Monday, 27 October 2014

McLaren Mercedes United States Grand Prix Preview

(McLaren Mercedes)

The McLaren Mercedes Formula One team head to his weekend's United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas having extended their advantage over the Sahara Force India Formula One Team last time out in Russia to 20 points as they are in fifth place in the Constructors championship on 143 points.

The Woking based outfit have seen a improvement in their on track performances having scored 32 points in the last two races which compares to just six points scored by their main rivals the Sahara Force India F1 Team.

Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen head to the United States waiting to hear what their Formula One futures hold as the team have confirmed that they won't make an announcement about their 2015 driver line-up until the build up to the season finale in Abu Dhabi at the end of November. The team head to the Circuit of the Americas with a great record here having won the inaugural race there in 2012 with Lewis Hamilton while last season they finished in 7th place for Sergio Perez and 10th for Jenson Button.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's race in Austin Texas, McLaren racing director Eric Boullier commented by saying:

'Off the back of our improved pace in Russia, the whole team is looking forward to returning to Austin after a three-week break. It’s a very popular track that’s already made its mark on the Formula 1 calendar, and the drivers and team personnel alike really enjoy going there. The organisation of the event and the facilities at Austin are very impressive, and both races since its opening have been a success.

“As we move closer to the end of the season we’re continuing the development of our car, working flat-out to extract the maximum performance from our package as each race goes by. Our result in Sochi gave us increased confidence, and we come to Austin with the firm intention of building on this recent form with a strong finish for the team and boosting our points buffer over Force India in the Constructors’ standings.
“Of course, though, it goes without saying that, despite everything, our thoughts and prayers are firmly with Jules Bianchi and his family as we await news on his condition..'
Jenson Button heads to the US Grand Prix having finished the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi in fourth place. Speaking ahead of the race, the 2009 world champion stated:
'It’ll be good to get to Austin after the three-week break. I really enjoy this circuit; a great mix of a high-speed straight and really fast, technical sections to get your teeth into. It’s also one of the few circuits that run anti-clockwise, which makes it a little bit more of a challenge.
“Although this is only our third grand prix in Austin, it feels like we’ve been going there a lot longer. It’s testament to the fans, who are fantastic and always provide a great welcome, and it’s already a very popular track amongst the drivers.
“I’ve had positive results there over the past two years, and our performance in recent races has shown that our pace is improving as we move towards the end of the season, so I’m looking forward to this weekend. Perhaps this track won’t suit us quite as well as Sochi did, but it’s a similar circuit in terms of set-up so I’m hopeful we can take the fight to our closest rivals. As usual, we’ll be pushing to get the maximum out of our car and secure a strong finish for the team in front of the passionate US fans.'
Kevin Magnussen goes to Austin for the first time following his best result since the season opening Australian Grand Prix as last time out in Russia he finished the race in 5th place. Speaking ahead of the race the Dane stated:
'I’m really intrigued by this circuit; it’s already become one of the drivers’ favourites and the mix of high-speed corners and elevation changes makes it a really exciting challenge. Although this will be my first time driving on the track here in Austin, I’ve driven it in the simulator and many of the corners have similarities to corners on other great circuits. Turns Three, Four and Five are very like the fast Maggotts-Becketts section at Silverstone, for example, which I know well, so I’m really looking forward to getting out on track in the car.
“The track has a very long, fast back straight but also lots of complex, high-speed corners, so this weekend the focus will be on finding the best balance and set-up compromise with my engineers as soon as we get started. I’ve also heard a lot about the famous ‘Austinite’ welcome – the fans in the US are always really enthusiastic so there should be a great atmosphere.
“In Russia we battled hard and came away with a positive result, so despite the three-week break I’m determined to carry that momentum into Austin and hit the ground running, so that we can secure another decent performance for the team.'
© Ben Johnston 2014

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