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Great Britain preview quotes - Caterham, Force India & more 25 Jun 2013

The British drivers who'll be on the grid at Silverstone: (L to R) Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Max Chilton (Marussia), Paul di Resta (Force India) and Jenson Button (McLaren) Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 19 April 2013 Giedo van der Garde (NDL) Caterham F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sepang, Malaysia, Thursday, 21 March 2013 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 13 April 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Preparations, Shanghai, China, Thursday, 11 April 2013 Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Force India Formula One Team Owner.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Qualifying, Saturday, 27 October 2012 Paul Hembery (GBR) Pirelli Motorsport Director with FanVision.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Practice, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Friday, 12 October 2012 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice, Shanghai, China, Friday, 12 April 2013 Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 20 April 2013 Mike Coughlan (GBR) Williams Technical Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 5 October 2012 Remi Taffin (FRA), head of Renault Sport F1 track operations in the Press Conference
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Practice, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday, 2 November 2012 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 15 March 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, 16 March 2013 Eric Boullier (FRA) Lotus F1 Team Principal.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Jerez, Spain, Tuesday, 5 February 2013 Alan Permane (GBR) Lotus F1 Race Engineer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 22 March 2013 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Tom McCullough (GBR) Sauber Head of Track Engineering.
Formula One Testing, Day 4, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 22 February 2013 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 20 April 2013 Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 John Booth (GBR) Marussia Racing Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 7 October 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 22 March 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 14 April 2013 Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 15 March 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix Preparations, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Thursday, 18 April 2013

Round eight of the championship sees the paddock move back across the Atlantic for the 2013 Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix at Silverstone - the home race for the majority of the teams and for drivers Lewis Hamilton, Paul di Resta, Jenson Button and Max Chilton. All of those involved discuss their prospects for the weekend…

Charles Pic, Caterham
2012 Qualifying - DNQ, 2012 Race - 19th

“Next we have our second home race of the season and my second F1 race at Silverstone. I won at Silverstone in Renault World Series a couple of times back in 2008 / 2009 and even though the track was reshaped since then it’s still a circuit I know very well, and one I really enjoy racing on. The British Grand Prix is one of the races, like Canada and Germany, which is a real favourite for the fans. It’s a pretty special feeling seeing how many people are on track on Thursday when the cars aren’t even running! The British fans just love F1 and as the race takes place so close to home for a lot of the guys in the team I know how much it means to them to do well there. For us it’s important to get back to the sort of progress we saw in Bahrain and Spain. We were running well in the race in Monaco until we had to retire the car, but Canada wasn’t a good weekend for us so everyone’s been working extremely hard to help us reverse what we saw in Montreal. Silverstone’s another quick track and it’s usually not too warm, but we’re doing a lot of work on setups and the session plans at Leafield before we get to the track, in the simulator and with the engineers, so we’re well prepared and I’m confident we can find the increased performance we saw in Barcelona.”

Giedo van der Garde, Caterham
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“Silverstone’s next up and it’ll be another very busy weekend for us. For us, like quite a few of the teams, the British Grand Prix is a home race so it’s one everyone looks forward to. In fact I’m pretty lucky – we have Malaysia and Silverstone as home races for the team and, for me, Spa will also count as a home race as that’ll be where most Dutch fans go, so I get three chances a year to race in front of our biggest supporters! The track itself is obviously one we know really well. I’ve been racing there for many years, I won in 2008 in Formula Renault 3.5 but didn’t have so much luck in the last couple of years in GP2 so the aim is to turn that around, and get back to the progress we saw on track in Spain. We’ve spent a lot of time in the simulator at Leafield around Silverstone and, even with the changes they made to the F1 layout a couple of years ago, I’ve driven a lot of kilometres around there so there’s no surprises. Like everywhere else it’ll be interesting to see how the tyres behave – the track evolves quite a bit over the weekend so we’ll be looking to manage that as well as possible so we have room to play with strategy on Sunday. It’s also going to be a pretty busy weekend outside the cockpit. We have various team partner events throughout the week and then Charles, Cyril and I are heading back to Leafield after quali on Saturday to go and catch up with the factory team and their families. As we’re racing so close to the factory it’s one of the few chances we have in the season when both Charles and I are in the UK together so it’ll be cool to go and see the guys who work so hard back at base and thank them for what they do. Whatever happens on track it’s going to be a good week!”

