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Whitmarsh: Tyre management key to win British GP at Silverstone


By Berthold Bouman

Tyre management is going to be the key to win the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, according to McLaren’s Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh. “The team that best manages the performance delta of the tyres is the one best placed to win, and to do that you have to take every opportunity to gather data and learn from it quickly and effectively. Today, Grands Prix are no longer sprint races that are won or lost on the first lap,” explained the McLaren boss.

Jenson Button, McLaren

“While that means hard work for us and for our rivals, it is excellent news for the fans in the grandstands and for those watching at home. It means excitement from beginning to end, and that is what Formula One must continue to offer,” said the Briton. Whitmarsh is looking forward to McLaren’s home Grand Prix, “This is our home race and we approach it, as ever, determined to win. I genuinely expect the British Grand Prix to be an unmissable spectacle.”

The race at Valencia didn’t go particular well for McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. Hamilton crashed two laps shy of the finish line after an incident with Williams’ Pastor Maldonado and finished 19th, while Button encountered several problems on his way to the finish line but managed to score four points with his eighth place.

However, Button is certain the recent progress McLaren made, will help him to improve his performance. “We’ve been making progress in a lot of areas and while I wasn’t able to show that in terms of the result at Valencia, our strategy was fine and the car improved throughout the race.”

Like other British drivers, Button is looking forward to race on home soil,” This has been an incredibly unpredictable season, but at least it’s a little easier to predict that Silverstone will once again be packed and that all the British drivers are going to get a lift from the energy the fans bring. I always enjoy racing at home because the atmosphere is unbeatable, and while the race itself hasn’t always been too kind to me, I come here every year knowing I can count on the support of the many thousands of fans.”

Hamilton lost a lot of ground to his rivals Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, he is currently in third place of the Drivers’ Championship, but has already forgotten about the incident with Maldonado and the 2008 World Champion is ready to roll again.

“Obviously it was frustrating to lose out so close to the finish, but that’s motor racing: you put it behind you and move on to the next race — which, happily for me, is at my home circuit of Silverstone,” said Hamilton. “It doesn’t really alter the way I go racing because I race to win, and that’s what I’ll be doing, especially at my home grand prix. The British Grand Prix is special because I get a massive boost from all the fans. To me, winning at Silverstone is right up there with winning at Monaco!”

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