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British GP: Preview - McLaren

NEWS STORY
11/07/2017

Fernando Alonso: "Silverstone is a racetrack that I enjoy coming back to year after year. Everyone knows it as a real driver's track, with an incredible history and amazing support from the fans, so it's a special weekend for every driver. For a McLaren driver, it's even more special, and the reception we get from the British fans is always fantastic.

"I really enjoy the challenge of this circuit, and a good result there always feels like its well-deserved, because it's a tricky track and a tough race. I hope we will have more luck at our home race than we did last weekend in Austria - it was an unfortunate incident and I hope we can bounce back, fight hard as always, and see what we can do in the race.

"The characteristics of the Silverstone circuit are high-speed, but also high-grip, and I'm excited to see how this year's cars perform on this track - especially on the faster sections of the circuit. Let's see if we can maximise the strengths of our car in the corners and fight for the best possible result for the team. It's important that we can stay out of trouble at the start, and have good reliability throughout the weekend so that we can build momentum in every session leading up to the race."

Stoffel Vandoorne: "I'm really looking forward to going to the British Grand Prix for the first time as part of a British team. At McLaren Honda, we are lucky that we receive amazing support from fans all over the world, but I know that the atmosphere at Silverstone is extra special. I've raced in the UK a number of times and I spend a lot of time there with the team, so it does feel like a second home to me now.

"The track is really fun to drive - very fast and tricky in places, especially at the start of the lap, and then the last sector with its infield section requires a different set of skills and a stable, responsive car. I'm looking forward to seeing how our car behaves, particularly in those sections, and hopefully we can stand our ground against our nearest rivals.

"I've stood on the Silverstone podium twice in GP2 and it was a great feeling. I hope I can have a positive weekend there again and have a smooth run up to Sunday, so we can maximise the package that we have. I feel comfortable in the car and we're definitely making progress, so the aim is to be able to show that in front of the loyal fans and make the most of the weekend."

Eric Boullier: "For obvious reasons, the British Grand Prix is one of the stand-out races of the season for everyone at McLaren Honda, and not only because we are a British team. From a fan perspective, it means incredible enthusiasm and support, huge crowds and a passionate audience, the like of which we don't often see at any other venue.

"The Silverstone racetrack is also the stuff of legends, with its infamous corners - Copse, Becketts, Stowe - and it's a circuit that has tested many a champion and delighted fans with its epic racing. It's tough, too: high-speed, challenging, and very demanding on both the car and the driver - especially with the 2017 cars, which promise to look spectacular around this track.

"While it won't be the easiest of circuits on which we will put the MCL32 to the test, we are immensely looking forward to the typically awesome atmosphere that enjoy every year at Silverstone from the relentlessly vocal and passionate British fans, who never fail to lift us and carry us through the weekend. We will work as hard as ever, and we hope to put on a good show for our loyal fans, colleagues, partners and guests alike."

Yusuke Hasegawa: "The British Grand Prix marks the half way point of the season, and is one of the highlights on the Formula 1 calendar. It is one of the oldest and most iconic races, but also one of the most demanding for the team and drivers.

"The layout, with its long straights and high-speed corners, has a great flow to it but puts every area of the car to the test - including the PU. It's long and flat, and fuel and power hungry, so I'm expecting it to be challenging for us. And of course we will have the notoriously unpredictable British weather to contend with too.

"The result in Austria wasn't what we had hoped for or expected, but having said that, we showed some genuine progress which I hope we can continue to build on this weekend. We're as motivated as ever, and working to move forward as quickly as we can.

"Finally, Silverstone will also mark the first of two home grands prix for the McLaren Honda team this season, so we're looking forward to what will be a busy but special weekend. The crowd is always amazing and we expect to have many fans, colleagues and family members watching, so we will do our very best to show them a good race and collect some points in front of the home crowd."

First race: 1950

Previous winners: 2016 Lewis Hamilton, 2015 Lewis Hamilton, 2014 Lewis Hamilton

Silverstone and Formula 1 are inextricably linked. The former airfield hosted the first world championship grand prix in 1950 and it has been a regular fixture on the F1 calendar ever since. It's been re-profiled several times, but it hasn't lost its high-speed character; the fast corners demand the same respect today as they did 67 years ago

Track length: 5.891km/3.660 miles (fourth longest track of the year - longest: Spa-Francorchamps, shortest: Monaco)

2016 pole position: Lewis Hamilton, 1m29.287s

2016 fastest lap: Nico Rosberg, 1m35.548s (lap 44)

Lap record: 1:33.401s (Mark Webber, 2013)

Tyre choice: Red Supersoft, yellow Soft and white Medium - the third time this combination has been used in 2017

Distance to Turn One: 420m/0.261 miles (longest of season: Barcelona 730m/0.454 miles)

Longest straight: 780m/0.485 miles, on the approach to Turn 15 (longest of the season: China, 1.17km/0.727 miles)

Top speed: 320km/h/199mph, on the approach to Turn 15 (fastest of season: Monza, 350km/h/217mph)

Full throttle: 66 per cent (highest of the season: Monza, 75 per cent)

Brakewear: Medium. There are three major braking points around the lap, into Turn Three (Village), Turn Six (Brooklands) and Turn 16 (Vale). One of the biggest challenges for the drivers is getting the brakes to perform when cold, particularly under braking for Vale, when they haven't been used for the previous 45s

Fuel consumption: 2.4kg per lap, which is high

ERS demands: Medium. It's a long lap, with high speeds. But the three major braking areas aid energy recovery

Gear changes: 48 per lap/2496 per race

Laps: 66 laps

Start time: 13:00hrs local / 14:00hrs CET

Grid advantage: Pole position is on the left, the clean side of the grid. It also gives the pole-sitter the racing line into Turn One, a right-hander, which will be taken flat-out at the start if it's dry

DRS: There are two DRS zones, on the approaches to Turns Six (Brooklands) and 16 (Stowe)

Don't put the kettle on: Tyre life will be affected by the increased cornering forces this year, brought about the new technical regulations. But taking last year's race as a reference, Pirelli advised a maximum of 28 laps on the medium tyre and 14 of the 17 finishers comfortably exceeded that. If this year's harder compounds hold up as expected, a one-stop strategy could be possible, on about lap 20

Pitlane length/Pitstops: 489m/0.304 miles (longest of the season). Estimated time loss for a pitstop is 23s, which is relatively long

Safety Car likelihood: There is a 60 per cent chance of a Safety Car. The wide run-off areas give the marshals room to deal with stricken cars, but accidents are usually high-speed, producing lots of debris

Watch out for: Turn Nine, Copse. It's a surprisingly tight right-hander that opens up at the exit, allowing the drivers to carry phenomenal amounts of speed at the apex. With the extra downforce produced by the 2017 cars, it's expected to be flat-in-eighth gear this year with an apex speed of 190mph (306km/h)

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