Paul di Resta, Force India
2012 Qualifying -11th, 2012 Race - DNF

“It’s always a highlight of the year. When I was young I dreamed about coming to Silverstone as a Formula One driver so it’s always a very special weekend. As a venue it’s spectacular with some of the greatest corners of the year and the atmosphere is just incredible. The place is packed all weekend and the buzz from the fans gives you so much energy.

“With the way our car is working these tyres at the moment, we are looking really healthy. I believe this car is the best we've ever had and everyone in the team is working hard to squeeze even more performance from it. The key for Silverstone is to hopefully get three successful days in a row on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That’s what we did in Bahrain and it really paid off. If we can do it at Silverstone, then hopefully we can make a big impact on the race.”

Adrian Sutil, Force India
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“It’s not my top favourite, but it’s a great place to drive a Formula One car. It’s fast and flowing, so it’s quite a big change from Monaco and Canada, but I’m confident that we can go there and perform well. I enjoy the high-speed sections and also the newer start of the lap, which definitely makes it easier to overtake compared to the old layout.

“I will be in the UK for the whole week. There’s a simulator session on Wednesday to prepare for the weekend and I will be spending a lot of time at the factory. It’s a good chance to spend more time with the team members who don’t come to races.”

Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India team principal
“There is always something special about racing at Silverstone. After the Indian Grand Prix, we regard Silverstone as our second ‘home’ race. Our headquarters is just across the road and everyone in the team feels a touch of pride in racing on what we consider ‘our’ turf. It is also a special place, the venue where the very first Formula One world championship race was held and one which can boast some of the most passionate fans in the world.

“Two exciting races in Monaco and Canada have set us up perfectly for this weekend’s event. We celebrated our 100th race in Canada and continued picking up points with both cars. That’s what we need to do if we are to hold on to fifth place in the championship. While I still believe that we are edging ever closer to the podium, we must also focus on consistency and play the long game in the championship, which means scoring points at every race.

“In the past we’ve never had great success at Silverstone, so we are keen to put that right this year. It’s a home race for Paul and I’m sure the whole team can count on lots of support from the British fans. Performance-wise, I expect us to be competitive. We have a couple of small upgrades so I’m optimistic that we can be fighting for our usual position inside the top ten.”

Pirelli
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director

“Silverstone, with its very high average speeds and flowing series of corners, presents an extreme contrast to Canada three weeks ago - which was much more stop and start. Like Canada, it’s a circuit that takes a lot out of the tyres, but for very different reasons. We’ve brought the two hardest compounds to the British Grand Prix because of that, with a new bonding process connecting the tread to the steel belt, which is designed to eliminate the isolated delamination issues: the actual construction of the tyre won’t change, as the teams weren’t able to reach a unanimous agreement about this. However, we do still have that possibility on stand-by should it be required in future. During free practice at Silverstone we will have the same prototype hard tyre available that we tried out on Friday in Spain, aimed at even greater durability than our current hard. This is in order to give the teams the chance to test this new compound on a different track to collect more data. Of course another important factor at Silverstone is the notoriously variable British weather: it would be no big surprise to see the Cinturato Green intermediate and Cinturato Blue full wet brought into play at some point. For that reason, it’s quite hard to predict the number of pit stops on race day. Last year we saw a two-stop strategy in dry conditions after two wet days but this year the compounds are softer, so if it stays dry we could have between three and four stops. We should be in a position to make a more precise forecast after free practice. Finally, and most importantly, we would like to pass on our sincere condolences to Allan Simonsen’s family and friends following the terrible accident at Le Mans last weekend. We were Aston Martin Racing’s partners for many years, and we can only imagine what they must be going through now.”

