San Marino Preview Quotes: McLaren

Kimi Raikkonen: "The Imola track is fairly technical and can be tough on the cars, which means the car needs to be very well set up. One of the main factors you need to consider in this are the high kerbs. You need to keep the car fairly soft so it rides well over the kerbs without affecting high speed stability or ability to change direction well through the chicanes. To make sure the car is quick through the slower corners, we use a fairly high level of downforce. There will also be much lower temperatures at the San Marino race, which should make conditions a bit easier. It was a positive result for the team in Bahrain and we are aiming to put more points on the board in Imola. Again I would like to pass on my best wishes to Juan Pablo, I hope he is fully recovered from his injuries soon, and all the best to Alex. "

San Marino Preview Quotes: McLaren

Alex Wurz: "I am really happy to have the opportunity to race MP4-20 this coming weekend at Imola. Since joining the team at the end of 2000, I have completed over 70,000 testing kilometres and it will be great to have the chance to actually race a Team McLaren Mercedes car. I am looking forward to getting back to competitive action and hope I can secure a good result for the team. The Imola circuit is all about braking hard and accelerating, with all the chicanes and short straights, which means traction, braking performance and stability under braking are all key. To get a good lap, you need to be aggressive and really attack the kerbs. It goes without saying that I wish Juan Pablo a very speedy recovery."

Pedro de la Rosa: "Although I would of course rather be racing again, after such an exciting Bahrain Grand Prix, I am pleased for Alex that he is also having a chance. We had a productive couple of test sessions building up to this race, completing over 4700 kms overall at the Circuit de Catalunya and Paul Ricard. Our schedule focused on testing various modifications prior to the Grand Prix and also tyre selection with Michelin and damper work. "

Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula One: "It is disappointing that Juan Pablo is not yet fully recovered from the injury he sustained to his shoulder on 26th March, however it is imperative that his shoulder heals properly to ensure no additional risk. We will assess the situation again next week but at this stage we are optimistic he will return for the Spanish Grand Prix as the shoulder is healing well. As Alex is now fully comfortable in the MP4-20, we have taken the decision that he will deputise for Juan Pablo at Imola. We are in the fortunate position of having two very experienced and very competitive drivers in Alex and Pedro. In addition they are both good guys and great team players and we felt it appropriate and fair to provide them both with the opportunity to race."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "Juan Pablo will have to miss the San Marino Grand Prix as he still has to recover from his shoulder injury, which is taking longer than initially predicted. I am convinced that Alex will do a competent job. He really deserves this race and he will have our full support. Alex has covered more than 1700 kilometres in the MP4-20 since he first ran the car during Friday's free practices at Bahrain. He and Kimi will be efficiently supported by Pedro who will be our third driver to drive the MP4-20 on Friday. Obviously the conditions at Imola will be very different from the last race at Bahrain as the ambient and track temperatures will be much lower. However the nature of the circuit, which features a combination of high speed sections interrupted by tight chicanes with high kerbs and slow corners, makes it hard on brakes and heavy on fuel consumption. With the grip level rather low tyre wear should not be a problem with our partner Michelin doing a very competent job by providing us with tyres that were very competitive in extreme conditions in the last two Grands Prix. The Imola circuit is comparatively fast with average lap speeds exceeding 220 kph and more than 60 per cent of a lap are run under full throttle."

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Teams McLaren
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