McLaren Prepares For Magny-Cours
Topics: McLaren, French Grand Prix
June 28, 2007
After a one-two finish at the United States Grand Prix, McLaren is looking to extend their dominance at the French Grand Prix. They currently lead the constructors’ championship with 106 points - 35 points ahead of second place Ferrari. After staging the races around metropolitan areas in both Canada and the United States, the next race will be held in a more laid back track in terms of its location.
The Circuit de Nevers in Magny-Cours is found on the countryside of Magny-Cours and Nevers. This year’s race will be the last one to be held on the said circuit according to Formula One president and Chief Executive Officer Bernie Ecclestone.
Fernando Alonso, the double world champion will be going into the French Grand Prix trailing his teammate Lewis Hamilton by ten points in the standings. But the Spaniard said in a statement last week that the race for the championship is only about to start. One of the advantages that Alonso has over Hamilton going into the race is his familiarity with the tracks and how it suits his driving style.
“I have always liked racing at this track, when you hear people talk about circuits that are technical, Magny-Cours is definitely one of them,” said Alonso. “It is important to have good speed in the slow corners as they tend to lead onto long straights. You have to have good mechanical set-up for the corners and the same with traction for the exits. My favorite sections of the track are the two high speed chicanes at the back of the circuit. We go through them at speeds of up to 200km/h, which is very fast for a chicane; very special to drive through and unique in Formula 1.”
To prepare for the upcoming race, the Spaniard has attended the tests at the Silverstone Circuit. “Since the United States Grand Prix, I joined the test team at Silverstone for a day. We completed some key programs as everyone in the team pushes hard to develop performance.”
As for Hamilton, racing in the Mercedes-Benz tail light lens -less MP4-22 at the Circuit de Nevers will be a first time. Nevertheless, he has raced at the track and will be looking to perform well. The rookie sensation pointed out that he has been training for the race on Sunday. “For the past week I have been spending time at the McLaren Technology Centre working with the engineering team and catching up on some training and I participated in an event for Vodafone in London on Thursday,” said Hamilton.
“Now I just want to get back out on track. My aims remain the same, to take it race by race and keep focused on scoring good points for myself and the team.”
Martin Whitmarsh, the team’s CEO. is looking to extend their lead over Ferrari and the rest of the pack. “We have a fight on our hands to maintain, and ideally extend, the lead we have in the Constructors' World Championship and the Drivers' table with both Fernando and Lewis,” said Whitmarsh. “Ferrari and BMW are not standing still; our job within the team is to keep providing Fernando and Lewis with a car capable of winning. There is no complacency and the motivation is considerable.”
The French Grand Prix will be held this Sunday, on the first of July.
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