Pastor Maldonado, Williams
2012 Qualifying - 7th, 2012 Race - 16th

“This weekend has been something that the team have been looking forward to all year and I’m proud to be part of this historic moment. Silverstone also happens to be one of my favourite circuits on the calendar. It has a lot of character and some very iconic corners, and the British fans are always very passionate and knowledgeable. With the track being quick and the temperatures usually low it is easy to grain the front tyres and this is something we will have to manage and consider when deciding on the pit stop strategy. The new part of the track is still very green with less grip which is something you have to bear in mind when behind the wheel. Hopefully we can have a strong weekend and score some points to make the weekend even more memorable for the team.”

Valtteri Bottas, Williams
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“This is going to be a very special weekend for Williams, celebrating 600 races in front of our home fans at a track which has a lot of history for the team and is great fun to drive. Silverstone is a classic racers track - with some very high speed corners which require a lot of downforce in order to be quick through them. I drove in FP1 last year and at the young drivers test so I have experience of driving a Formula One car at Silverstone which is always helpful in getting up to speed quickly. Normally the track is quite tough on the tyres with quite a bit of graining because the temperatures are cool and the track is very demanding. The weather never makes the circuit any easier due to the often rainy and cold conditions, but after our strong qualifying in Canada in wet conditions I’m confident we would handle this well.”

Mike Coughlan, Williams technical director
“This weekend is the Williams F1 Team’s home race and it is always great to be amongst all our fans. It is also one of our most successful races, with ten wins in total for the team in Britain. The new circuit layout, introduced in 2010, has the second highest average speed of any circuit on the calendar, behind Monza, and the average corner speed is the highest of any circuit this season.
Ambient conditions are typically cool which means good engine power and less chance of thermal degradation in the tyres. The track is relatively rough and tyre energy input is high, higher than Barcelona but much more evenly balanced across the left and right hand sides of the car and more towards the front. Longer range forecasts predict a dry and sunny weekend but whatever conditions we meet, we will be pushing hard to continue the development of the FW35.”

Remi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations
“Even with the addition of the new slow loop, Silverstone remains one of the toughest challenges for the engine. A touch over 66 percent of the lap is spent at full throttle in qualifying and the average speed is well over 200km/h. However it is the high speed corners that also challenge the RS27, particularly the sweeping Maggotts-Beckett-Chapel complex. Average speeds through this section are around 250km/h and no lower than 190km/h at any one point, with huge lateral forces put through the car. The oil and fuel systems therefore have to be resilient as the fluids are squashed from side to side, while the engine needs to be smooth to maintain the speed.”

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus
2012 Qualifying - 6th, 2012 Race - 5th

“Silverstone is a more normal circuit and we’ve been okay at every other permanent circuit so far this year. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be back to the positions we should be with this package. We just have to be patient, do our very best over the entire weekend and step-by-step we can start catching the leaders. Silverstone is all about long sweeping high-speed corners and high downforce levels. It’s one of the fastest circuits on the calendar; it’s very challenging and the flowing corners are pretty good fun to drive. Hopefully our new parts will help us; particularly in the faster corners. If that’s the case, it could be a good weekend.

“It’s always such a good feeling going to Silverstone. It’s a great place to race and it has been a good circuit for me since the very beginning of my career. I have a long history there. It was the real base for the start of my international racing career in Formula Renault in 1999 and 2000. Since then I've always enjoyed racing at Silverstone. I don’t know why; there must be this nostalgic feeling that I have every time we go there. When you win in Silverstone, it gives such a good feeling. You have to get everything exactly right. I won there in Formula Renault and then in Formula 1 with Ferrari in 2007. It would be fantastic to win again there, especially with the factory just down the road. I’m sure we would have some fantastic celebrations. It’s always windy at Silverstone. Often it rains too, like we saw last year in qualifying. The track conditions change very quickly, which makes the car more tricky to set-up. Obviously when you are running at the front it’s best to have stable conditions, but I don't mind really. The weather is just a part of the fun of racing in England. I’ll enjoy the weekend whatever the weather will be.”

