Toyota's Allan McNish looks back at his disappointing British Grand Prix "The British Grand Prix, obviously, was a race I was really looking forward to. I know that as a driver you have to be able to perform anywhere, but there are some places...
Toyota's Allan McNish looks back at his disappointing British Grand Prix
"The British Grand Prix, obviously, was a race I was really looking forward to. I know that as a driver you have to be able to perform anywhere, but there are some places that seem to have a special significance."
"When I was a wee child in Dumfries we didn't get all the races on the TV like nowadays, but we used to get Monaco, Silverstone and Monza. I remember watching James Hunt win the British Grand Prix in 1977 when I was still just seven years old and that made quite an impression."
"I worked with James earlier in my career when he was a Marlboro driver adviser and I was one of their team drivers. In the first round of the F3000 championship in 1990, at Donington, I was involved in a nasty accident and ended up unconscious."
"The International Trophy at Silverstone was a month later and I had only just been cleared to drive by Professor Sid Watkins. Silverstone was different back then, an even quicker track than now, and I managed to get pole position. After following Damon Hill for a few laps I went on to win the race, ahead of my team mate. It was a very emotional moment for me."
"If anyone had told me then that it would be 12 years before I got an opportunity to drive in the British Grand Prix at the same circuit, I would have been very disappointed. To say the least! But I'm wiser and more experienced now, as well as older, and I think it helps you to enjoy the moment even more."
"I don't think I need to say what a personal disappointment it was when I had a clutch problem on the grid and was left stranded. Up until that point it had been a variable weekend. Friday was a bad day for us because Mika was ill and missed the entire day's practice. And the typically British weather ruined any chance we had of finding a dry set-up for the car."
"Having said that, we did manage to get a decent balance for qualifying and Mika did well to put his TF102 eighth on the grid, our best qualifying performance of the season. I had been equally quick in morning practice but I hit traffic on my best lap."
"That cost me two or three tenths of a second. I was almost on a par with Mika in the other two sectors and although there was just 0.39s between us, the midfield was so tight that I qualified seven places further back."
"It was pleasing to receive such a good reception from the Silverstone crowd and I was deeply disappointed that I couldn't serve up something to warm them on Sunday afternoon."
"Off the track I heard that Toyota Great Britain are very much behind the Panasonic Toyota Racing team. For every race they enter into the spirit of things by decorating the canteen in a Formula 1 style with flags and banners and they even serve up the national food of the country hosting the race! I might even suggest haggis for next year! They had over 400 dealers at the headquarters for the British GP all cheering us on - I am just sorry that we couldn't give them more to shout about."
"I think we're overdue some good fortune and let's hope it starts at Magny-Cours in a fortnight. Before that, both Mika and I will be testing at Monza and concentrating on a set-up for some of the quicker circuits coming up in the later part of the season. After that I will be attending the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK driving the TF102. Panasonic Toyota Racing's President - and ex-rally superstar - Ove Andersson will also take to the track, so it should be a really fun event."