Spain preview quotes: McLaren
|Wednesday, May 10th 2006, 14:00 GMT|
Kimi Raikkonen: "Over the weekend at the Nurburgring the car was definitely improving, and I am looking forward to getting straight back on track in Spain, to try and continue to find more pace. The Circuit de Catalunya is a very quick track, not in the same way as say Monza that is all about power, it is because there are a lot of fast corners that keep you flowing the whole way round.
"This does mean though that you can lose a bit of downforce when you are close behind another car through the quick corners and this can make it quite difficult to pass. The aerodynamics of cars are tested the most here, so set-up is crucial. This can be quite tricky as it can be quite windy on track and something that worked really well in the morning doesn't always work as well in the afternoon."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "It wasn't the best race for me in Europe, but that is racing and you have to move on. There has traditionally been quite high levels of tyre degradation at the Circuit de Catalunya, this was less last year with the resurfacing, but over the course of the past twelve months it has returned to being fairly abrasive. With all the super fast corners there are big loadings on the tyres, so tyre wear is still a consideration, particularly the front left.
"We have worked hard with Michelin in preparation for the race, and final selection between the prime and option will be our main focus in the early part of the weekend. I have tested at the Circuit de Catalunya for seven days since the start of the year, providing useful data.
"The Michelin tyre selection process for the race started in early April when we were testing at the track and we completed it at Silverstone a couple of weeks ago. Overtaking here is not easy and to do it having good traction out of the corners is a must, there is one chance, as you can slipstream along the main straight and then try to overtake at the first corner."
Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula One: "The European Grand Prix demonstrated that we are in a ferociously competitive Championship, and Team McLaren Mercedes has to push forward to find the extra pace we need to challenge for victories. The Spanish Grand Prix sees us race at a demanding circuit that necessitates optimum performance form the entire MP4-21.
"The Circuit de Catalunya is a very changeable track to run on, whether it is the wind affecting the aero efficiency or the temperature changing having a significant impact on grip levels."
Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "Barcelona is the circuit which all teams know best, because it's the test track they use the most. Since the beginning of this year all teams together completed about 54000 kilometres in total here and with more than 6500 kilometres we are by far not the team which tested the most. The circuit is characterised by sweeping and mainly fast corners and a long front straight.
"About 62 percent of a lap will be run under full throttle. This track is the most demanding of all circuits in terms of a car's aerodynamic efficiency and is considered the yardstick for the competitiveness of a technical package for the entire season."