F1 Nurburgring - Preview


Woking, United Kingdom, Jul 03, 2009

Lewis Hamilton
“The last time we raced at the Nürburgring was in 2007, and I remember I had a tough afternoon battling through from the back of the field to finish just outside the points. It’s a fantastic circuit, a little older than a lot of the current tracks we currently visit and with quite a different feel to what we’re used to: it’s fast and flowing with some good spots for overtaking. And it’s in a fantastic part of the world too; deep in the forests of western Germany, where the fans seem to live and breathe Formula 1. It’s always an amazing party atmosphere whenever we race in Germany.”

“While we aren’t expecting any major upgrades for this weekend, I’m still looking forward to the race. It’s an honour to be part of the Silver Arrows and, while our results haven’t recently shown it, we’re still pushing incredibly hard and are all hopeful of moving closer to the front before the end of this difficult season.”

Heikki Kovalainen
“The Nürburgring is a great circuit. It’s got a variety of different corners – some quite tricky, technical sections that need a good flowing rhythm and some faster bends, where the car needs to be well set up. Cresting the rise through the uphill esses after the hairpin just feels fantastic in a Formula 1 car. Coming to Germany is the perfect time to pay tribute to the efforts of everyone at Mercedes-Benz. Their engines are probably the most powerful and most reliable in the sport and their KERS is also fantastic. Mercedes-Benz has played such a big role in the success of our team, so I’m really hoping to have a strong race in front of all our supportive fans at our second home race of the season. Myself, Lewis and the rest of the team are working hard to develop this car – it’s a long process, but we are all pulling together and we’re hopeful of making some further steps soon.”

Martin Whitmarsh - Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“The Santander German Grand Prix is our team’s second home race of the year. Having had such a fantastic and close relationship with Mercedes-Benz for 15 years means we meet many old friends in Germany and we really enjoy the fantastic support we receive – not only from the many thousands of Mercedes-Benz employees who attend the race, but also from the hugely vocal crowd that always plays such a large part in making the atmosphere at a German racetrack so unique.”

“While we can’t expect to match our previous record in Germany, where we’ve won the race for the past two seasons, we’re still pushing hard to develop MP4-24 into a more competitive proposition. Make no mistake, we’re hugely proud of having the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star on the front of our cars – and nothing would make us prouder than getting back to the front again as soon as we possibly can.”

Norbert Haug - Vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“We finished the previous grand prix at the Nürburgring in 2007 as winners, as well as last year’s Santander German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. This year, we will start without a chance of winning, because our work of improving the car did not bring the desired success. Therefore, we have to continue working extremely hard.”

“At the Nürburgring, the Silver Arrows were born and we will commemorate their 75th anniversary with a parade on the racetrack and an exhibition at the paddock entrance to present their unique history to every Nürburgring visitor as well as to the world’s TV viewers.”

McLaren at the German Grand Prix…

10 years ago (August 1 1999)

Mika Hakkinen took pole position and looked set for victory at Hockenheim before a dramatic puncture pitched him into the barriers at 190mph. David Coulthard finished fifth in a race that was also notable for Ferrari debutant Mika Salo’s impressive pace – the Finn looked set for victory until ceding the lead to team-mate Eddie Irvine.

20 years ago (July 30 1989)

Pole position, fastest lap and victory for the almost indomitable Ayrton Senna in the McLaren Honda MP4/5. Team-mate Alain Prost locked out the front row for McLaren and went on to finish runner-up. Nigel Mansell finished third for Ferrari – over a minute adrift.

30 years ago (July 29 1979)

Another disappointing race during a season of low fortune for McLaren’s ground-effect M29 car. John Watson brought some cheer to the team by finishing fifth after qualifying 12th. Team-mate Patrick Tambay started 15th but retired on lap 30 with suspension problems.

40 years ago (August 3 1969)

Denny Hulme (M7A) and Bruce McLaren (M7C) headed up the two-car works entry while Vic Elford ran a privately entered M7B. Despite qualifying the slowest of the three in eighth, Bruce came home third at the flag. Neither Denny nor Vic made the finish.

Copyright © 2009, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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