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McLaren win drought continues
October 01, 2006 20:40 IST
Raikkonen's promising start to the Chinese Grand Prix ended with a throttle failure on Sunday.
One of the aristocrats of the Formula One paddock, McLaren last went a year without a victory when Raikkonen's fellow-Finn Mika Hakkinen and Scot David Coulthard were driving for the team in 1996.
On Sunday, Raikkonen had overtaken Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella and was running second when he retired on lap 19.
"We need a win and we didn't, so I'm not feeling great about it," team boss Ron Dennis told reporters.
"At least we were competitive, the race strategy was good. The car set up with Kimi was good and we had every opportunity to win and didn't, but that's motor racing."
McLaren enjoyed their greatest period of success in the 1980s and early 1990s, highlighted by the 1988 season when Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost won 15 of the 16 races for the British-based team.
A win drought of three seasons followed from 1993 but since 1997 at least one McLaren driver has topped the podium each year and in 2005 Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya combined for 10 victories.
Colombian Montoya has already departed to be replaced by Pedro De La Rosa and although Ferrari-bound Raikkonen is set to follow him out of the door, the team will be relying on him to leave them with a win in Japan or Brazil.
"With two more races to go we want to clinch the victory we missed today," said Norbert Haug of engine partners Mercedes.
Formula One: The Complete Coverage