McLaren Honda F1 drivers thoughts on Australian GP

McLaren Honda F1 drivers thoughts on Australian GP

15.03.2016: 2016 Australian Grand Prix - ALbert Park Circuit THE DRIVERS ON: THE CIRCUIT

2016 Australian Grand Prix - ALbert Park Circuit


THE DRIVERS ON: THE CIRCUIT


#14 Fernando Alonso


“It’s been a very long winter – the longest I can remember without Formula 1 – so I’m really looking forward to getting back in the car. This track is always exciting to drive, partly because of its street circuit nature – tight run-off areas, a bumpy surface and low grip – but also because everyone is impatient to go racing again.

“The important thing is to get a good start – usually everyone is eager and it’s quiet common for there to be some drama off the line in the first race. This year, it’ll be interesting to see how everyone’s tyre choices play out, and the strategy each team picks, but it’s only on Sunday afternoon that we’ll get to see where we really are.


On Friday and Saturday, we’ll be working hard to predict the track’s characteristics on race day, and focusing on setting up the car in its final specification. It’ll also be interesting to see how the improvement in the power unit deployment pans out on this tricky circuit, too.”



#22 Jenson Button


“I’m so excited to go racing again! Albert Park is always a great season-opener – I love Melbourne as a city, and the track is pretty good, too. The warm weather is a welcome change and the higher track temperatures than we’ve been used to in testing always pose a bit of a challenge.


“In Australia it’s always a new slate each day in terms of set-up, as the track starts off very green on the Friday and wears in more and more as the weekend goes on. We are planning to bring some updates to this race, so we’ll be working on configuring those into our set-up right from FP1.


Albert Park is a tricky place to start the season at – it’s an unforgiving, technical, bumpy street circuit, so it really gets you going after a few months off from racing, but that’s why we love driving there.”




THE DRIVERS ON: THE EVENT


#14 Fernando Alonso


“One thing is for sure, the fans are always very loud and it’s always a great feeling in the first race of the season. Apart from that, we can’t make any predictions of results or make comparisons as we don’t yet know much about the form book from winter testing. The same teams look to be strong this year, but everyone is holding their cards very close to their chest, so it will be interesting to see how the weekend unfolds.


“Usually the track conditions change quite dramatically from the start of FP1 on Friday to the end of the grand prix, so it’s a race in itself for the drivers and engineers to keep on top of it and make sure they have the right set-up ahead of each session, or risk losing out.


The new qualifying format will surely make things a bit unpredictable for the teams and the fans, as every time a new regulation comes in each season it always take a little bit of time to get used to it. I’m looking forward to landing in Australia, getting back in the car, putting my visor down and getting back on track, then the season will really begin. I’m so ready!”



#22 Jenson Button



“The Australian Grand Prix is always a fascinating unknown because you’re never sure where you are in relation to your competitors. Although we’ve finished pre-season testing, we’ve not had much time on track before the season starts, so this is the first chance for us to compare ourselves on similar set-ups.


We’ve been concentrating heavily on our own development and processes, so I’m looking forward to seeing where we are on a level playing field.


“We’re working hard behind the scenes to develop the car and bring new updates at every possible opportunity. Melbourne will certainly be a challenge, but our package definitely feels like a step forward from last year.


There are so many more variables this year – new qualifying format, new tyre regulations, and Australia usually produces unpredictable races, so anything could happen!”




- McLaren also photo

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15.03.2016 / MaP

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