Belgian GP McLaren preview

The 2001 Belgian Grand Prix, round 14 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, takes place at the dramatic Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The West McLaren Mercedes team arrives at the circuit, which is considered by the majority of the drivers to be...

The 2001 Belgian Grand Prix, round 14 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, takes place at the dramatic Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The West McLaren Mercedes team arrives at the circuit, which is considered by the majority of the drivers to be the finest track on the calendar, determined to add to their points tally.

Since the Hungarian Grand Prix, the West McLaren Mercedes team has been testing at Silverstone, with Mika Hakkinen and Alex Wurz at the wheel. On Tuesday Alex set the fastest time whilst Mika was quickest on Wednesday.

The first Grand Prix event at Spa took place in 1925, and the Belgian Grand Prix has been a regular event on the calendar since the inception of the Formula One World Championship in 1950. During the 70's the both Nivelles and Zolder hosted the race before its return to the revised Spa circuit in 1985.

McLaren has an impressive history at the Belgian Grand Prix, having won the race 10 times, including in 1968 when Bruce McLaren secured the team's first Formula One victory. In 1987, Alain Prost began a run of five consecutive wins for McLaren, which saw Ayrton Senna achieve four back-to-back victories from 1988-91. Recent years have also seen success for the team, with David securing top spot on the podium in 1999 and Mika taking victory in last year's race, which is remembered in particular for Mika's thrilling overtaking manouvre on Michael Schumacher.

David Coulthard
'With the perfect mixture of fast straights, corners and tricky hairpins, Spa is one of the greatest circuits in the world and offers numerous overtaking opportunities. There is no doubt it is my favourite track and I'm really looking forward to the weekend. The Championship might be over but I still want to achieve the best result possible for the team and myself.'

Mika Hakkinen
'I always enjoy driving at Spa, it's one of the most exciting and challenging tracks, especially the blast up to Eau Rouge. Set-up is crucial and often has to be a compromise as it can be dry on one part of the circuit and raining on another. I have very good memories of last year's race which I really enjoyed and it would be nice to take victory again.'

Ron Dennis
'The Championships are over but we are determined to move forward and get the best out of the rest of the season and prepare ourselves for the 2002 season. The entire team wants to win the race at Spa and are looking forward to a good weekend.'

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Alexander Wurz , Bruce McLaren , Alain Prost , Ayrton Senna
Teams Mercedes , McLaren