Romain Grosjean, Lotus
2012 Qualifying - 10th, 2012 Race - 6th

“(Silverstone) is a fantastic track with a lot of high speed corners which should suit the E21; especially with the upgrade package we have for it. It’s a home race for myself and the team so we’re sure to have a lot of support. I won there in the GP2 Series in 2011, so I have to say I quite like it! I also scored points on my Silverstone Formula 1 debut so it’s a run of results I’d like to continue.
Silverstone is challenging, but it has a good feel. It’s one of the quickest tracks of the year, with legendary corners like the Magotts, Becketts, Chapel complex. It’s quite a feeling going through there and I can’t wait to feel that sensation once more. It's also a special Grand Prix for the team as the factory is very close to the track. It’s always nice to see not only the race team, but also some of the many people from the factory who come to see us in action. It’s thanks to all their hard work that we’re out on track and they are all doing an amazing job, always working so hard. I will be visiting them after the race and hopefully I will go there with some silverware to show them. Last year there was quite a bit of wet weather over the weekend; not that this was much of a surprise to the Englishmen I’ve spoken to! I live quite near to the track now and my experience of regularly visiting Enstone means that I know the weather can change quite a lot. An English summer’s day is wonderful, but sometimes you have to look hard to find one!”

Eric Boullier, Lotus team principal
“We’re certainly not going to let two weekends of poor results (in Monaco and Canada) stop us in our efforts. We have a very reasonable package to fit to the E21 for Silverstone - with a number of elements which should help with our performance - and we have plenty of other upgrades to come later in the season too. We head to Silverstone with a determined strategy to be back fighting for podiums.”

Alan Permane, Lotus trackside operations director
“(Silverstone) is a circuit which is similar to Barcelona in the regard that it exposes weaknesses in downforce. You need an efficient car; one with a decent amount of downforce, but one which remains slippery for the straights. There are two straights where the cars exceed 300kph, so too much drag will hurt here. There are some very high speed corners, with the first sector of the lap consisting entirely of high speed turns. The new layout has brought a few more technical corners, but overall it’s still counted as a high-speed track. You need to set up the car aerodynamically to be as quick as possible through the medium and high speed corners and along the straights. The circuit is windy with a scarcity of shelter which – added to unpredictable weather – makes set-up difficult at times. The wind can lead you to run with less than optimum levels of front wing to keep the car consistent. With regard to upgrades, we have a tighter, figure-hugging bodywork package which should give some benefit; especially if the weather is quite cool at Silverstone. There’s a new front wing, suspension profiles and suspension upgrades in addition to various other aero upgrades, which combine to give us what should be our biggest step forward of the year. This is a good thing, of course, but we’ll be running them in the context of all our rivals probably unveiling significant upgrade packs too. We conducted a couple of days of straight-line running after Canada with positive results and some of the fruits of this work should be seen in Silverstone.”

Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber
2012 Qualifying - 9th, 2012 Race - 12th

“The British Grand Prix has a lot of history and is the home Grand Prix for the English Formula One teams. For the fans it also holds a lot of tradition. I’m comfortable with the track. I particularly like corners like Maggots, Becketts and Chapel, which require a lot of driving skill. They are a lot of fun in a Formula One car, because you can really feel the downforce. High downforce will be important, but also aerodynamic efficiency, because there are still a few straights. The track is challenging for every driver and, in addition, the weather can be tricky as well. So it should be an interesting weekend.”

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“Silverstone is a traditional track. I’ve raced there in every year of my career and it’s one of the circuits I like the most. The track has a lot of fast corners that you pass in split seconds. To feel the limit of the car at such high speed, for example in corners like Becketts, is something special. In GP3 Silverstone was the track where I scored the most points in one weekend, and I also have good memories of winning there in Formula BMW and GP2. Usually the weather presents a challenge there, so we can expect a bit of variety again.”

