British Grand Prix 14th -16th July 1995 Silverstone The Marlboro McLaren Mercedes team faces the first of two major challenges in the season so far, as the next rounds of the FIA Formula One Championship take...
British Grand Prix 14th -16th July 1995 Silverstone The Marlboro McLaren Mercedes team faces the first of two major challenges in the season so far, as the next rounds of the FIA Formula One Championship take the competitors to England and Germany, the respective home bases of McLaren and Mercedes. Expectations will therefore reach their highest levels for both the race team and the engine manufacturer.
The 5.057km-long Circuit of Silverstone, situated roughly halfway between Northampton and Oxford, is one of the oldest venues on the Formula One calendar, having hosted the first ever round of the World Championship as long ago as 1950. The 1995 edition of the British Grand Prix will also be the 30th held in Northamptonshire - an anniversary marked by a total revamping of the pits and paddock facilities, in addition to minor changes to the track's kerbing.
Eight of the Formula One teams and four of the engine manufacturers taking part in this weekend's race are based in England. In 1995, there will also be six British drivers, including Marlboro McLaren Mercedes' Mark Blundell, lining up on the grid, all of them wanting to do well in front of their home crowd. As the fans flock into the campsites surrounding the track, the unique atmosphere of Silverstone will gather momentum and put all British competitors under pressure to perform.
The proximity of the circuit makes Silverstone a favourite testing ground for these teams. Last week, in preparation to the race, Marlboro McLaren Mercedes attended a two-day's session during which Mika Hakkinen continued the McLaren's chassis development programme whilst Mark completed tyre assessment duties for Goodyear and an engine durability test.
Mika finished fourth in last year's race, and was subsequently awarded third position following Michael Schumaker's disqualification. This year, he will be keen to climb on the rostrum rather than earn his place of the track. Meanwhile, Mark's "Will to Win", as inscribed on his helmet, will be reinforced by the challenge of racing in his own country and his ambition will be to contribute valuable championship points to the team's current tally.