McLaren determined to narrow the gap during German GP at Hockenheim
By Berthold Bouman
After a very disappointing British Grand Prix, McLaren is determined to narrow the gap to their opponents and are fully concentrating on the last two races before the summer break.
“After Silverstone, our focus immediately turned to Hockenheim, which, along with the Hungaroring in Budapest, will bring the curtain down on the first half of the season at the end of the month. There is a huge resolve within the operation to ensure that our aggressive development strategy is upheld across the summer: we are determined to narrow the gap to the championship leaders before the start of the summer break,” Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh said ahead of the German Grand Prix.
He’s looking forward to the race, “We have many happy memories of racing in Germany with our friends at Mercedes-Benz. This year, while we remain rivals on the track, I’m sure there will be opportunity to catch up with old friends and enjoy some famous Mercedes-Benz hospitality.”
Jenson Button agrees it is time to score points the next two weekends, “The final back-to-back before we head into the summer break will be important for the whole team: coming off the back of a couple of disappointing weekends, it’s important that we capitalise on the opportunities available in Germany and Hungary.”
However, Button, who had a very difficult season, doesn’t know whether McLaren will score better at the Hockenheimring, and he declared, “Performance-wise, I still think it’s difficult to accurately predict where we stand in the competitive order — Valencia and Silverstone were certainly difficult races for us, but I don’t think they were truly representative of our pace.”
Hockenheim will be Lewis Hamilton’s 100th Grand Prix, and he commented, “It’s always been a regret of mine that I arrived in Formula One too late to race on the classic, old Hockenheim layout, where the track disappeared for miles into the forests and was only broken up by a couple of relatively high-speed chicanes.”
But he still enjoys the new track layout, “It’s a place that’s built for racing: the hairpin at the end of the back straight is a classic overtaking spot, and the whole layout seems to make it more inviting for a following car to attempt an overtake. This is the first time we’ve been to Hockenheim since introducing DRS, too, so it should make for an even more exciting race.”
McLaren is currently fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, 74 points behind leader Red Bull. Hamilton is fourth in the Drivers’ Championship with 92 points, while Button is eighth with 50 points.
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