British GP McLaren Preview

BRITISH GRAND PRIX 1998 - PREVIEW The West McLaren Mercedes team start the second half of the Formula One season, at Silverstone circuit's 50th anniversary grand prix weekend, as leaders of both the Drivers' and Constructors' ...

BRITISH GRAND PRIX 1998 - PREVIEW The West McLaren Mercedes team start the second half of the Formula One season, at Silverstone circuit's 50th anniversary grand prix weekend, as leaders of both the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships. After adding five valuable points at the French Grand Prix, Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard will be looking to score again at the team's 'home' race. Since staging its first grand prix in 1942, Silverstone has established itself as the traditional home of British motor racing. The Northamptonshire track is regarded as the front runner in safety and security, with continuous investment and improvements being made to the circuit layout. Silverstone is popular with most of the F1 drivers, who enjoy the track's smooth surface and excellent flow. It is, however, a physically demanding circuit, with terrific G-force loadings which can reach up to the four 'G' experienced when driving competitively through Maggotts, Becketts and Chapel. Add to this the mix of slower, tighter bends which demand good traction and therefore finding the ideal car set-up can prove quite difficult. In addition there are not many overtaking places, although the best opportunities will be found driving through Vale at just 50mph; accelerating out of Club, or on the entry to Priory after the amazing plunge and turn through Bridge at over 150mph. 'It is a reasonably high speed circuit because there are four points at which we reach 170mph or more,' said David, 'with five corners fast enough for aerodynamics to play a big role - Copse, Maggotts, Becketts, Chapel and Bridge. A good chassis balance is crucial in those five fast corners and you have to work hard everywhere to exploit the car.' 'I enjoy the Silverstone circuit,' said Mika. 'It provides an interesting challenge which seems to suit both the McLaren and my driving style. We have completed a considerable amount of testing here last week, so naturally we are hoping that this will pay off over the Grand Prix weekend.' 'Mika and David made good progress at the Silverstone Test last week,' said Ron Dennis. 'The close lap times merely reflect some of the teams setting up of their cars with fresh tyres and low fuel loads. Our principle competition is still one red car.'

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard
Teams Mercedes , McLaren