British GP: McLaren preview

The Formula One fraternity travels to Silverstone for round 11 of the FIA World Championship. On 13th May 1950, the inaugural British Grand Prix marked the beginning of Formula One World Championship history. In the early days, 70 laps were run...

The Formula One fraternity travels to Silverstone for round 11 of the FIA World Championship.

On 13th May 1950, the inaugural British Grand Prix marked the beginning of Formula One World Championship history. In the early days, 70 laps were run on the 4.7 kilometre long circuit, with a race distance of 329 kilometres. Alongside Monza and the former Spa-Francorchamps and Spielberg circuits, Silverstone was one of the fastest Grand Prix circuits until 1990.

Nigel Mansell achieved the fastest lap ever in 1987, reaching an average of 246.325 km/h over the lap. Kimi Raikkonen reached an average speed of 236.570 km/h on the flying lap that saw him take pole in 2004, whilst his average race speed was 218.314 km/h.

The British Grand Prix is the home race for McLaren, with the McLaren Technology Centre based 90 minutes from the Silverstone circuit. The marque has won ten out of the 38 British Grand Prix to date, including David Coulthard's victories in a Team McLaren Mercedes in 1999 and 2000 (double victory ahead of Mika Häkkinen), and Mika Häkkinen's win in 2001.

Kimi Raikkonen:

"I always enjoy the British Grand Prix, Silverstone is a great track to drive and always seems to have entertaining races. Hopefully this will be the case again this year and I will be able to be one step higher on the podium than in 2004."

"We get to drive some of the best corners of the season. You have Copse, which is probably the fastest corner all year with speeds not dropping below 265km/h as you take it flat out and on the limits, however it is blind! That then leads to one of the best complex of corners we have at any Grand Prix track, the Maggots-Becketts-Chapel S-bends."

"With the high speed direction changes, jumping kerbs and so on, it is a great place for the fans to see Formula One cars in action. Though here, aerodynamics and chassis balance are important and you need to be super quick in this section to get a good lap time."

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"Following France, I am looking for a strong result at the British Grand Prix. The MP4-20 feels really strong and should suit the Silverstone track. This year will be my first home race at Silverstone with Team McLaren Mercedes, I understand a lot of people from Woking and Brixworth will be going to the race and hopefully we can give them something to celebrate."

"The circuit is a great challenge; you have to really push the car to the limits. For the three long straights and fast, flowing corners we need power, but this needs to be balanced with the good traction for the medium grip slower bends at the back of the circuit. As a result we will have a medium to low downforce configuration. Silverstone is a track where you can overtake, the best place is under braking into Stowe and there are also chances at Vale and Club."

Pedro de la Rosa:

"Aerodynamics is particularly key at Silverstone, and we also need to ensure we have a good compromised between high speed stability and grip in the slower complex at the end of the track. As with Magny Cours, Silverstone is fairly hard on tyres, as a result of the high speeds and abrasive track surface. However we have vast amounts of data from the track and as a result know how to manage these characteristics."

Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula One, Team McLaren Mercedes:

"The pace of the MP4-20 package in the hands of both Juan Pablo and Kimi was well demonstrated in France, and as a result we have the potential to challenge for the top spots on the podium at one of three home races for Team McLaren Mercedes this season, the British Grand Prix."

"As part of our build-up to the British Grand Prix, we conducted a positive test at Silverstone in early June. In addition to other scheduled development work at the session, we completed our pre-race programme including set-up and tyre selection work with Michelin."

Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"Silverstone is a classic on the Formula One calendar for our team before the German Grand Prix on 24th July which will be the second of two back-to-back home Grands Prix. The last tests at Silverstone went well and the results looked promising. As always Silverstone might spring a few surprises, hopefully rain will not be one of them."

"With the start into the second half of the season our entire team wants to transform the potential of the technology, drivers and team into more good results. We have the capability to win races as Kimi's three victories from his last five starts had shown. Juan Pablo can also compete up front which he has proved in his last two races at Montreal and Magny-Cours, although he had been disqualified in Canada and had to retire with a hydraulic problem in France."

"The next three weeks with three Grands Prix will bring intensive strain on the Formula One teams and this might also influence the competitiveness and the points standings."


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Mercedes , McLaren