Difficult weekend for penalty-hit McLaren

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It was a difficult weekend for the McLaren Mercedes F1 Team at the French circuit of Magny-Cours. The team was hit with no more than three penalties. Despite this, Heikki Kovalainen was able to score some good points by finishing in 4th position.

Heikki Kovalainen - 4th: "Given yesterday's grid penalty, this was a very good result. It also shows that we had a great strategy to be able to come from 10th on the grid to fourth at the finish. During the first stint I lost a lot of time trying to get past slower cars; but, after that, fortunately, I was able to overtake, build a cushion and close the gap to the guys in front.

"The car felt fantastic throughout the whole race and the Bridgestone Potenza tyres worked really well. During the closing laps, I found myself behind Jarno and tried everything I could to overtake him, but I just couldn't quite make it. He defended third place very well, so well done to him for that."

Lewis Hamilton - 10th: "My drive-through penalty was an extremely close call: I felt I'd got past Vettel fairly and was ahead going into the corner. But I was on the outside and couldn't turn-in in case we both crashed, then I lost the back-end and drove over the kerb.

"But, after that, I got my head down and pushed hard until the end of the race. I've been out of the points for three races now - but there are still 10 to go. Kimi came from behind to win last year's championship, so there's no reason to be disheartened. I'm 10 points behind, but I'm determined to bounce back at Silverstone in front of my home crowd."

Ron Dennis: "A challenging weekend for us. Having said that, Heikki had a brilliant afternoon, driving superbly and fighting all the way to the chequered flag, and only narrowly missed the podium. Lewis's race was severely hampered by his drive-through penalty. Now, though, we must draw a line under this weekend and look ahead.

"We've got a competitive car and two excellent drivers, and as such we're in great shape. So now we need to focus on the Santander British Grand Prix, and on getting the best results we possibly can at Silverstone, where we feel confident we'll once again be able to challenge at the front."

Norbert Haug: "Our pace wasn't too bad. Without his drive-through penalty, third place would definitely have been possible for Lewis despite starting 13th. Heikki did a great job and moved from 10th to fourth. It's a shame that he didn't manage to pass Trulli at the end. However, for the spectators, he at least produced the fight of the race. We all now concentrate on the first of two consecutive 'home Grands Prix' in Silverstone. Lewis's gap to the top is 10 points and that is still not too big a gap."