British GP: McLaren preview

Round 11 of the 2003 FIA Formula One World Championship, the British Grand Prix, takes place this coming weekend at the Silverstone circuit, in Northamptonshire, UK. West McLaren Mercedes arrives at one of the home races for the team lying in...

Round 11 of the 2003 FIA Formula One World Championship, the British Grand Prix, takes place this coming weekend at the Silverstone circuit, in Northamptonshire, UK. West McLaren Mercedes arrives at one of the home races for the team lying in third position in the Constructors' World Championship, with 85 points. Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard are in second and seventh in the Drivers' table with 56 and 29 points respectively.

Kimi Raikkonen:

"Of course it was frustrating not to finish on the podium at the Mobil 1 French Grand Prix having held third position for the majority of the race, but unfortunately that was not possible. The team has been working hard since then, at the test in Barcelona and the factory, to try and ensure we can challenge for a top three position at the British Grand Prix."

"I have always enjoyed driving at Silverstone, be it a race or test, as it is an excellent driving circuit with a range of challenges and overtaking opportunities. For example the right hander of Stowe, which is at the end of the long Hanger straight along which we reach the top speed on the track. Also through Vale and Club."

"The race is obviously more important for me now as it is the home race for the team and we are able to race in front of our enthusiastic fans. Silverstone is a technical, medium grip track, it is quite tough on tyres and we use a medium-low downforce set-up."

David Coulthard:

"As one would expect, the British Grand Prix has an added significance to myself and West McLaren Mercedes being our home race. There is always a fantastic atmosphere from our supporters and I hope we can put on a good race for them."

"This year will be the tenth time I have competed in the race, which over the years has seen some of the most memorable moments in my career, with my back-to-back victories in 1999 and 2000. As a Formula One driver, you always want to win your home grand prix so those races were something pretty special and it would be fantastic to repeat the result this year."

"Silverstone is great fun to drive and spectate at, as you can get a real appreciation for the speed. Sections that are particularly enjoyable include Copse, one of the fastest corners on the calendar, which we drive absolutely flat out with its speedy entry and short apex."

"You also have the famous Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel S-bends, where we push the cars to their limits and experience very high G's, with the aerodynamics of the car playing a very important role through here. The track does have some odd bumps, but we have done so many laps at Silverstone over the years in theory they should not catch us out!"

Martin Whitmarsh, Managing director, McLaren International:

"Following the Mobil 1 French Grand Prix, West McLaren Mercedes conducted a comprehensive and positive test programme at Barcelona last week, continuing the development programme of the MP4-17D and MP4-18. We are now looking forward to our home Grand Prix at Silverstone, where we believe we have the potential to challenge for victory and we are all working to try and achieve this objective."

"We arrive at our home race in the midst of one of the best Championship battles Formula One has seen for a number of years, which is exciting for the teams and fans alike. McLaren has won more British Grands Prix than any other constructor, with a total of 12 that began 20 years ago with Peter Revson. In the 36 events that the team has competed in to date, we have secured points finishes in all but one. 23 of these were podiums, which is a record we are looking to continue this year."

"Silverstone itself has an illustrious motor racing history since it hosted the first ever World Championship Grand Prix in 1950, it has seen some great battles since then and we all enjoy racing here. Although, as with many circuits on the calendar today there have been significant modifications to the track over the years, Silverstone still boasts some of the finest corners of the season."

Norbert Haug, Vice president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"Silverstone features some famous and very challenging corners like Becketts, Stowe and Copse. Good aerodynamics are very important on this fast circuit of which about 60 percent are run on full throttle. The entire team is looking forward to this classic race, especially as it is a home Grand Prix."

-mclaren-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard , Kimi Raikkonen , Norbert Haug , Martin Whitmarsh , Peter Revson
Teams Mercedes , McLaren