Tom McCullough, Sauber head of track engineering
“Silverstone is one of the most challenging circuits, with a bias towards high speed corners and relatively short straights compared to the more modern circuits. The layout favours high-speed stability and a good change of direction, whereas the demand on the braking system is low. The track is also quite bumpy in some areas so the ride performance is important too. The abrasive tarmac and high-speed nature of the circuit result in it being hard on the tyres. Therefore, Pirelli has selected the two hardest tyre compounds in its range - medium and hard. Historically, overtaking has not been easy, but this year there is an additional DRS zone on the Hangar straight, which should help create a few more opportunities. The weather often plays a significant role during the weekend, so this needs to be monitored at all times.”

Jules Bianchi, Marussia
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“I’m really looking forward to the Team’s home race at Silverstone. I know from Monaco what it feels like to have achieved your dream of racing in Formula One and then be able to do just that in front of your home crowd, so it will be a nice weekend for Max. It is also an important weekend for the whole Team and I too will be looking to achieve my objectives - to contribute to a good overall team result and keep up the fight with the cars around us. We will have a lot of our team members who don’t usually get to a race present and that is really important and nice for them, to be able to see us racing so close to our base. As for the track, I really like it, having raced here before in different formulae. It is one of the best tracks on the calendar in my opinion - very fast, challenging and technical. I’ve done some good preparation and now I can’t wait to start running on Friday.”

Max Chilton, Marussia
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“The British Grand Prix is really special, and for so many reasons, so to be able to call it my home Grand Prix is pretty incredible and without doubt it will be the highlight of my debut season so far. It is also the Team’s home race and Silverstone is just 18 miles from our base in Banbury, so we’re racing in our own backyard with fantastic support from our fans, our Team and our Partners right here on our doorstep. It doesn’t get much better than that, apart from bringing home a great result of course, which is what we’ll all be pushing for. I know from having raced at Silverstone previously that the atmosphere is electric, with a sea of Union Jack flags and some big noise coming from the grandstands. I’m sure it will be better than ever this year with four British drivers in the mix. As for the circuit itself, it has always been a real driver’s track with a character all if its own. The high-speed corners make it really exciting to drive, particularly Copse, Becketts and Stowe. We have a few small developments for this race but we are also still making progress with the updates we brought prior to that, so I’m optimistic that we will be able to put a good weekend together on track. Off-track, it’s looking very busy but exciting, with a lot of media activity and appearances. All in all, I can’t wait.”

John Booth, Marussia team principal
“The British Grand Prix is always a fantastic occasion and one of the highlights of the calendar for teams and fans alike. We are proud to be the only Anglo-Russian team on the grid and next year we will have two home races to celebrate, but for now, with our operational base in Banbury, Silverstone continues to be ‘home asphalt’ for us. We are also delighted to be fielding a British driver for the first time in our brief history. Max is, quite rightly, very excited to be racing in front of his home crowd for the first time in a Formula One car and, if the atmosphere we have seen there in previous years is anything to go by, he’ll thoroughly enjoy the support for him and the other British drivers. The British fans are incredible; so knowledgeable and enthusiastic. They are very patriotic but equally, they’ll back whoever shines there next weekend because they just love to see a great race at the end of the day. We hope to play our part in the racing action and we’ll be aiming for the best possible finish with both our drivers to maintain our fight for position in the Constructors’ Championship and to reward the Team members and our Partners, many of whom will be sharing in the occasion with us. We look forward to a great weekend and a classic British Grand Prix.”

