Australian GP: McLaren preview

Jenson Button "I have some extremely pleasant memories of racing in Australia. As with most drivers on the grid, Albert Park was my first introduction to Formula 1, and I really enjoyed my debut, running as high as fourth before retiring. I was...

Jenson Button

"I have some extremely pleasant memories of racing in Australia. As with most drivers on the grid, Albert Park was my first introduction to Formula 1, and I really enjoyed my debut, running as high as fourth before retiring. I was on pole in 2006, although I had another non-finish. Of course, last year was a fairytale race for me -- I took pole and victory, which was one of the most satisfying and emotional moments of my career.

"Looking ahead to this year, I think we head to the Albert Park circuit feeling more confident of our overall pace. It's quite a contrast to Bahrain: no tight, low-speed sections and plenty of faster corners. We think the track configuration should suit our package.

"We learnt some very useful lessons about MP4-25 in the opening race, and the whole team is keen to put them into practice this weekend."

Lewis Hamilton

"I've always enjoyed Albert Park. I had a great race here on my Formula 1 debut in 2007, won the race a year later and made full use of KERS to drive through the field there last year. But, for me, the best things about the Australian Grand Prix are the people and the atmosphere. The fans in the grandstands, the people in the city and the organisation at the track are all fantastic, and it is one of the most welcoming and relaxing events of the year. I really love it.

"I had a great race in Bahrain: despite losing time in the opening stint, I pushed like crazy for the whole race and I'm pleased that we've got some decent points on the board.

"I'm looking forward to Melbourne. I like the circuit, I think we'll go well there and I don't think we'll have the same problems that slowed our progress in Bahrain."

Martin Whitmarsh
Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

"Coming just a fortnight after the opening race in Bahrain, there's been only minimal time to add developments to the MP4-25. But we've got a number of smaller components that we expect to add to the car ahead of the race.

"We've had the chance to reflect upon it, and I believe that our start to the season has been mostly encouraging. Our race pace in Bahrain looked respectable -- we had the fastest car for much of the second half of the race -- and I think we now have a clearer idea of how to set the car up over a grand prix weekend.

"Of course, we're under no illusions that the opposition will be tough -- and we expect a fantastic battle in Melbourne this weekend.

"The Australian Grand Prix organisers put on a fantastic event and it's an event I always look forward to with huge enthusiasm. I hope that we can put on a great show for everyone."

-source: mclaren

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Lewis Hamilton , Martin Whitmarsh
Teams Mercedes , McLaren