McLaren Confident Of Silverstone Updates

Silverstone and the British Grand Prix creates a buzz with its home drivers every season, and Woking-based McLaren will be hoping they can add a driver to the top step of the podium on Sunday. The team has produced four different winners of the race since 1999, including two-time winner David Coulthard. Team Sporting Director Sam Michael, formerly of teams Jordan and Williams, believes that while the upgrades which they are bring to the car will be positive, they won’t bring a sigificant leap forward:

“We’re seeing a step, but I don’t think we’re going to see a massive step,” he said. “With the regulations being so limited aerodynamically, it’s difficult to find a massive step like you could last year. But we do have a few bits aerodynamically and mechanically. There is some stuff which is very exciting so we have bits that should help us around here, but I think even without the extra bits we would have had a pretty good car around here.”

Red Bull’s untouchable speed was the talk of the weekend in Valencia two weeks ago, up until Vettel’s alternator failure which took away an imminent victory. Lewis Hamilton is also sure that should the team’s upgrades work as expected,  then McLaren will be in a position to challenge for the win, even with Red Bull’s form:

“Yeah, we definitely have some upgrades, so I’m really, really excited to see how they behave on the car and if they actually deliver what we think they’re going to deliver. But whether or not… I don’t know if it’s as big as what they brought at the last race, but who knows. I think our car generally goes a little bit better on high-speed circuits than it does at low-speed circuits, so fingers crossed it will be a little bit stronger this weekend.”

Lewis won the British GP for the first and only time in just his second season in Formula One

Hamilton is the last home winner, crossing the line by over a minute ahead of second-placed Nick Heidfeld in 2008. It was a day of torrential rain which saw many fall at the wet and slippery hurdle. After a premature end to his last race day in Valencia following his clash with Pastor Maldonado, he will want to get back on the form which saw him score consistent podiums at the start of the season. With rain expected this weekend, in particular on Friday, Hamilton’s team-mate Jenson Button is worried that fans will see little track running during practice sessions as teams attempt to save tyres in what could be a very wet weekend:

“As far as I can see it’s going to rain all weekend. The problem is we are restricted in tyres we are allocated so I don’t think you are going to see much running if it rains as forecast tomorrow,” said Button on Thursday. “Which is disappointing as we will have a lot of fans here and they are braving it in the rain. We’re not able to put on much of a show. But we’ll do as much as we can without hurting our race weekend.”

Winning your home race is every driver’s dream, but Button’s time in his own land has been more the stuff of nightmares

Button has not enjoyed the same success which fellow Englishmen such as Hamilton and Nigel Mansell prospered from. Since his debut season in 2000, the Frome-born man has failed to make the podium in twelve attempts, meaning even if a victory isn’t forthcoming, a podium would at least break Jenson’s home hoodoo. Despite a victory to kick off his season, 2012 has seen him struggle to keep up with the championship leaders which his team-mate is part of. A strong performance is just what he needs to bring his season back where he wants it.

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