instead concentrating on individual races.

Dennis, whose team have been Ferrari's main rivals in recent seasons, admitted that McLaren had not done "a very competent job" on occasion this year and had suffered for their unreliability.

"Overall we just weren't good enough and I think that's the same for everybody who hasn't won," Dennis said.

Published at 18:24:55 GMT

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