European GP McLaren preview

European Grand Prix 26th - 28th April For the second consecutive season, the forthcoming Grand Prix of Europe, representing Round Four of the 1996 FIA Formula One ...

European Grand Prix 26th - 28th April For the second consecutive season, the forthcoming Grand Prix of Europe, representing Round Four of the 1996 FIA Formula One World Championship, will take place at the Nurburgring in Germany, the racing home of Marlboro and McLaren's partner Mercedes-Benz.

The scheduling of this race, however, stands in perfect contrast to last year's. In 1995, The Grand Prix of Europe was held in October, only one week after the Portuguese Grand Prix, and was the last race to take place on the old continent before the teams set off to Japan and Australia for the final three Grand Prix of the season. This year, the event at the Nurburgring, near Koblenz, marks instead the beginning of the European season after three long-haul races and will be immediately followed by the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola on 5th May.

McLaren Mercedes driver David Coulthard has fond memories of his first contact with the 4.542km-long circuit at the wheel of a Formula One car: he started last year's race from pole position, and finished in third place. "I know this circuit quite well," commented the Scotsman, "as I raced there in F3000. I enjoy coming to the Nurburgring. Although it is a revamped older track, it has a "new circuit" feel to it, which is quite pleasant. It is relatively short, it is tight and twisty, and it has some elevations that make it quite interesting."

"Also, the atmosphere in Germany is great", he continued. "Last year, there was a good crowd despite the freezing temperature, so I am looking forward to going back. My aim for this race is to finish in the points."

David, Mika Hakkinen and Alain Prost carried out further testing in Jerez, Spain, last week, at the end of which all three drivers were able to report progress in the development of the Marlboro McLaren Mercedes MP4/11. The race at the Nurburgring should also see another step forward in the engine performance with the introduction of a new variation of the Mercedes-Benz F0110 engine.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Alain Prost
Teams Mercedes , McLaren