Wednesday June 13th, 2001
Ron Dennis has called for his McLaren team not to panic after a series of poor results in the 2001 season have seen their Ferrari rivals edge away from them in both the drivers' and constructors' championships after eight rounds have been completed.
The Woking-based team haven't seen both their cars crossing the finish line in a race since the San Marino Grand Prix two months ago, with both David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen enduring all sort of reliability problems which have mined the Scot's chances in the championship and extended the Finn's dismal start of his season.
After yet another disappointing performance at Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix, where Coulthard was forced to retire when his engine exploded and Hakkinen finished in a distant third place, Dennis has called for his team to remain calm in order to solve their problems and return to the top.
"People have written off McLaren and other teams before and then something comes together," Dennis was quoted as saying by The Times. "The distance between hero and zero in this sport is not very far.
"In these situations, the worst thing you can do is panic. There will be no wielding of the big stick. We have to track down the problem, understand it and put it right. At this stage, we donít know whether the problems with Davidís car were caused by human error, a mechanical or an assembly problem.
"We pride ourselves on being a pretty disciplined team and normally our reliability is good. But you only have to look at other teams to see just how difficult it is to finish a race in Formula One."
After Canada, Coulthard lies 18 points behind Ferrari's Michael Schumacher and McLaren is 34 behind the Italian team in the constructors' championship.