Martin Whitmarsh, CEO at McLaren-Mercedes, has insisted that the Turkish Grand Prix weekend will be business as usual as the team attempt to put the trials and tribulations of the Hungarian Grand Prix behind them.
The Hungarian Grand Prix was an unhappy time for the team with seemingly the only positive being Lewis Hamilton s race win. However, the pit-lane fiasco ended with the two drivers not on speaking terms, a six place grid position drop for Alonso, and the team unable to pick up any constructors points.
After the race, there was a war of words in the media, however the two drivers have reportedly cleared the air and are once again speaking. However, with just seven points separating them in the drivers championship, the rivalry between them will be undiminished with just six races of the season remaining.
Despite all the controversy, Whitmarsh is convinced that the Hungarian events have had no adverse effects on the team and that McLaren are in a positive frame of mind for the next race in Istanbul.
“Each race weekend has its own challenges and we faced some fairly unique ones at the Hungarian Grand Prix,â€ he remarked. “There has been much in the press in the two weeks since, however none of this has affected the preparation and motivation of Fernando, Lewis and the team for this race. Every single member of the team is keen to get back to the racing this weekend in Turkey.â€
Alonso will be particularly focused during the race as he reaches the milestone of 100 Formula 1 race starts. Having finished in second place the last two times he raced at Istanbul Park, Alonso will be keen to make it third time lucky.
“”It is always great to have a break and recharge the batteries, but it is fantastic to be getting back out on track,” Alonso explained. “I have a solid points total in the drivers’ world championship, and I aim to build on that considerably in Istanbul. We are in a strong position in both championships and there are a lot of points to be won in the final six races. However, we are looking at the races one by one, and my focus is on this grand prix and getting the best result possible in Turkey.
“I have come second in the two years we have raced here previously and I will be aiming to improve on that this time.”