August 22nd, 2011 (F1plus Team).- The mid season break is over, and McLaren is more tan happy to come back to the track. Three wins in the last five races have the team running high in motivation.
Overall, with few minor chapters in which consistency was not present, Hamilton and Button have managed to claim two victories each. These, plus the one from Alonso in Silverstone, yet don’t match Sebastian Vettel’s total of seven.
The defending champion has finished second in fourth and third just once. That level of consistency has the German up in the standings table, something that McLaren wants to change in order to have a shot for the championship.
As long as Vettel keeps adding points, no one will be able to steal the crown from him. But, the “silver bullets” might be coming around for good now, and push the Red Bulls down.
Sometimes, we dream about the perfect driver, maybe by merging Jenson and Lewis into one, and we would get; aggressiveness with good judgment; flashing speed with consistency, unfortunately, that is not the case.
These two drivers and their team need to find a way so they can complement each other on the track. Finding a way to -while racing each other- be able to hold off their competitors and maximize on their opportunities.
Lewis Hamilton: “After a month out of the cockpit, I think every driver on the grid is really looking forward to racing on a track like Spa-Francorchamps, which is easily one of the greatest circuits in the world.
“Spa’s always been one of my favorite tracks – it’s a place where you really feel on the limit, and that’s pretty awesome in a Formula 1 car. I’m already looking forward to my first flying lap on Friday morning.
“Corners like Eau Rouge, Pouhon and Blanchimont are fantastic, just because they’re so fast – Pouhon, in particular, is incredible, because you’re really at the limit of the grip level, and you’re gently playing with the throttle and trying not to scrub off too much speed with the steering. Getting it right is an amazing feeling.
“I think we go into the race weekend in a pretty good place – we’ve won the last two grands prix and the car feels strong; we’ve worked hard to improve the set-up, so it’s really inspiring confidence at the moment, which means you can push it that little bit further, particularly in qualifying.
“Of course, the weekend is likely to be affected by the weather, which is always somewhat unpredictable at Spa. I’d prefer a dry race, but, to be honest, I’ll take any track condition: I just can’t wait to get back out in my car!”
Jenson Button: “I love racing at Spa, but, unfortunately haven’t done too much of it recently as I’ve been taken out of the last two Belgian Grands Prix through no fault of my own. This year, I’ll be hoping for a little more luck!
“It felt great to go into the summer break off the back of the win in Hungary. That was a race I think we could just as well have won in the dry as in the damp – which will be worth bearing in mind in Spa, as it’ll probably be wet and dry – and everything in between – at some point during the weekend.
“Once again, our aim will be to put pressure on the championship frontrunners, particularly Red Bull. Our car definitely feels really drivable right now, so I don’t think this weekend’s tyre compound selection will affect us too much. We learnt a lot about the Pirelli Medium after the race in Valencia, and I think we’ve moved on quite a bit since then.
“I don’t think DRS will be as critical here as it’s been at some of the other circuits. I’m still not certain where it will be deployed, but there’s always been lots of opportunities to use the slipstream up the hill out of Eau Rouge to pass into Les Combes. It’ll be interesting to see whether DRS can add even more to the show – it should hopefully be another great weekend for Formula 1.”
Martin Whitmarsh, Team principal: “It’s exciting to be returning from the summer break and heading straight back into the fray at Spa: it’s one of Formula 1’s greatest circuits, and always a place where the unexpected tends to happen.
“As we all know from races here in the past, the weather in Spa can be notoriously fickle – and with the field so competitively poised, that’ll put great emphasis on solid and effective teamwork. A good call on tyre choice at a critical point in the race could make a massive difference to the result.