Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report

Haug Confident of Improving Reliability

Friday June 22nd, 2001

McLaren will solve their reliability problems and will return to last year's form, according to Mercedes-Benz motorsports boss Norbert Haug.

The Woking-based team have suffered several embarrassing mechanical failures and electronic glitches this season, most recently in Canada where Coulthard found a loose nut from his car's suspension on his seat shortly before the start.

That prevented him from challenging for the lead and his car's engine then later overheated and blew. Before that, problems with the new 'launch control' software forced him to start from the back of the grid in Monaco after he qualified on pole position.

Haug said reliability was always a worry but McLaren were the most reliable team last year and would be back.

"We're going to come back to that standard, I have no doubt about it, and we were not unfortunate - we were just not capable of getting the job done," he said. "I think it would be wrong to think that we will continue like we have in the last races."

However, Jaguar's Eddie Irvine, who was previously Michael Schumacher's teammate at Ferrari, said he could not see McLaren challenging strongly for either title this season now.

"I don't see McLaren beating Michael on sheer performance ... I don't see how either of the McLarens can beat Michael in a straightforward race," he said.

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