German GP: McLaren preview

The West McLaren Mercedes team travels to Hockenheim for the teams' third home race of the 2004 season, the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix. Following the race, which is sponsored by West McLaren Mercedes' Technology Partner ExxonMobil for the 14th ...

The West McLaren Mercedes team travels to Hockenheim for the teams' third home race of the 2004 season, the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix. Following the race, which is sponsored by West McLaren Mercedes' Technology Partner ExxonMobil for the 14th consecutive year, there is the traditional three week summer break from racing until the Hungarian Grand Prix in August.

Introduced to the World Championship in 1951, the German Grand Prix was first held at the original Nürburgring. The 'Ring and Hockenheim have shared the event since then, with Avus hosting a one-off appearance in 1959. Hockenheim, a former Mercedes-Benz test track, became the permanent base in 1977, with the exception of 1985 which saw the race return to Nürburgring for a year.

David Coulthard:

"After the British Grand Prix, I am looking forward to racing the MP4-19B again at Hockenheim. The car has moved us forward in terms of both chassis and engine performance, and hopefully with the Hockenheim specific set-up work we have tested at the Silverstone test this week I will be in a position to perform better in Germany."

"Hockenheim is one of the quickest tracks we race at with an average lap speed around the 135 mph / 220 km/h, despite the mid-slow speed corners. The track is of course very different in character following the changes in 2002, but it still promoted exciting racing, and hopefully we will be able to continue to perform well in front of the home crowd, a lot of whom are based in the Mercedes-Benz Grandstand at the Spitzkehre and are always very vocal!"

Kimi Raikkonen:

"The result at Silverstone and the pace of the MP4-19B during the weekend was very positive for the whole team. I felt competitive all weekend and am looking forward to taking this form to Germany and the Mercedes-Benz home support. We are bringing some additional aerodynamic modifications to the 19B on line at the race, which we tested after Britain and the results of which were encouraging and have shown that there is more to come from the car."

"Hockenheim is always fun to drive, with some real chances to overtake, particularly at the wide Parabolika hairpin, where stability under braking is key in order to pass, an area in which the 19B has improved."

Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula One, West McLaren Mercedes:

"Following the MP4-19B's strong performance at the British Grand Prix, the West McLaren Mercedes team has continued to push hard with our development programme. We have conducted two intensive tests at Silverstone and Jerez, with all four drivers in action, completing over 3800 kilometres in total. The simultaneous programme included Hockenheim set-up and the proving of new components that we will race at the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix."

"This was in addition to developments that will be introduced in the longer term, which were tested at this time due to the testing ban that is now in force until the first week of September. As a team, West McLaren Mercedes exists to win and are all pushing towards this aim."

Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"I'm happy for everybody in the team, that last months' hard work started to pay off. In the first half of the season, we have not been where we wanted and there were legitimately bad reviews of our performance. With the MP4-19B we now have a better basis."

"David's third place on the grid in the French Grand Prix and Kimi's pole position in the British Grand Prix showed that the car is fast. In four starts we finished four times and we scored 15 points. In Silverstone we were moving one step ahead and we all are working hard to improve further. Hockenheim will be our second home Grand Prix within 14 days and we all look forward to the race."

-mclaren-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard , Kimi Raikkonen , Norbert Haug , Martin Whitmarsh
Teams Mercedes , McLaren