German GP: McLaren preview

The West McLaren Mercedes team will be at Hockenheim this weekend for the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix, one of two home events for Mercedes-Benz this season. The race, which is sponsored for the 13th consecutive year by West McLaren Mercedes...

The West McLaren Mercedes team will be at Hockenheim this weekend for the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix, one of two home events for Mercedes-Benz this season. The race, which is sponsored for the 13th consecutive year by West McLaren Mercedes Technology Partner ExxonMobil, marks round 12 of the 2003 FIA Formula One World Championship. Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard currently lie in second and seventh in the Drivers standings, with 62 and 33 points respectively, with West McLaren Mercedes in third position in the Constructors' table with 95 points,

Kimi Raikkonen:

"Although I did secure a podium finish at the British Grand Prix, the team's main aim going into a race is of course to win it, and it was disappointing not to do so as the car felt competitive. However, there are still five races to go, including this week's Mobil 1 German Grand Prix, and there is only a gap of seven points to the lead of the Drivers Championship, with a lot of points still to be won."

"The German race always seems to be fairly entertaining and it was certainly eventful for me last year, with my battle with Montoya! Last year the Hockenheim track had some major revisions, the main one was removing the long blast through the forest and the new four corner complex. Although this reduced the top speeds, it is still a very quick circuit that is fun to drive."

David Coulthard:

"Despite my race being somewhat compromised at Silverstone due to my qualifying position, it was encouraging to come home in fifth. We now move to the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, which is one of the fastest tracks on the calendar, and despite the modifications it is still renowned as a car breaker. It provides a number of genuine overtaking opportunities, including a wide hairpin at the new Parabolika. As we no longer have the fast, power section along the back straight, this has reduced the set-up compromise of previous years."

"Of course there is still a level of compromise, but as there are not such extremes of challenges on the track any more we are able to more fully optimise our set-up for the whole lap. As a home race for Mercedes-Benz, we are looking to put on a good race for all the fans and employees. There is always a good atmosphere at the event, and last year the spectators in the new Mercedes-Benz grandstand at the Spitzkehre complex made a roar to rival the stadium section at the end of the track!"

Martin Whitmarsh, Managing director, McLaren International:

"As with Silverstone, the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix has particular importance for West McLaren Mercedes, as a home race for Mercedes-Benz and a number of our Partners. We arrive at Hockenheim looking to maximise the capabilities of our car and secure a solid points total. The layout of the track should suit the capabilities of this car and we are looking for a strong result. There are still races to be won and points to be scored this season and as a team, we fully intend to work hard to secure as many as possible. The battles in both Championships remain very intense following the British Grand Prix, and we believe there will be an exciting culmination to the season in five races time."

Norbert Haug, Vice president, Mercedes-Benz motorsport:

"The Mobil 1 German Grand Prix is the second home race for Mercedes-Benz in Germany within only five weeks and we expect a great number of Mercedes-Benz employees and fans to support the team. Most of them will enjoy an excellent view of most of the new circuit from the Mercedes grandstand. Following the substantial rebuild of the Hockenheimring last year the inaugural Formula One race saw some exciting overtaking and outbraking manoeuvres especially at the slow but wide hairpin at the end of the very fast Parabolika section."

"Taking into account how close the competition has been in this year's World Championship so far I think the spectators can look forward to some thrilling race action again. We have been very quick at the Nürburgring and the entire team wants to present a good performance during the forthcoming weekend in order to maintain or even better our positions in the World Championships battles."

-mclaren-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard , Kimi Raikkonen , Norbert Haug , Martin Whitmarsh
Teams Mercedes , McLaren