German GP: McLaren preview

Round 12 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the 2005 Mobil 1 German Grand Prix, takes place at Hockenheim. This year's race marks the 54th German event, and is the fourth race on the revised Hockenheim circuit. Introduced to the World ...

Round 12 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the 2005 Mobil 1 German Grand Prix, takes place at Hockenheim. This year's race marks the 54th German event, and is the fourth race on the revised Hockenheim circuit.

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.

The fastest lap in that race was driven by Tony Brooks who clocked up an average speed of 240 kph; this record time in the German Grand Prix remained unbroken until 1992 when Riccardo Patrese reached 241.498 kph at Hockenheim.

Mika Häkkinen won the 1998 Hockenheim race just 0.427 seconds ahead of his Team McLaren Mercedes team mate David Coulthard. It was the closest finish in German Grand Prix history.

Since the Silverstone race, the Team McLaren Mercedes team has been testing at Jerez in Spain. Juan Pablo Montoya, Alex Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa were at the wheel, in preparation for the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix, which is sponsored for a 15th consecutive year by Mobil 1, a Technology Partner of the Team McLaren Mercedes team.

The race at Hockenheim is the second home grand prix for Mercedes-Benz. A few thousand employees will travel to the Hockenheimring from Stuttgart, which is just an hour's drive away to watch Team McLaren Mercedes in action.

Kimi Raikkonen:

"The battle for the Championship is still on and I am determined to get a good result and work on closing the gap at the 2005 Mobil 1 German Grand Prix. The MP4-20 has a good speed and we need to make the most of it this weekend."

"Hockenheim is a high downforce track, but you do need to compromise set-up to have a fast top speed. This is very important for the main place where you can pass, along the long straight from turn two down to the wide hairpin at three. This also means we need good braking stability."

"As with Silverstone it is always great to race in front of our home fans, as the atmosphere at the Mercedes-Benz grandstand is always really enthusiastic, hopefully we will put on a good show for them this year! I will give it my all to please the many Mercedes employees and fans."

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"Following my debut win with Team McLaren Mercedes at Silverstone, I am really looking forward to racing again this weekend in Germany, the home Grand Prix for Mercedes-Benz. I enjoy racing at Hockenheim, I have performed well here and won in the past and I am aiming for a strong result like at Silverstone."

"Traction is vital at Hockenheim, as the circuit is formed of slow and medium fast corners and you need to get good exits to have the speed in between. As a result there are also heavy braking zones, and this combined with the high temperatures we usually get in Germany, means you will see cars running with larger than normal brake ducts."

Alex Wurz:

"We had a three day test session in Jerez last week in preparation for the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix. Alongside Juan Pablo and Pedro we completed over 2200 kms in total and work concentrated on Michelin tyre testing and suspension and aerodynamic development.

Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula One, Team McLaren Mercedes:

"Following the positive race at Silverstone, we are all pleased that Juan Pablo has taken his first victory for the team and we will continue pushing hard to develop the performance demonstrated by the team as a whole. This push will also see an extra focus on reliability to ensure we can maximise the potential we have over the next eight races."

"MP4-20 has driven well at circuits that share some characteristics with Hockenheim, such as Monaco and Canada. We are confident in the competitiveness of the MP4-20 and this race will continue the exciting battle for both Championships."

Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"Following the British Grand Prix we completed extensive tests at Jerez and further optimised chassis and engine. We had an engine failure; however, two engines ran without problems for 1200 and 1400 kilometres respectively. We are all working hard for the cars' speed and reliability to provide Kimi and Juan Pablo with conditions for best possible results."

"Understandably, the most frequently asked question for us is, if Kimi will be able to reduce the gap behind Fernando Alonso or to pass him. The answer is: we don't know, but we will fight for it as hard as we can. Kimi and the team scored more points since our first win of the year at Barcelona than the opposition, which is positive, although unfortunately we missed opportunities for victories and 1-2 wins."


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