Atlas F1 News Service

Watson: Heads Should Roll at McLaren

Wednesday May 30th, 2001

Former Formula One driver John Watson believes someone should pay for McLaren's problems with the team's launch control system this season.

Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard have stalled their cars on the starting grid four times this season - Hakkinen in Brazil and Austria, and Coulthard in Spain and Monaco - and boss Ron Dennis has admitted his engineering team is at fault for over-complicating the design of the their launch control system.

As former McLaren driver John Watson commented after Monaco, the software problems are deeply embarrassing for a team whose attention to detail is second to none.

"I've the utmost respect for Ron," Watson commented in Tuesday's Daily Mail. "His reputation as a perfectionist is renowned. But I believe heads should roll.

"One mistake, the first time out, might have been understandable -- but a second is unforgivable and reflects badly on McLaren's reputation."

Dennis made clear after Monaco that Coulthard's problem at the start was similar to the one that occurred in Barcelona, which engineers were supposed to have fixed.

"And that is pretty frustrating because of course the engineers responsible for that trawled through all the various parameters and tried to avoid it happening again," Dennis said. "So I'm sure they're feeling pretty uncomfortable."

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