German GP: McLaren preview

Round 12 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the 2002 Mobil 1 German Grand Prix, takes place at Hockenheim. This year's race marks the 50th anniversary of the German event, and is the second of Mercedes-Benz' home races of the 2002 ...

Round 12 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the 2002 Mobil 1 German Grand Prix, takes place at Hockenheim. This year's race marks the 50th anniversary of the German event, and is the second of Mercedes-Benz' home races of the 2002 season.

Introduced to the World Championship in 1951, the German Grand Prix was first held at the original Nürburgring. The 'Ring and Hockenheim have shared the event since then, with Avus hosting a one-off appearance in 1959. Hockenheim, a former Mercedes-Benz test track, became the permanent base in 1977, with the exception of 1985 which saw the race return to Nürburgring for a year.

In preparation for the 2002 Mobil 1 German Grand Prix, Hockenheim has undergone significant modifications. These include the removal of the Jim Clark, Ost and Ayrton Senna Kurves and the long back straight that ran through the forest has been punctuated by a new four corner complex, the Spitzkehre.

To allow for the August break from the Championship the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix, which is sponsored for a 12th consecutive year by West McLaren Mercedes Technology Partner Mobil 1, is taking place just one week after the French event. With no testing permitted during the week prior to a Grand Prix, the West McLaren Mercedes team has been preparing for the race at it's Woking headquarters.

DAVID COULTHARD

"I am looking forward to the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix as it's usually a fairly exciting event, and it will be interesting to see how the revised layout alters the race. The track length is now 2.842 miles / 4.574kms, some two kilometres shorter than last year, and the top speed has also reduced slightly, by approximately 10kph. There is always a lot of support for the West McLaren Mercedes team at the race, and I'm sure there will be a fantastic atmosphere when we pass the new 6,500 capacity Mercedes-Benz grandstand, that is located on turn nine, in the new Spitzkehre complex."

KIMI RAIKKONEN

"I have to say that I am happy to be back racing after just one week, following the final few laps of the French Grand Prix last Sunday! Hockenheim is no longer the power circuit it was before the changes were made. The new circuit layout will probably demand a set-up compromise to ensure we operate at the optimum level over the entire track. The Mobil 1 German Grand Prix is often run in hot weather conditions, which will make tyre choice crucial. We will have to wait until Friday to judge fully, but it seems as thought the new Parabolika corner will provide a good additional overtaking opportunity."

MARTIN WHITMARSH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, McLAREN INTERNATIONAL

"Despite Kimi's incident towards the end of the French Grand Prix, the race was an encouraging demonstration of the development of all the elements of the West McLaren Mercedes package, which we are looking to continue in Germany this weekend. The Mobil 1 German Grand Prix is also an important event for the West McLaren Mercedes team, as the home race for Mercedes-Benz and many of our Partners."

NORBERT HAUG, VICE-PRESIDENT, MERCEDES-BENZ MOTORSPORT

"The German Grand Prix is one of the two home Grands Prix for Merecdes-Benz and the circuit is just over an hour away from the headquarters in Stuttgart, so there will be a great number of employees to support our team. Many of them will have a good view on most of the new section of the circuit from the Mercedes-Benz grandstand. The Hockenheimring has been substantially rebuilt, and it will be interesting to see how the Formula One cars perform on the new circuit layout, which features some corners with good overtaking opportunities. Especially the slow but wide hairpin at the end of the fast Parabolika should see some exciting outbraking manoeuvres, and I expect a lot of action in front of the new Mercedes-Benz grandstand also."

-mclaren-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jim Clark , Ayrton Senna
Teams Mercedes , McLaren