San Marino GP: McLaren preview

Following the first three fly-aways races, the West McLaren Mercedes team heads to Italy for the San Marino Grand Prix. The event takes place for the 24th time at the 3.065 mile/4.933 km Imola circuit, which is located near Bologna in the North of...

Following the first three fly-aways races, the West McLaren Mercedes team heads to Italy for the San Marino Grand Prix. The event takes place for the 24th time at the 3.065 mile/4.933 km Imola circuit, which is located near Bologna in the North of Italy.

David Coulthard:

"Since Bahrain we have been testing at both Barcelona and Paul Ricard. We've had some encouraging sessions and I'm looking forward to getting back to racing after the three-week break. The San Marino Grand Prix often sees memorable races with good battles so hopefully it will be an exciting weekend. I enjoy driving at Imola, it has some excellent corners, including Piratella and Acque Minerali, and, despite the revisions that have been made over the years, the circuit is still an interesting technical challenge."

"It has a good combination of low and high speed corners, which in addition to the long straights means we use a medium downforce set-up. Another factor of the race is that we run in an anti-clockwise direction, whereas we normally go clockwise. This means our bodies are under different stresses, particularly the neck, as most of the corners are left-handers, rather than right."

Kimi Raikkonen:

"Obviously it has not been an ideal start for me or the team so far this year, but I am looking forward to the start of the European season in San Marino. Imola is a good track to drive, and the Tifosi certainly make for an enthusiastic and interesting atmosphere! There is limited overtaking though, the best chance is probably through the Tosa hairpin, however the two chicanes along the Tamburello on the approach have made it more tricky. Now we are back in Europe, the races are likely to be cooler and Imola itself often sees wet/dry races, which can lead to exciting on-track action."

Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula One, Team McLaren Mercedes

"There has been significant discussion in the media regarding our start to the season, however the most important point to make is that we are fully focused on our development programme and improving our competitiveness."

"In the three week gap since Bahrain we have completed two intensive test sessions. David Alex and Pedro were at Barcelona in the week following the Grand Prix, with Kimi joining them last week at Paul Ricard in the South of France. We completed over 4500 kms in total over the two sessions, with work taking place on improving various aspects of the cars performance."

"We now move to San Marino for the start of the European season. Due to the long, fast straights that are broken by the chicanes and corners, Imola is characteristically tough on brakes."

Norbert Haug, Vice president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"The Imola circuit features a combination of fast sections, tight chicanes and slow corners which are hard on the brakes. More than 60 per cent of a lap is run under full throttle. In Imola our first target has to be to finish the race and everybody in the team is focused on improving reliability and speed of our package. The reasons for the engine failures in Bahrain have been thoroughly investigated. On Friday a failure of an inlet valve damaged Kimi's engine. The reason for his engine failure in the race was a piston cooling jet not functioning properly. David had to retire from the race with seven laps to go due to a loss of pneumatic pressure."

-mclaren-

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