F1 Valencia - Preview


Woking, United Kingdom, Aug 17, 2009

Lewis Hamilton
“It’s great to be getting back to business after the four-week break. I’m still buzzing from the win in Hungary and I’m hopeful of being able to carry that pace into the Valencia weekend – particularly with our new upgrades to the car. It’s a very demanding circuit, the kind of place that punishes any mistakes hard. It’s quite tight and relatively slow, so it should suit our package. It’s also very difficult to overtake, as we discovered last year – but, with our KERS, Mercedes-Benz has proved that anything can happen and I’m once again hoping that it will provide the difference in the race.”

Heikki Kovalainen
“Having driven the fully updated car for the first time in Hungary last month, it was very encouraging to be able to feel just how much progress the team has made developing MP4-24. We’ve now got a car that’s much easier to drive on the limit, and which really rewards your input. So I’m really looking forward to the European Grand Prix, which, while it won’t suit us as strongly as the Hungaroring, should be another strong opportunity for us to score some more points.”

“After the summer break, I think the whole team is really looking forward to the second half of the season. We’re all refreshed and united. I think there’s a lot of potential for the remaining races.”

Martin Whitmarsh
Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“While the summer break has meant we’ve had four weeks to enjoy Lewis’s victory in Budapest, it’s very important that we are able to maintain that winning momentum into this weekend’s race. Fortunately, I we have made a structured effort to bring further improvements to the car in Spain and the whole team has been buoyed by that win and is really looking forward to another strong set of results this weekend. I’ve no doubts that we’ll certainly hit the ground running on Friday.

“The grand prix also marks the 250th race of our team Partnership with Mercedes-Benz, it is pleasing to have reached this important milestone off the back of a win and we are all focused on continuing this form here in Valencia.”

Norbert Haug
Vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“Last year, the race in Valencia had been held for the first time and it is a welcome addition of the Formula 1 venues worldwide. The European Grand Prix is already the 250th one for McLaren and Mercedes since the beginning of the co-operation in 1995.”

“The street circuit in Valencia is not considered to be the most challenging one for the drivers; however, just this kind of track can turn out to be even trickier. We finished last year’s premiere with Lewis Hamilton’s second place and will try this year to adhere to our form of Hungary. Despite Lewis’s victory there we don’t regard ourselves as favourites yet.”


To showcase Johnnie Walker’s successful Join The Pact initiative in Spain, both Lewis and Heikki’s race helmets will prominently feature the names of two lucky Pact signatories – drawn at random from over 50,000 Spanish entries.

A photo opportunity, where the winners’ names and the special helmets will be revealed by both race drivers and McLaren third driver Pedro de la Rosa, will take place at the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Brand Centre on Thursday afternoon at 12:30.

Full details at www.jointhepact.com

McLaren at the European Grand Prix…

10 years ago (September 26 1999)

Chaos at the Nürburgring. Johnny Herbert took a sensational first (and only) Formula 1 victory for Stewart Grand Prix on a wet and slippery day that saw only 10 cars scramble to the finish line. The race had been led by Heinz-Harald Frentzen’s Jordan until the German’s car mysteriously expired after a pitstop. David Coulthard led the race for McLaren-Mercedes before spinning off. World champion Mika Hakkinen survived the deluge to take fifth.

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

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