Tuscan GP 2020 - GP preview - McLaren
“What a start to the Italian double-header! I still have a bit of a nagging feeling for not getting the win, but after a couple of days and having reviewed the weekend I’m obviously very happy with our performance. We were the fastest car behind Mercedes all weekend, and even after the setback of the red flag we managed to put ourselves again back in contention for the win. I drove my heart out the whole race and gave everything to catch Pierre. He did a good job holding on so well done to him.
"We move on to Mugello, where I hope we can carry our good momentum and have another strong weekend. It’s a completely new track for me and F1 cars have never raced here before, which makes it an exciting challenge. Getting as much data, confidence and understanding as possible on Friday will be crucial to a good weekend.”
“Mugello is a circuit that usually makes me think of MotoGP, rather than Formula 1, so I’m excited to be getting the chance to race there this weekend. I think it’s going to be quite a physical circuit, with fast, long corners and lots of g-force. Expect to see a few drivers resting their necks on the headrest! I hope we’re in for some more excitement this weekend, especially considering how close we were to a double podium last week. We’ve been working hard in the simulator to prepare for this weekend and try to gather data on the circuit. I’ve raced there before in Formula 4, so I do have some experience of the track. Racing in an F1 car will be very different to F4 though, so this sim time has been crucial to our preparation. I’m sure it will be an interesting race, especially considering the limited information the teams have on the track. We’ll be aiming to make the most of the circumstances and try and bag ourselves some crucial points in the Constructors’ Championship.”
James Key - Technical Director
“It’s great to be heading to a new circuit this weekend, which is a good thing for the sport during this compressed season. Mugello is a fantastic track in a beautiful part of Italy and it will be great to see Formula 1 cars race there.
“Mugello is a new challenge with a real mix of corners, many of which are high-speed. That’s a difficult thing to quantify when you haven’t got any historic data from a circuit. So, a lot of work has been going on in the background through simulation to learn about the circuit and how our current F1 car will perform there.
“With regards to mechanical and aerodynamic set-up, we have to simulate that as best we can and estimate what we believe to be the right start point but of course leave our options open. It’s going to be dependent on the reality of the situation when we arrive, particularly how the tyres behave on that particular track surface and conditions. This is one of the most difficult things to predict at an early stage.
“Mugello is a really interesting place that is more akin to a combination of Silverstone and Barcelona, than somewhere like Monza, for example. There are a series of fairly high-speed corners in the middle of the lap which are similar in nature to Silverstone. Then it gets more technical towards the end, where you have lower speeds with long duration hairpin-like corners. We will be looking for a set-up – both aero and mechanical – that tries to accommodate all of those aspects.
“It’s a great engineering challenge and one that I think represents opportunities and pitfalls when you go to a new circuit with the nature of Mugello. It will be good to get started and see whether we were close to the mark or whether there’s still a lot to learn come Friday. I’m sure there will still be a great deal to do, but there has been a lot of background work and we’re going into the weekend with a good level of preparation.”
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