McLaren: British GP win would be special

Martin Whitmarsh says that the entire McLaren team would be filled with immense pride, if one of its drivers managed to win the British Grand Prix.

With two British drivers within its ranks, the Woking-based team heads to Silverstone looking to extend its advantage over both championships and to come out on top at its home event.

“In the past three races, we’ve scored 119 points from a possible maximum of 129 an incredible statistic that tells you a lot about our hunger to fight at the front.” team prinicipal Martin Whitmarsh said in the team’s British Grand Prix preview.

“Our home race at Silverstone has a special significance for all of us, and it would make the whole team tremendously proud if either Jenson or Lewis were able to stand atop the podium on Sunday afternoon. Such a result would be the highlight of our season so far.”

Round 10 of the 2010 Formula One World Championship presents Lewis Hamilton with the opportunity to score his second victory on home soil, after triumphing two years ago in appalling conditions. As a result, the 25-year-old is looking forward to being cheered on by his loyal fans and tackling Silverstone’s new layout.

“The Santander British Grand Prix is the halfway point in the season, and our whole team is really hungry for success.” he said. “After spending most of 2009 out of the hunt, I can tell that everybody is really fired up, particularly for this weekend, where we’ll be performing in front of a home crowd, and all our friends and families. It would be amazing to score another great result at our home race.”

“We haven’t raced on this Silverstone configuration before I’ve looked at the track map, and I’ve seen some onboard footage, and I like what I’ve seen. It still looks fast and sweeping even the new corners look medium- to high-speed, which is what you want around here.

“To be leading the world championship going into my home race is a fantastic feeling I know very well the effect of people-power around here in 2007, when I got pole position, I vividly remember driving around on my slowing-down lap and I could hear the noise of the crowd over the engine. And in 2008, in those terrible, wet conditions, nobody lost heart or faith, and they kept waving their flags and banners for me on every single lap.

“When you see that kind of dedication, you know you’ve got to repay it. And that’s why I go to Silverstone absolutely determined to get a great result; to make 100,000 people proud of our team and our country.

“The Santander British Grand Prix is one of the best races of the year it’s going to be a brilliant weekend. Bring it on.”

Although Hamilton will be gunning for success at the Northamptonshire circuit, he will surely face a strong challenge from his team-mate Jenson Button. Subsequently, the latter will be looking to score his first ever victory at Silverstone – adding to last year’s championship success.

“Racing in front of your home crowd is one of the biggest buzzes for any racing driver. And racing at Silverstone is always an exceptional experience – the crowds are huge throughout the weekend, everybody absolutely knows their stuff, and the motivation and support you get is like nowhere else on earth. I love it.

“The Santander British Grand Prix is a bit of a festival of motorsport” Button said, “There’s a great atmosphere there, a party vibe, and you meet people who’ve supported you throughout your career, which is always very rewarding.”

“Of course, the big unknown for this year is the new track configuration. On paper, it looks to have kept most of the classic corners, which is important. We’ve lost Bridge, but we’ve still got Copse, Becketts and Stowe, which is great.

“There’s no substitute for actually driving it though, and a new circuit is always great fun to try out and get to grips with, so I can’t wait for Friday morning.”

“Even though I came to Silverstone last year as the championship leader, I still haven’t won this race. I’m second this year, and I can think of nothing better than being able to take a win in front of my home crowd that would be amazing.”