Hungarian GP: McLaren preview

The West McLaren Mercedes team arrives in Hungary for race 13 of the 2005 World Championship. Kimi remains second in the Drivers' World Championship with 51 points, whilst Juan Pablo is fourth with 34 points. In the Constructors' rankings Team ...

The West McLaren Mercedes team arrives in Hungary for race 13 of the 2005 World Championship. Kimi remains second in the Drivers' World Championship with 51 points, whilst Juan Pablo is fourth with 34 points. In the Constructors' rankings Team McLaren Mercedes also remains second with 95 points. The Grand Prix also marks West's final Formula One race with the team, after eight successful years of Title Partnership.

"Everyone within the West McLaren Mercedes team is very appreciative for all the support West, formerly owned by Reemtsma and latterly by Imperial Tobacco, have given us over the last eight seasons," commented Ron Dennis, Team Principal, West McLaren Mercedes.

"This time has embraced two Drivers' World Championships, one Constructors' title and 38 race wins. Our Partnership began with victory in Australia 1997, and it is very satisfying to be leaving the Partnership at a time when we have a competitive package and are challenging for victories."

The Hungarian Grand Prix has been held at the Hungaroring, which was purpose built for Formula One, since the inaugural event in 1986. Located 12 miles / 19 km north of Budapest, the circuit is set in a natural valley surrounded by rolling countryside. At the time, it was the first major motor sport event in the former Eastern bloc, and remains the most high profile attracting 260,000 spectators over the course of the Grand Prix weekend.

West McLaren Mercedes driver Mika Häkkinen won at Budapest in 1999 and 2000. His team mate David Coulthard came home second and third in both years respectively. To date, McLaren has won the Grand Prix on five occasions.

The Hungarian Grand Prix is one of the slower races on the Formula One calendar. In the first race in 1986, drivers were shown the chequered flag one lap earlier than planned because the two-hour limit had been reached, even though there hadn't been a drop of rain.

Kimi Raikkonen:

"I am looking forward to getting back behind the wheel this weekend and working with the team to take a good result. Hungary is always really hot, but it has been like that at some of the last races already, so it is not a problem. The track's layout is similar to Monaco, it is very short and slow, this makes it feel quite like a karting circuit. Also there are lots of corners and gear changes like Monte Carlo, and in the heat it means it is quite tough physically."

"As there are no real chances to overtake, so qualifying is very important, and unfortunately I will be going out first so will be affected by the dusty track, but the car is quick and I will push hard. I always enjoy Hungary as there is always a really good atmosphere because of all the Finns come down to the race. It is like a home Grand Prix for me, and I hope I can give the thousands of Finnish fans something to cheer about."

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"The track in Hungary is very dusty when we get there, it does clear up on the racing lines after the first few sessions, but is really dirty off line for the whole weekend. This means it is very slippery once you get off the racing line, which makes it tricky to overtake and there is no room for error. Because of the lack of grip and the need to use the kerbs a lot, we need to make sure the car is well balanced."

"We use a high downforce, but need to make sure to set the car up so that it is fast on the main straight, as the first corner is the only place to overtake if you get a good run down into it The Hungaroring is not one of my favourite tracks, but it has got better since the changes were made a couple of years ago."

Alex Wurz:

"The characteristics of the Hungaroring demand a very precise set-up, it is a very tight and technical circuit. In addition to tyre selection with Michelin I will also spend some time on Friday working on this."

Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula One, Team McLaren Mercedes:

"Despite the obvious disappointments in Germany, Kimi and Juan Pablo's drive illustrated the pace of the MP4-20's, and as a team we need to use this speed in Hungary to secure strong results and take a large points haul away from the Grand Prix. The surface at the Hungaroring is very abrasive, and this combined with the demands of constant cornering play a significant role in tyre choice."

"Going into the three week break, everyone within the team remains motivated and we are looking forward to continuing our challenge for both Championships at the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix on 21st August, however we need to focus on improving our reliability in order to achieve the desired results."

Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"After Kimi retired from the Hockenheim GP things have not become easier for us. However, everybody in the team is working hard to achieve top results at the Hungarian Grand Prix, although this won't be an easy task at the Hungaroring."

"The track's layout is completely different from what we have experienced in the last three races. With an average speed per lap of a little less than 200 kph the circuit is the second slowest on the calendar behind Monaco. Less than 60 percent of a lap is run under full throttle. There is only one line to be driven on and overtaking is nearly impossible."

"After he retired at Hockenheim, Kimi faces the difficult challenge of going out first in Saturday's qualifying. The speed is there as Kimi and Juan Pablo proved again at Hockenheim, and from now on we also want to be reliable enough to achieve the best possible results with both cars."


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