2009 British GP, practice: McLaren quotes 

Written by Nick on June 19th, 2009 at 6:22 pmLast Update: June 19th, 2009 at 6:22 pm

Norbert Haug: “Lewis today drove without KERS because Silverstone is a circuit where you do not brake too often: you get less of a benefit from the system here than you would on heavy-braking circuits. By way of comparison, Heikki used the system today and our specialists will analyse today’s results and decide whether we choose to continue using the system on his car for the rest of the weekend. Generally, this great circuit with lots of fast corners does not help our cars to be competitive. We need further dramatic improvements to come back to the position where we won five of the last 10 British Grands Prix – the last one in most convincing manner with Lewis last year.”

Lewis Hamilton: “It took a while to get used to the car this morning. It feels a little different from what we’ve been running in previous races. Generally, I’m very happy with the balance but, with a revised car and on a high-speed circuit like this, it takes a bit longer than usual to find the limit. It’s no secret that we’re lacking speed in the faster sections. But the car wasn’t too bad today. The balance was good, we’ve made some set-up changes and it now appears to be fairly consistent. But this has already turned out to be one of the best weekends of the year for me because I’m at my home grand prix and the fans are incredible here – I’ve seen and felt their support from the very first lap I did today.”

Heikki Kovalainen: “Firstly, it’s great to be back at Silverstone because it’s a circuit I love. I got pole position last year and I really enjoy driving here. We know we face a tougher weekend this season because we’re lacking grip, but the balance of the car didn’t feel too bad this morning. As Lewis is running without KERS this weekend, we now have to analyse the balance of both cars and see what we’ll do for the rest of the weekend. We’re definitely making progress. It’s still difficult to say whether it’s an advantage to be running KERS, but I felt I was getting a laptime benefit from the system. This weekend will be all about developing our car and seeing what difference the changes make to both Lewis’s and my pace. The whole team is pushing like crazy and we’re getting a better understanding of our car. Whatever happens, we are definitely going to learn a lot of useful things about the car this weekend.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “We’re fully aware that the characteristics of the Silverstone circuit don’t suit our technical package, but we have taken on an aggressive approach for the weekend, splitting our drivers’ development programmes to more fully understand the nature of the changes we’ve made to each car. We’ll learn some valuable lessons from this approach and are confident that it will pay dividends and allow us to mount an increasingly stronger challenge throughout Saturday and into Sunday’s race.”

source: McLaren Mercedes

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