Spanish GP McLaren preview

Spain's Circuit de Catalunya hosts the fifth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship and signals the return of traction control to the sport, following a seven- year absence. Following David Coulthard's successful start to the season,...

Spain's Circuit de Catalunya hosts the fifth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship and signals the return of traction control to the sport, following a seven- year absence.

Following David Coulthard's successful start to the season, which has seen him take joint lead of the Drivers' World Championship with 26 points, the team intends to capitalise on the consistency and competitiveness the MP4-16 has demonstrated in the first four races.

The West McLaren Mercedes team has dominated the Spanish Grand Prix for the past three years, with Mika Hakkinen and David taking three consecutive one-two victories in a race which is historically successful for McLaren. The team has finished out of the points on only four occasions since its Spanish Grand Prix debut in 1968.

This is the 10th year the 2.937 miles / 4.725km purpose built circuit, which is situated approximately 30 minutes from Barcelona, has hosted the Spanish Grand Prix. The track offers a combination of slow, tight corners and fast sweeping curves, which lead to the mile-long pit straight that provides slipstreaming opportunities into the first corner.

DAVID COULTHARD
"I am looking forward to the Spanish Grand Prix, where I hope to build on the results achieved so far this season in order to maintain my position in the Drivers' World Championship. We test regularly at the circuit so we know it well, it's fairly technical with a good mix of corners and straights."

MIKA HAKKINEN
"The results so far this year have not been ideal for me, however the championship is still a very open situation. No one is too far ahead and there are still plenty of points to be scored. I have a successful record at Barcelona, having won the past three races, which I am hoping to extend this season."

RON DENNIS
"The West McLaren Mercedes team is in a strong position in both World Championships heading into what will be an interesting race at Barcelona, with both the introduction of electronic driver aids and the race for the title, which following Imola is wide open. We have taken a number of positive steps forward over the last couple of races, which we aim to further in Spain."

-McLaren

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