Jenson Button, McLaren
2012 Qualifying - 18th, 2012 Race - 10th

“Any driver’s home race is a special thing, but racing at Silverstone means so much to me: it’s the place where I grew up watching Formula 1 – I first came here in 1994 – and it’s also a race that means so much to grand prix racing’s history and heritage. It’s just unique: to race on the same track as Fangio, Clark, Stewart and Senna is cool, and you always feel the echoes of the past when you arrive at the circuit for the first time. Even though it’s almost changed beyond recognition since 1950, and is now one of the best grand prix facilities in the world, it’s still lost none of that special atmosphere. I love it. One of the most amazing things at Silverstone has been the level of support I’ve seen every single year. From the garage, on the slow-down lap, on the drivers’ parade, or just on the way to the paddock in the morning, you see the fans cheering you on. Silverstone really reverberates to fan-power. After our difficult weekend in Canada, I’ll be hoping for a more representative weekend at home. Although the race in Montreal was disappointing, I still feel that it wasn’t a fully accurate reflection of where we are as a team – on a smoother track like Silverstone, I’m optimistic that we’ll fare better. Of course, I don’t want to raise everyone’s expectations: I think the fans know what to expect. For me, my goal will be to get the maximum from the package and to race as hard as I can – that’ll be a satisfactory outcome for me next weekend.”

Sergio Perez, McLaren
2012 Qualifying - 17th, 2012 Race - DNF

“It’s exciting to be going to Silverstone for my first ‘home’ race with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. Like McLaren, Silverstone is a place with an incredible amount of history – it’s cool that you can look at old black-and-white photos of the British Grand Prix and still clearly recognise corners like Copse and Stowe, and the Hangar Straight. It’s amazing to think that the circuit has been in use since the very first race of the Formula 1 World Championship. I like Silverstone, and I usually go well there: I had a good race in 2011, when I finished seventh, and I feel confident I could have had a points finish last year until I had an accident with Pastor [Maldonado]. After a tough weekend in Canada, we’ll be looking for a stronger showing in front of the team’s home fans. We are steadily making progress – I’m hopeful of a better showing next weekend.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
“The Santander British Grand Prix is an extremely special race for everybody at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. Of course, Silverstone is our home race, which naturally makes it feel different from every other event on the calendar, but, regardless, there’s a unique atmosphere on display at Silverstone. It’s a place where Formula 1 encounters both the support and expectation of the most passionate and knowledgeable crowd of the entire season. That can be uplifting and daunting in equal measure. The circuit itself is tough to master: it still retains enough of the original wartime layout to successfully link it to the past, but it’s probably the best example in the world of how a track can be updated and re-profiled in order to meet modern safety standards and yet still maintain the challenge required for contemporary Formula 1. Most importantly, it’s an absolutely fabulous high-speed challenge that the drivers love, and which provides the opportunity to witness Formula 1 at its unfettered best.”

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
2012 Qualifying - 4th, 2012 Race - 3rd

“Apart from the unpredictable English weather, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone is a highlight of the season and one of my favourite tracks. It’s located only 30km from our factory in Milton Keynes and the circuit’s a real challenge. Even after the paddock and pit lane conversion, it remains a tough track. Only Suzuka can be compared to Silverstone - no other track on the calendar has such a sequence of superfast corners like Silverstone does. Copse Corner, Maggots, Becketts and Chapel are amongst the four best corners in Formula One - they belong together. You have to catch the first one perfectly, otherwise the rhythm is off for all of them and at the end, Chapel is so insanely fast. If you have driven properly in the previous three corners and the car is well tuned then you can drive through full throttle. You go through at roughly 270km/h, really amazing! You don’t have long to think about it, so just give it full throttle and go. In the end, apart from all the technique, it’s about driving the car as fast as you can.”

Mark Webber, Red Bull
2012 Qualifying - 2nd, 2012 Race - 1st

“It’s the home race for a lot of the team and it’s my second home race, as I live in the UK. The fans here are right up there with the Italian Tifosi; Formula One has been an integral part of UK motorsport for such a long time. The Silverstone GP is a brilliant weekend, it’s such a prestigious event and that’s why it’s so nice to get a great result there. I think the 2010 victory was pretty special - it was my first British GP win. It’s an old school circuit, fast and flowing. It’s very demanding on the driver in terms of accuracy, and the car also. You can really let the car go around there and feel like you’re a Formula One driver.”

More to follow.

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