British GP: McLaren preview

The Formula One fraternity travels to Silverstone for round ten of the FIA World Championship, and one of the home races for the West McLaren Mercedes team, the 2002 British Grand Prix. Since Silverstone hosted the opening round of the...

The Formula One fraternity travels to Silverstone for round ten of the FIA World Championship, and one of the home races for the West McLaren Mercedes team, the 2002 British Grand Prix.

Since Silverstone hosted the opening round of the inaugural World Championship in 1950, the track has been the location for 35 British Grands Prix. Over the years Aintree and Brands Hatch have also held the event, on five and twelve occasions respectively. Originally an airfield, Silverstone is located deep in the Northamptonshire countryside, some 70 miles / 112kms north of London.

The West McLaren Mercedes team has taken a hat-trick of victories at Silverstone over the past three years, extending McLaren's run of points finishes secured in all 35 British Grands Prix the team has entered. David Coulthard scored back-to-back wins in 1999 and 2000, with Mika Hakkinen taking first position on the podium last year. Mika also set the current lap record in 2001, with a 1m23.405.

Since the European Grand Prix, the West McLaren Mercedes team has been testing at the Circuit de Catalunya. Alex Wurz was joined at the Spanish track by David and Kimi Raikkonen.

DAVID COULTHARD

"I always enjoy racing at Silverstone. There is an electric atmosphere at the event, with myself and the whole West McLaren Mercedes team receiving tremendous support from the home crowd. This year will be my ninth British Grand Prix, and to date I have secured points finishes on six occasions, including the two victories I took in 1999 and 2000, which are a highlight of my career. Following the disappointing end to the last race at the Nürburgring, I hope we can put on a good show and secure a positive result in front of the British fans and McLaren employees. Silverstone is a technical, medium grip circuit that requires a medium to low downforce configuration. The 3.194 miles/5.141km track also has the tendency to be fairly hard on tyres."

KIMI RAIKKONEN

"I've had a couple of encouraging results in the last two rounds of the World Championship, and I am now looking forward to the British Grand Prix. Silverstone is a challenging circuit, it includes a number of exciting, high speed corners such as Copse and the Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel complex, which is a great place for the spectators to watch a Formula One car in action. I remember the enthusiasm of the British crowd from last year, and am very much looking forward to driving in front of them for the first time as a West McLaren Mercedes driver. There are a number of real overtaking opportunities at the track, for example through Stowe, Vale and Club."

MARTIN WHITMARSH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, McLAREN INTERNATIONAL

"Our podium finish at the European Grand Prix was the result of good teamwork and a solid drive by Kimi. There is still a gap to the front of the grid, but all elements of the package are continuing to develop together to ensure further improvement in our competitiveness. The whole team is looking forward to the British Grand Prix and we are aiming to secure a good result in the race, which McLaren has won on a record breaking 12 occasions, more than any other constructor. The Grand Prix also provides all the staff who work hard through the year at our Woking HQ with the opportunity to see the race team and the cars in action."

NORBERT HAUG, VICE-PRESIDENT, MERCEDES-BENZ MOTORSPORT

"The British Grand Prix is McLaren's and David Coulthard's home Grand Prix and it's always nice to see how much support David and the West McLaren Mercedes team receive from the British fans. Silverstone is a challenging circuit for both the chassis and the engine. In preparation for the British Grand Prix the team has tested at Barcelona which is a similarly demanding track. Alexander, David and Kimi ran through an intensive four day test programme completing 2300 kilometres in total."

-mclaren-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Kimi Raikkonen , Alexander Wurz
Teams Mercedes , McLaren