Raikkonen targets victory at Silverstone

Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren-Mercedes are heading into the British Grand Prix hoping to make up ground on championship leader Michael Schumacher after a confidence-boosting test in Barcelona last week

Raikkonen targets victory at Silverstone

The team could only manage fourth and fifth places for Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard in the last race at the French Grand Prix, significantly, behind rivals BMW Williams and Michael Schumacher's Ferrari. But after last week's test it now believes it can fight for victory.

"Following the French Grand Prix, we conducted a comprehensive and positive test programme at Barcelona last week, continuing the development programme of the MP4-17D and MP4-18," said managing director Martin Whitmarsh. "We are now looking forward to our home grand prix at Silverstone, where we believe we have the potential to challenge for victory and we are all working to try and achieve this objective."

Raikkonen lost out to Schumacher in the final round of pit stops at Magny-Cours, and with an eight-point deficit to the Ferrari driver, the Finn can ill-afford to finish behind the German again this weekend. "Of course it was frustrating not to finish on the podium at the French Grand Prix having held third position for the majority of the race," said Raikkonen, "but unfortunately that was not possible.

"The team has been working hard since then, at the test in Barcelona and the factory, to try and ensure we can challenge for a top three position at the British Grand Prix. The race is obviously more important for me now as it is the home race for the team."

McLaren's record at Silverstone is enviable having won the race three times in the last four years. "McLaren has actually won more British Grands Prix than any other constructor," said Whitmarsh, "with a total of 12 that began 30 years ago with Peter Revson.

"In the 36 events that the team has competed in to date, we have secured points finishes in all but one, 23 of these were podiums. That is a record we are looking to continue this year."

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