Raikkonen forced out of European GP

Time of article published Jun 29, 2003

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Nuerburgring, Germany - Championship contender Kimi Raikkonen went out of the European Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday after his McLaren suffered an engine failure.

The Finn, three points adrift of Ferrari's Michael Schumacher in the championship, had led from pole until smoke billowed from his Mercedes engine on lap 26.

"I was going along fine and the car was fantastic," Raikkonen said. "It was really working today and I was pulling away from everyone. It was quite surprising. But that's racing."

The 23-year-old Raikkonen, in an unusual display of emotion for the man nicknamed Iceman, pushed away a marshal who came to his assistance after he pulled over by the side of the circuit at turn nine.

"I had a good start," he told journalists later after calming down. "It was quite surprising because I was pulling away from everyone. That's just bad luck. Everything went well until the problem with engine failure. The speed was there."

Raikkonen's retirement left Ralf Schumacher in the lead in a Williams in his home grand prix.

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