German GP McLaren preview

The West McLaren Mercedes team arrives at Hockenheim this weekend for the 2001 Mobil 1 German Grand Prix looking to capitalise on Mika Hakkinen's emphatic victory at the British Grand Prix. Following the win, the 19th of Mika's career, the Finn...

The West McLaren Mercedes team arrives at Hockenheim this weekend for the 2001 Mobil 1 German Grand Prix looking to capitalise on Mika Hakkinen's emphatic victory at the British Grand Prix. Following the win, the 19th of Mika's career, the Finn lies fifth in the FIA Formula One Drivers' World Championship with 19 points. David remains in second position with 47 points.

Since the Silverstone race, the West McLaren Mercedes team has been testing at Monza, Italy, with Mika, Alex Wurz and Darren Turner at the wheel. The majority of the teams were in attendance as the session provided the final opportunity to test at the track prior to the Italian Grand Prix in September. The Mobil 1 German Grand Prix is sponsored for an 11th consecutive year by Mobil 1, a Technology Partner of the West McLaren Mercedes team.

The German Grand Prix was introduced in 1951 and originally took place at the Nurburgring, which now plays host to the European race. Paying occasional visits to the Avus track and Hockenheim over the years, the latter became the permanent base for the German Grand Prix in 1977.

McLaren secured its first victory at the event in 1976 with James Hunt at the wheel in a year that saw him become FIA Formula One World Drivers' Champion. Including this maiden victory, McLaren has won the German Grand Prix a total of six times, most recently in 1998 when Mika took the chequered flag, with David finishing in second place.

David Coulthard
"There are six races to go in the FIA Formula One World Championship and we are looking to build on the second positions held in both the Drivers' and Constructors' titles. The Mobil 1 German Grand Prix is always an interesting race, often affected by the unpredictable weather conditions. With the extremely fast outfield section, through which we are at full throttle for the majority of the time, and the slow Stadium complex, a set-up compromise is required to ensure the maximisation of performance over the whole track."

Mika Hakkinen
"The victory at Silverstone meant a lot to me, it also demonstrated that I am as committed to winning as ever and I am looking forward to more of the same at the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix this weekend. Hockenheim is a challenging circuit, which offers a number of good overtaking opportunities and a fantastic atmosphere. You can actually hear the roar of the crowd when you enter the Stadium section, which is rare in Formula One."

Ron Dennis
"Following the performance improvement demonstrated at Silverstone, the West McLaren Mercedes team arrives at the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix with two drivers who are capable of winning races. There are still a large number of points to be secured in both Championships, and the team will continue to work hard to optimise the results over the rest of the season."

Track Trivia The 4.239 mile / 6.823 km Hockenheim circuit offers one of the most unique layouts in Formula One today, with a combination of long, fast straights, which sees the track cutting through dense forests, and the twisty stadium complex, surrounded by massive grandstands seating the majority of spectators.

Hockenheim, a power circuit, is one of the fastest on the calendar. With a high attrition rate, Hockenheim is hard on engines and brakes, and requires a low downforce configuration. The circuit, which was originally a test track for Mercedes-Benz, is located some 50 miles / 80 km south of Frankfurt and 15 miles / 24 km west of Heidelberg.

Lap of Hockenheim with Alexander Wurz Crossing the start-finish line at Hockenheim you reach 183mph / 296kph in sixth gear as you accelerate along the short straight. Reaching the fast right-hander of Nord Kurve, your speed reduces to take the corner at 119mph / 193kph in fourth gear. On the exit you go hard over the curbs and quickly move up through the gears, driving along the longest straight on the track.

The straight is taken at full throttle, reaching some 215mph / 344kph in seventh gear before braking hard for the right-left flick of the Jim Clark Kurve chicane. You experience forces of up to 4.5G as you drop from the top speed on the track to 60mph / 96kph in second gear. This is followed by a shorter straight that sweeps you gently to the right, reaching 210mph / 336kph in seventh gear leading you into the second chicane, the Ost Kurve.

The slowest of the chicanes, the sharp right-left Ost Kurve is taken at 50mph / 80kph in second gear. Exiting the chicane the long, fast right-hander of turn seven takes you onto the first of the two back straights, where you reach 212mph / 340kph in seventh gear on the approach to the Ayrton Senna Kurve. Again hard on the brakes, the left-right chicane slows you to 70mph / 112kph in second gear. You then push hard on the throttle as you accelerate along the final straight, reaching a speed of 205mph / 328kph in seventh gear as you burst out of the forest into the Stadium Complex.

The sharp right Agip Kurve that leads you into the Complex is taken at 110mph / 176kph in fourth gear, and is immediately followed by the Sachs Kurve. Shifting down into second gear you take the long, left-hand hairpin at 60mph / 96kph. A short burst on the throttle, reaching 140mph / 225kph in third gear, takes you into the final section of the Stadium Complex, the Sud Kurve. This double apex right hand hairpin is negotiated at 95mph / 152kph in third gear and leads you back onto the start-finish straight.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Alexander Wurz , Darren Turner , Ayrton Senna
Teams Mercedes , McLaren