Brazilian GP: McLaren preview
31 October, 2010
Oct.31 (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) Team and drivers preview the forthcoming Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, Round 18 and penultimate round of the 2010 Formula World Championship.
“The Brazilian Grand Prix is a special race for me because it’s where I won the world championship last year. This will be the first time I’ve been back since then, so I’m really looking forward to it. Interlagos is an incredible racetrack – a place where you can race hard, where all your mistakes are punished and where you’re really rewarded for attacking. I think our package will be well suited to this circuit. When I was here last year I learnt an important lesson: I qualified 14th while my team-mate put his car on pole – but when I thought it was almost all over, I threw caution to the wind and drove one of the most attacking, best drives of my F1 career. And that’s something that I’ll be taking with me into this weekend, when I know I’ll not only need a strong result, but also to rely on others failing to score to keep me in the hunt for the championship. Given the points situation, I know that I face an uphill struggle to hold on to the world title, but I’ll be giving it everything I’ve got this weekend to stay in contention. I fought hard to become the 2009 world champion, and I won’t give up my title without a fight.”
“I always seem to have a unique experience at Brazil. In my first year in Formula 1, I battled past a load of cars but could only finish seventh, losing out on the world championship. The following year, I had another tricky race, but managed to take fifth position on the final lap to win the world title. Last year, we got qualifying wrong, I started 17th and used KERS to boost my way up to third in one of the best races of my career. I guess what I’m saying is that I’d like a nice, straightforward race this year! We go to Brazil knowing that we may not have the fastest car, but we’ll have a decent package that should work well. We have a strong engine and good straightline speed, so I think we’ll still be quick – crucially, that combination should give us the opportunity to pass into the first corner, which is probably the best overtaking spot on the track. I know the world championship is figuring in everybody’s thoughts at the moment, but I’m not thinking about it too much: I need to get a good result in Brazil to take the fight to Abu Dhabi, so that’s my priority. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a very tight battle.”
Martin Whitmarsh, Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“We’re now reaching the critical climax of this year’s world championship. With the two final races spread just one week apart, and five drivers still in the hunt for overall honours, it’s a fascinating and thrilling prospect for our sport. If Formula 1 has taught us competitors one thing over the past couple of years, it’s to never give up hope until the odds are no longer possible, and that the most unexpected outcome can become a very real and viable possibility sooner than you can readily imagine. With that in mind, we go to Brazil, and then on to Abu Dhabi, still determined to wrest both world championships. Lewis is well-placed in the drivers’ championship. While Jenson lies 42 points adrift, he has vowed to fight on. As the reigning world champion, and a great driver, he knows better than most that you can’t lift the title without being a resolute fighter. That’s exactly why we hired him, and we’ll be supporting him fully this weekend. As for the constructors’ championship, we’re only 27 points off the top spot – a very slender margin, and one that both Jenson and Lewis are convinced we can bridge by the time the chequered flag falls in Abu Dhabi. We’re ready for battle and working harder than ever to win both world championships.”