Italian GP: Preview - McLaren


Jenson Button: "Obviously, my non-finish in Spa wasn't ideal for my championship aspirations, so I head to Monza next weekend determined to put myself back in the hunt for the title.

"Our pace over the whole weekend in Belgium was extremely encouraging - we're developing the car at a very rapid rate, and we're learning more about it all the time, so I'm optimistic that we'll be able to maintain that form in Italy next weekend.

"We still have some work to do to make sure the package we bring to Italy is perfectly suited to the track, but I'm confident that our engineers have made some good steps forward with their understanding of our car, so we should be in good shape.

"I love racing at Monza - it's a totally unique experience; running minimal downforce at incredible speeds along the straights, and then coping with the lack of grip, and an extremely skittish car, through the low-speed stuff. Given the competitiveness at the front of the field, this could be an intense, thrilling grand prix."

Lewis Hamilton: "Our victory in Belgium showed that, as a team, we never give up, and that we'll always bounce back from adversity feeling stronger and more determined than before. This team has such an incredible fighting spirit - we strive to win, and I hope that Spa is only the start of a run of stronger form for us as we head into the final races of the championship.

"I've made no secret of my wish to win this race. Monza is an incredible circuit - full of history and stories from the past. It has a special feeling in the air that you don't find anywhere else in the world. It's a circuit that inspires you to race at your limit, and I'll be pushing hard all weekend.

"Finally, I'm looking forward to meeting the Italian fans this weekend. I pretty much grew up racing karts in Italy, so I've always appreciated and understood the passion and support of the fans for Formula 1, and motorsport in general.

"Even if it's not always obvious, I know that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes does have a deep pocket of support in Italy. So I hope the whole team can have another great race at one of the classic tracks in Formula 1."

Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "Even though, on paper, the Monza circuit's characteristics appear to suit our package, developing a car that performs well on one of the most unique venues on the Formula 1 calendar is no easy job.

"The low-downforce, extreme high-speed nature of Monza demands its own bespoke aero package - and getting that downforce level correct is not as straightforward as it seems. We require a complex number of mechanical and aerodynamic variables to work harmoniously if we are to provide both Jenson and Lewis with front-running machinery this weekend.

"Obviously, Lewis's victory at Spa was perfectly timed, and has substantially motivated the entire workforce ahead of these closing races. After Jenson's unfortunate failure to finish in Belgium, we are determined to reignite his championship push next weekend to get him back into the hunt for the drivers' title.

"It's no secret that there's a tremendous amount of fight in this team - and I'm proud of every single person's efforts to provide us with a winning edge. We know how to win races and world championships, and, clearly, we will once again be pushing for victory this weekend."

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Published: 03/09/2010
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