Spanish GP: McLaren preview

Round five of the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Spanish Grand Prix, takes place at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya this weekend. Following medical tests in Madrid and at the team's headquarters in Woking, Juan Pablo Montoya will...

Round five of the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Spanish Grand Prix, takes place at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya this weekend. Following medical tests in Madrid and at the team's headquarters in Woking, Juan Pablo Montoya will make his return to the cockpit of the MP4-20 following his absence at the Bahrain and San Marino events as a result of a shoulder injury.

Kimi Raikkonen:

"After the disappointing end to the last race in San Marino, I am really keen to get back on track and exploit the pace of the MP4-20. We had a positive test last week in Jerez so I'm looking forward to the weekend. The Circuit de Cataluyna does see exciting racing, but because of all the quick corners overtaking is quite difficult."

"You can slipstream down the long start-finish straight and pass under braking into turn one, but it is a very tight turn. The fast corners also play an important role in our tyre choice with Michelin, as they create massive loading and you can have high levels of wear, in particular on the front left."

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"I'm obviously extremely pleased to get back behind the wheel again. It's been so frustrating for me to be a spectator and I'm looking forward to the weekend. The Barcelona track is physically demanding because of all the fast corners but I have undergone an extensive rehabilitation programme to build up the muscles in my shoulder so I will be well prepared."

"The Circuit de Catalunya is a complete circuit in that it has a very fast long straight, quick sweeping corners, tight hairpins, elevation changes, so it keeps you focused all the time."

Pedro de la Rosa:

"It is really great for me to be taking part in the Friday sessions in front of my home crowd. They are always so enthusiastic and I am really looking forward to it. The issues with the track surface at the Circuit de Catalunya earlier this year have been resolved."

"The circuit now has much better grip and the problems everyone was having with building up the temperature in the tyres due to the surface should no longer be an issue. Although we have completed a number of test days at the Barcelona circuit with the MP4-20 and therefore have a good data set, set-up is always a challenge due to the possible changes of the track temperature."

Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula One, Team McLaren Mercedes:

"We are pleased to have Juan Pablo back and look forward to a competitive weekend. His injury has healed well and he has been able to train the muscles in his shoulder over the past weeks and I know he just can't wait to drive."

"The Circuit de Cataluyna is traditionally very demanding on Formula One cars, from both an attrition perspective and also with changeable weather conditions. The wind is a particular issue, as this can lead to a compromise with the aerodynamic efficiency."

"We had a very productive and successful test in Jerez last week where we undertook tyre testing with Michelin and durability runs as well as working on aero dynamic developments which will all make their Grand Prix debut this weekend in Spain. The test and our overall speed at the last race mean that we enter the Spanish Grand Prix in an optimistic frame of mind."

Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"It is good to have Juan Pablo back at the wheel in Barcelona. He will be highly focused to compete in Formula One again after he has missed two races. In preparation for the Spanish Grand Prix, Kimi and Pedro had two very positive test days at Jerez last week where they covered more than 1,700 kilometres in total."

"The Barcelona circuit with its long main straight, long and sweeping corners as well as sharp and tight ones is probably the most demanding of all tracks in terms of a car's aerodynamic efficiency. It is also demanding for the tyres."

"Barcelona is the track where Formula One is doing most of its testing, so everybody knows the circuit very well and has got a lot of data available. The Barcelona race track will therefore be a good indicator of where everybody stands in terms of competitiveness."

-mclaren-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Mercedes , McLaren