McLaren-Mercedes: 2009 Monaco Grand Prix preview 

Written by Nick on May 15th, 2009 at 2:14 pmLast Update: May 15th, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Martin Whitmarsh: “Everybody at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is rightfully proud of the team’s reputation around the streets of Monte Carlo. We have won the grand prix for the past two seasons and McLaren has triumphed here an unprecedented 15 times – more than any other Formula 1 team. As a result, we go into the race with a greater degree of optimism than we went in Barcelona: both Lewis and Heikki enjoy this circuit and we feel MP4-24 will be a more competitive proposition around the streets of the principality.”

Lewis Hamilton: “Monaco is my favourite circuit. The sensation you get from racing up the hill at 175mph, trying to make as straight a line as possible between the barriers while just shaving them with the walls of the tyres is unbelievable – the best sensation you could ever have in a Formula 1 car. There’s an expectation that Monaco will be another good circuit for our car package because the combination of low-speed corners and absence of any really fast stuff should suit MP4-24. I really hope so because it would be fantastic to have a competitive car and to be fighting at the front again.”

Norbert Haug: “The Monaco Grand Prix is certainly the most classic race on the calendar of the Formula 1 World
Championship and the one that gets the broadest audience worldwide. Monaco is thrilling each and every year and everybody involved in Formula 1 has to be proud that this prestigious event is part of our campaign. Our track record in the principality looks good – since our first victory in 1998, we have won there on six of 11 occasions, an achievement which makes this circuit obviously one of our favourites. Our results have not been strong lately so we all will be very focused in Monaco in order to create an upwards trend.”

Heikki Kovalainen: “I really enjoy driving on street circuits and I’m optimistic that we’ve got a good package for Monaco. Although the results don’t show it, because I was forced to start from the pitlane, I had a very strong race here last year and charged up from the back to finish eighth. Hopefully, I’ll have an easier race this year! We will be using KERS in Monaco and one of the questions will be whether we’ll actually be able to use it to get past other cars – as usual, KERS will be a benefit for us, but anything can happen in Monte Carlo. Coming off the back of a disappointing race in Spain last week, I’m more determined than ever to get a strong result under my belt.”

source: McLaren Mercedes

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