2009 European GP, practice: McLaren quotes 

Written by Nick on August 21st, 2009 at 5:15 pmLast Update: August 21st, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Martin Whitmarsh: “As a team, we enjoy this circuit – it’s a unique, demanding challenge for the drivers, engineers and mechanics. Unfortunately, Lewis witnessed the unforgiving nature of this place when he grazed the wall at the start of P2 – it was only a light touch but it was enough to break part of the nosecone we’d brought for this race. For the team, that breakage also tells another story: as with all the teams, the factory shutdown presented us with a number of challenges – one of which was preparing sufficient spares for this weekend. Sadly, we didn’t have enough parts to enable Lewis to complete this afternoon’s session – but that’s also a legacy of our intense and aggressive development strategy, which has seen us relentlessly bring new parts to the track as soon as they are manufactured. In this instance, more spares will arrive tonight and will be fitted ready for tomorrow. Despite this incident, we’re still encouraged by the pace demonstrated by both drivers today – and once again go into tomorrow’s sessions gearing up for another battle at the front.”

Lewis Hamilton: “I touched the wall, but didn’t even really feel the impact. I only grazed the front wing – but, unfortunately, it couldn’t be repaired as we didn’t have a spare one. Hopefully, we can get a new one for tomorrow, or else we’ll have to make some changes – we don’t have lots of these wings available. I didn’t feel too happy with the car this morning, but the changes we made between the sessions were very positive. On my last lap, I was six tenths up and it was already looking quite good, so I feel positive for Saturday. It’s a shame we missed out on so much track-time, but I still think we’ll be okay tomorrow – that time can always be regained.”

Norbert Haug: “Not an ideal start to the weekend with Lewis unfortunately damaging his car on his second timed lap in P2. The spin slightly damaged his front wing, and, since there are no spares yet for this brand new part, it meant the end of his session. Heikki had to run without his KERS hybrid working due to a technical problem which cost him both track time and lap time. We’ll be in much better shape tomorrow and on Sunday.”

Heikki Kovalainen: “I am quite satisfied with my day’s running. We ran exactly the programme that we’d planned and the car feels pretty good. For me, this has been a much better start to my weekend than in Hungary and I feel like we’re in good shape. The pace at the front is very close, but I think we’re in the hunt. We now go into tomorrow fully focused on getting a good result.”

source: McLaren Mercedes

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