• United States Grand Prix

McLaren aiming for US victory

ESPN Staff
November 14, 2012 « Hamilton motivated by tough Mercedes challenge | F1 to get new chief doctor in 2013 »
Lewis Hamilton retired from the lead in Abu Dhabi © Sutton Images

McLaren hopes to put the disappointment of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix behind it as the Formula One calendar moves on to the new environment of Austin.

Lewis Hamilton was forced to retire from the lead with a fuel pressure issue but Jenson Button did manage fourth place in Abu Dhabi. And after a successful test session in Abu Dhabi last week evaluating young drivers, McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale is hoping for a more positive result in the USA.

"The failure that we had in Abu Dhabi was very painful," Neale said during a McLaren phone-in. "Having said that we've just done 1,500 trouble-free kilometres with the same car in the test last week.

"Obviously we're very mindful of the constructors' championship and we are still taking performance upgrades to this circuit. We are not taking an overtly cautious approach but I'd say we are going to be very diligent. We hope and our desire is to do really well here and win the race."

Because nobody has driven on the new Circuit of the Americas so far, Pirelli has given an extra set of hard compound tyres for teams to use on the Friday to help teams to acclimatise.

"I think it's going to be an interesting one for the drivers to have to learn on Friday and for the teams to have to balance their engineering programmes as well as allowing the drivers to get to grips with it. We have the extra set of tyres, I believe, on Friday, as well which should help. It's always good to go to a new circuit but this one in particular seems to have been really well thought-out.

"I expect to see usual the suspects at the front, a really close-fought championship and pretty tantalising battles up and down the grid."