After a strong second position in the British Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen was hoping for the good form of the McLaren MP4-19B to continue in the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

Starting from third on the grid, Raikkonen was soon second after battling past the fast starting Renault of Fernando Alonso and set about closing the gap to race leader Michael Schumacher. The young Finn was soon lapping quicker than the six times world champion before the first round of pitstops.

However before Raikkonen was able utilise his pace to attack Schumacher, he suffered a rear wing failure heading over the start finish straight. The sudden loss of downforce left the McLaren driver as nothing more than a spectator as, despite desperately trying to slow the car down, he ploughed off into the barriers at turn one. For the second successive German Grand Prix, Raikkonen found himself climbing from his wrecked car in the gravel trap, following his high-speed collision with Rubens Barrichello at the start of the 2003 race.

Raikkonen's anger and disappointment was clear to millions of TV viewers around the world, as he exited the silver car before angrily throwing his steering wheel back into the cockpit.

"Obviously I'm extremely disappointed as things were looking good," he said afterwards, "and there was no doubt that we were in with a good chance of winning the race. I lost a place at the start to Alonso as he was extremely fast off the line, but I retook second place a few laps later and was able to keep up with Michael.

"I was quicker than him after my first pitstop and only needed a few more laps to be able to mount a real challenge for the lead. All of a sudden I just lost downforce and then I was a passenger. It's never nice not to finish a race, but at least we know that the pace is there. We are competitive and I'm looking forward to continue our challenge for victory in three weeks time in Hungary."

Boss Ron Dennis was also disappointed at seeing Raikkonen crash out.

"Obviously we are disappointed particularly as we had a real chance of winning the race," he said in agreement with his driver. "There is no doubt that we have taken a great step forward. Kimi retired with a structural failure on his rear wing - the reason for which we will investigate thoroughly. We are now all looking forward to the three week break and the Hungarian Grand Prix."