European GP: McLaren preview

Round seven of the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship, The European Grand Prix, takes place at the renowned Nürburgring, and is the first of two home races for Mercedes-Benz. Team McLaren Mercedes arrives in Germany lying in second place in...

Round seven of the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship, The European Grand Prix, takes place at the renowned Nürburgring, and is the first of two home races for Mercedes-Benz. Team McLaren Mercedes arrives in Germany lying in second place in the Constructors' World Championship with 51 points for the second race in the space of eight days. Kimi Raikkonen is also second in the Drivers' standings with 27 points, with Juan Pablo Montoya in eighth with a tally of 14.

Starting with the European Grand Prix, there will be only one qualifying session during a Grand Prix weekend. It will take place over a single-lap only on Saturday at 13:00. The running order will be reverse of the finishing order of the previous race. That means that Kimi, who won at Monaco last weekend, will be the last driver out on the track for qualifying at the Nürburgring.

The inaugural European Grand Prix took place in 1983 at Brands Hatch in Britain, since then there have been 14 races at four different circuits. In addition to Brands Hatch and the Nürburgring, Donington Park and Jerez have also played host to the race. The Nürburgring is on the site of the epic Nordschleife.

The legendary 14 mile / 22 km drive through the Eifel mountains regularly staged the German Grand Prix, before safety concerns saw the race transferred to Hockenheim in 1977. The revised track returned to the calendar in 1984 and since then has held the European Grand Prix on eight occasions.

Kimi Raikkonen:

"After such a great result in Monaco, I am really looking forward to racing again this coming weekend. The MP4-20 package is working really well and hopefully we will continue to be competitive in Germany. The Nürburgring has quite good grip and we use a medium downforce configuration as it has a mix of corners, straights and hairpins."

"It is totally different to Monaco in this way, and it is of course a lot faster, although it is not one of the quickest. It is a fun track to drive, and hopefully we will be able to put on an exciting race for the Mercedes-Benz home crowd."

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"I can't wait to get back on track at the Nürburgring this weekend, and hopefully have a trouble free weekend to take advantage of the current performance of the car. This event is notorious for understeer, so there will be a focus on dialling it out during Friday's Free Practice sessions."

"Unlike Monaco there are a couple of overtaking opportunities at the Nürburgring, such as at the NGK Chicane and the hairpin in the Mercedes Arena. I am really looking forward to racing in front of the Mercedes-Benz fans and employees for the first time and enjoying their support."

Alex Wurz:

"Because of the back-to-backs there has been no testing by Team McLaren Mercedes since the Monaco Grand Prix. The upcoming programme will see us return to the test track in the first week of June at Silverstone. As Juan Pablo mentioned, understeer is always present here, so in addition to tyre selection with Michelin, I will be working closely with the team on set-up work for the rest of the weekend."

Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula One, Team McLaren Mercedes:

"The result in Monaco, and the race pace demonstrated by both Kimi and Juan Pablo, was very positive for the team and we are now looking to build on this at the Nürburgring. The European Grand Prix is the second race in a very intensive period for Formula One, with six Grands Prix in eight weeks."

"To give you an idea of the logistical effort required, all the Team McLaren Mercedes racing equipment was packed and left Monaco shortly after 22:00 on the Sunday night after the race. Upon arrival at the Nürburgring just after 13:00 on Monday afternoon, garage build began immediately and was completed later the same day. As the Monaco race took place just a couple of days ago, there will be no major new developments to MP4-20 for this race."

Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"The European Grand Prix is following the Monaco race within just one week's time. The Nürburgring race is one of two home Grands Prix for Mercedes-Benz. This track provides completely different challenges for the team compared to the street circuit of Monte Carlo."

"About 60 percent of the track is run under full throttle and the circuit features a mixture of fast and slow sections. It is especially demanding for the aerodynamic efficiency of the car as well as the engine. The spectators coming to the Nürburgring will not only attend an exciting race like Barcelona or Monte Carlo, they will also experience attractive entertainment programmes between practice sessions and races."

"Particularly the Mercedes-Benz display area behind the main grandstand has become a meeting point for Mercedes-Benz and motor sport fans of all colours. We will be happy to welcome everybody to live music, several competitions with valuable prizes and above all interview and autograph sessions with Mercedes-Benz DTM drivers as well as the Formula One drivers and members of the Team McLaren Mercedes team."


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