2 JULY 4 2012 motorsport-news.co.uk
IN THIS ISSUE
THE VOICE OF BRITISH MOTORSPORT ISSUE JA2828
‘Britain could hold two grands prix’
P4 Just how real are plans for a London Grand Prix?
GREEN LEAVES IT LATE TO STEAL THE SHOW
Mercedes star grabs last-gasp victory in Germany
LATVALA INCHES CLOSER TO LONGTERM VOLKSWAGEN WRC SWITCH
Ford’s star tells Finnish press that a deal is close
LEWIS: ‘I’M BETTER THAN WHEN
I WON THE WORLD TITLE’
Hamilton headlines eight-page British GP preview
Historic race and rally news
X Games Rallycross report
British GP Preview:Hamilton
SUBSCRIBETOMOTORSPORTNEWS 22 British GP Preview:Pirelli’s role 23 British GP Preview:Hill’s debut 24 British GP:Team form guide 26 British GP Preview:Supports 27 Racing reports 28 British F3 report:Norisring 30 Rally reports 31 Karting round-up 33 Sporting Scene round-up 34 Letters/Comment/What’s On 36 Wanted:An F1 race around Cadwell Park.Now that would be fun...
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Button says that the support of 100,000
ByMatt James Jenson Button says that the support of his home fans at Silverstone this weekend can help turn his season around.
TheMcLaren ace has slumped to eighth in the world championship after a string of disappointing results, but he says that he is ready to kick-start his campaign in front of nearly 100,000 fans whowill cram into Silverstone on Sunday.
Button explained: “The home crowd is so supportive. Even when I’ve had difficult years they’ve been so supportive. So to repay the fans – just as much as mepersonally wanting to get a result there – it would be very special, even to get on the podium. But I go there to win the race, not to be on the podium.
“It would be amassive year for the UKwith the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics. It would be very special to win the British Grand Prix.” While Button is languishing in the points, he is confident of a turnaround in form at Silverstone. His team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who is third in the points table, will be looking to get his campaign back on track after being punted off of the road following a last-gasp clash with Pastor Maldonado in Valencia two weeks ago.
Button’s buoyant Button has struggled to get a workable balance on his MP4-27 and has yet to get on top of the revamped Pirelli tyres for 2012. Although he won the opening grand prix of the season in Australia and finished second in China, he has struggled elsewhere. Button says that he and the team made progress over how to understand the tyres in the last race at Valencia, but his pace was compromised by other factors. The 32-year-old also said that he thought the Mercedes-powered chassis would be suited to the demands of the 3.67-mile British track.
Button said: “We’ve been making progress in a lot of areas and I wasn’t able to show that in terms of results in Valencia, mainly because I got boxed in at the start and then I was unlucky with the safety car. Our strategy was fine and the car improved throughout the race.” He added that the particular characteristics of the car would help him to show his real form during the race on Sunday. “Our strengths are high-speed corners, high-speed downforce and straightline speed,” said the 2009 world champion. “Silverstone is a circuit where we should be strong. I know it had been a bit up and down this year in terms of trying to understand why a car works on certain circuits and doesn’t on others.” Although Button said that there would be an increased threat from a
McLar en aces ar e c oming home
Button is counting on Br itish fa ns to ge t behind McLar en back-on-form Sebastian Vettel – whowould have won in Valencia but for an alternator failure – he added that the home fans could help negate the difference. Button has a poor track record at his home grand prix. His best finish at Silverstone was fourth in 2004 and 2010.
Button said: “This has been an incredibly unpredictable season but at least it’s a little easier to predict that Silverstone will be packed and that all the British drivers are going to get a lift from the energy the fans bring. The race might not have been kind to mebut I come here every year knowing I can count on the support of the fans.”
Hamilton’s moving on While Button will be aiming to end both his run of back luck at the circuit and his dip in form during the 2012 competition, team-mate Lewis Hamilton says hewill not change his approach in his bid for this season’s title.
obviously been making some serious steps forward.
“Our car doesn’t seem to go so well on the lower speed circuits like Valencia, but I think on the higher speed tracks like Silverstone, we should bemore competitive. Trying to look after our tyres is our biggest problem so hopefully it’ll be better with the new upgrades.
“I knowwe can count on the fans to bring a unique atmosphere. We’ve going to give it everything we’ve got and put on a great show. It is an incredible summer for Britain and I want to play mysmall part in bringing some joy to the fans.”
Pit wall pondering While his drivers are in an optimistic frame of mind ahead of Britain’s showpiece race this weekend, team boss Martin Whitmarsh says that the reshaped look of F1 this season means that the squad will have to be at the top of its game to bag its first homewin since Hamilton’s triumph in 2008.
this Despite 2011. in collisions was he attitude, new last the of out tipped
The 2008 world champion has adopted amore reserved approach this campaign after a spate of collisions in 2011. Despite this new attitude, hewas tipped out of the last race in Valencia after late contact with WilliamsRenault racer Maldonado while battling for third.
“The races so far this season have been difficult to read and while that also it frustrating, be might might be frustrating, it also opportunities,” creates creates opportunities,” he he challenged has “It said.
said. “It has challenged preconceptions preconceptions – as we saw last time time last saw we as –
Valencia, at out out at Valencia, a circuit which usually tells you there are very few chances to overtake. Wewill keep an open mind about the British GP from the minute we arrive at Silverstone.
will We overtake.
mind open an keep
GP British the about we minute the from
Silverstone. at arrive frustrating “It’s Hamilton.
“Sometimes you have to accept when things don’t go your way in racing,” said Hamilton. “It’s frustrating to lose out so close to the finish but that’s racing: you put it behind you and move on to the next race which, happily, is at myhomecircuit.” Hamilton said that as well as tempering his feistiness on track, developments that the team will bolt on to the MP4-27 for the race this weekend should help maintain his championship charge.
Hamilton is out for a result
‘We’ve got some upgrades coming,” said the 18-time grand prix winner. “We’re going to need them because other teams have
“The team that manages the performance delta of the tyres is the one best placed to win and to do that you have to take every opportunity to gather data and learn from it quickly and effectively. Today, grands prix are no longer sprint races that are won or lost on the first lap. That means excitement from beginning to end.” ●Hamilton will run with the Olympic torch on the Monday after the British Grand Prix. The location will be close to his former home town of Stevenage.