British Grand Prix 1996 Silverstone 12th-14th July The Marlboro McLaren Mercedes team prepares for the forthcoming British Grand Prix at Silverstone with its ...
British Grand Prix 1996 Silverstone 12th-14th July
The Marlboro McLaren Mercedes team prepares for the forthcoming British Grand Prix at Silverstone with its expextations raised by the recent performance of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard. The current level of reliability of the MP4/11 - Mercedes, combined with a continuously improving competitiveness, enables the team to realistically aim for a podium finish in front of McLaren's home crowd.
The 1996 British Grand Prix will be the 30th to be held at the 5.057km-long Silverstone circuit, built on a former airfield near Towcester, Northamptonshire. Silverstone first hosted the Formula One World Championship in 1950, with Giuseppe Farina winning at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo. Despite occasionally losing the event to Aintree and Brands Hatch over the years, the venue has established itself as the home of British motor racing and has now enjoyed an uninterrupted run of Grand Prix since 1987.
Further to last year's revamping of the facilities, the organisers have introduced changes to the circuit itself for this year's race. A revised exit from the Hangar straight has turned the right-hand Stowe corner, which the drivers used to take in second gear, into a faster and far more enjoyable fourth gear bend. Silverstone is also notorious for the high level of G-forces it imposes on the drivers, and the long straights will enable them to get some respite, albeit whilst travelling at 300km/h!
Mika Hakkinen is looking forward to racing on this track: "In the early stages of the French Grand Prix, I could run ahead of Jacques Villeneuve's Williams- Renault without problem." he said. "Silverstone is a circuit I know well and enjoy driving around, so I'll be going for a podium finish there".
For David Coulthard, performing well at Silverstone would be particularly satisfying. "Marlboro McLaren Mercedes may not be firm favourites but with the sort of reliability and speed the car has been showing of late, we can be in with a good chance of top result", commented the Scot.
Both drivers have carried out more testing at Silverstone immediately after the French Grand Prix, with David returning to Magny-Cours this week to do some more work. As a result of these sessions, further refinements to the suspension system of the short wheelbase MP4/11 will be used in Britain.