McLaren preview the Belgian GP

Although the Spa circuit won't necessarily suit the MP4-30, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button are eager to get going again.

Fernando Alonso: "It feels great to be back. I enjoyed a relaxing break over the summer shutdown, but I also trained hard and I feel in the best shape to start the second half of the year. After Hungary, we were all really encouraged by the outcome; although we were fortunate to have had some good luck, we still battled hard and finished the race with a positive result.
 
"Spa will be tricky for us, due to the configuration of a track that requires power, downforce and a big chunk of the lap spent at full throttle. But, from a driver's perspective it's a spectacular circuit and the fans there also make it a truly special place. It's a place at which I won when I was in Formula 3000, but never in Formula 1. I've enjoyed some really exciting battles there, and I'm looking forward to this weekend for some more.
 
"The next few races will be important for us: we need to continue our forward momentum, and, with the addition of some tweaks to the car and power unit, we will be looking for more progress and good correlation between the simulator and our on-track performance. That might not necessarily appear above the surface in either Spa or Monza, but we'll keep pushing development forward at each race."

Jenson Button: "What a place to resume the second half of the season! It's such a great place to come to after the break – Spa is a circuit I've always loved right from the start of my racing career, and every lap around this incredibly special circuit is still hugely exciting and puts a massive grin on my face. It's genuinely a circuit like no other.
 
"I'm really looking forward to getting back into the car and seeing where we stand among our nearest competitors. We can't pretend that we're expecting a huge jump forward in performance – especially at this circuit, as it doesn't suit our car's characteristics – but, after the break, I'm feeling refreshed, positive, and ready to continue the solid progress we've made so far.
 
"I love Spa, I won there back in 2012, and, even when I'm not battling for the lead, I really enjoy the racing there as it usually produces fantastic grands prix. It's a privilege as a Formula 1 driver to be able to go to the circuit in the morning, get in the car, and race through some of the most legendary corners in motorsport."

Eric Boullier – McLaren Racing Director: "After a well-deserved summer break for the whole team, we're all ready and raring to go at the start of the second half of the season. We had an encouraging race in Hungary leading into the summer break, and we now feel refreshed and determined to continue improving our form as the rest of the season progresses.
 
"We've persevered through some tough moments, but the positivity and steadfast commitment to McLaren-Honda's future success are evident in every single member of this team. Our drivers, too, have been unwavering in their support and are working hard to keep pushing us forward, extracting the maximum from the package at every opportunity. We're also incredibly grateful for the support of our partners, who are incredibly loyal, and who are united behind our development programme. In the second half of the season, our fight towards the front will continue, and we'll work hard to build on our steady, solid progress in pursuit of performance.
 
"Spa is a truly spectacular circuit – arguably the best on the calendar for many – but, given the unique power and downforce package required, the track won't play to our strengths. Therefore, of course, we must be measured in our optimism, and we will need to wait for Singapore and beyond before we can see the fruits of our labours reflected on track."     
    
Yasuhisa Arai – Honda R&D senior managing officer – chief officer of motorsport: "After a well-deserved and positive result in Hungary, the summer break was good rest for the trackside team, while Sakura continued on with the power unit development.

"As we planned, Honda has updated our combustion characteristics to further improve our power units for Spa and the second half of the season. This weekend's free practices will be important to test the pairing of the power units to the cars. The Belgian race, however, will surely be a difficult one for the team and drivers, with expected grid penalties and a long and unforgiving power circuit.

"Nevertheless, McLaren-Honda's focus is to improve race by race. We know we can learn a lot from the circuit for immediate future, and hope that we can come out of the weekend with some positives."

Comments