German GP McLaren preview

The West McLaren Mercedes team will be arriving for the 11th round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, which takes place this weekend at the famous Hockenheim circuit. The 4.239 miles/6.829 KM track is located approximately 50 miles...

The West McLaren Mercedes team will be arriving for the 11th round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, which takes place this weekend at the famous Hockenheim circuit. The 4.239 miles/6.829 KM track is located approximately 50 miles south of Frankfurt and 15 miles west of Heidelberg.

This year's race is the 48th German Grand Prix. The event took place for the first time in 1951 at the Nurburgring, which today hosts the European Grand Prix. The German race made a one-off appearance at the Avus track in 1959 but has taken place at Hockenheim since 1977 (apart from 1985).

McLaren has won the German Grand Prix a total of six times with James Hunt claiming the team's first victory in 1976. The latest was Mika Hakkinen's win in 1998 - in a race where David Coulthard finished second.

The track itself is one of the fastest and longest on the calendar. The only 'real' slow part is the stadium complex where the track twists and turns in front of the massive grandstands, which seats the majority of spectators. The weather has often played an important role at Hockenheim as the track is surrounded by dense forests, which can create patches of fog.

After the Austrian Grand Prix David and the team's third driver Olivier Panis were testing at Silverstone last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday while Mika continued his holiday.

Mika Hakkinen:
'The Championship is getting really exciting now and with seven races to go anything can happen. I like Hockenheim as its a challenging circuit and the atmosphere when you enter the Stadium section where thousands of spectators are gathered is amazing -- you can really hear the noise. I have had pole position in Germany for the past two years and will be keen to make it three in a row.'

David Coulthard:
'I'm looking forward to this race. Hockenheim is one of the quickest tracks on the calendar and we reach speeds in excess of 350 km/h so it's fun and fast. I have really closed up in the Drivers' Championship and will be going flat out in order to produce a good result. Its really a power circuit and with our Mercedes-Benz engines we will be in good shape.'

Ron Dennis:
'The German Grand Prix is a very important event for us as it's the home race for many of our Partners. We aim to win every Grand Prix that we enter and this one is no exception.'

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , James Hunt
Teams Mercedes , McLaren