Spanish GP: McLaren preview

The Spanish Grand Prix, round five of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship, takes place this weekend at Barcelona's Circuit de Cataluyna. The track, which is located some 30 minutes from the centre of the city, has hosted the Spanish event...

The Spanish Grand Prix, round five of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship, takes place this weekend at Barcelona's Circuit de Cataluyna. The track, which is located some 30 minutes from the centre of the city, has hosted the Spanish event since 1991.

David Coulthard:

"Again it wasn't an ideal result for us in Imola and I am obviously not where I want to be in the Championship, but we are working hard as a team to improve our competitiveness in all areas. As with most of the drivers, I enjoy the Spanish Grand Prix, the atmosphere is always very enthusiastic and the track is great to drive."

"It has a layout that usually leads to exciting racing, with corners such as the right of Repsol where you have quite a lot of speed going into the turn, but have to brake late to get a good time and the fast sweeps of Renault. The first corner, which is located at the end of the mile long start-finish straight is also fairly key."

"There have been a number of modifications to the circuit since last year's event, with the most significant the re-profiling at La Caixa. There is now a sharper left turn with a short straight cutting through what was previously in infield, and back to the previous circuit. This replaces the long sweeping curve and has been designed to encourage overtaking."

Kimi Raikkonen:

"Despite my first points finish of the season at the San Marino Grand Prix, we still have some way to go as we want to be at the front of the grid. It will take time, but everybody is working hard towards this. The Barcelona track is probably the circuit where all the teams test the most during the year, this of course helps with set-up for the race during the free practice sessions."

"The Circuit de Catalunya is an interesting track to drive and another that I enjoy due to the range of corners, right and left handers, long sweeps and tight turns, and the super-quick straight, which sees us reach speeds of some 310kph/190mph. The circuit is quite challenging physically, as the fast corners mean your body is under pressure for most of the lap."

Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula One, West McLaren Mercedes:

"Our performance at Imola demonstrated we still have some distance to go to get to the level we expect from the team, but we are fully aware of the challenge. As always we are working in a focused manner as a team to continue to improve our package and are confident that we will, but we are aware that it will take some time. As part of this, we tested some new developments to our package at Silverstone last week that we will bring online for the Spanish Grand Prix. Despite limited running at the test, we have made enough progress to take these developments to Spain."

Norbert Haug, Vice president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"The Barcelona circuit is a technically very challenging track. A combination of long straights with quick and tight corners makes the Catalunya Circuit one of the most demanding for a Formula One car. The Spanish Grand Prix will be another very difficult race for our team and the clear objective is to make a step forward in comparison to the San Marino Grand Prix a fortnight ago."

-mclaren-

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