The Brit, who currently sits ninth in the drivers’ standings thanks to the below-par MP4-28, isn’t expecting to challenge for victories but is hoping for a strong result on a track that he really enjoys racing on.
Speaking in a team statement he looked back at his personal highlights from past Belgian Grand Prix’s: “Spa has always been on my shortlist of favourite circuits in Formula 1. I still remember my first grand prix there, back in 2000, when I out-qualified Michael Schumacher in a Ferrari – that felt pretty special.
“Then I think back to my victory there last year: I had pretty much the perfect weekend – my car was fantastic, I got pole position and just led the whole race. It was one of the most satisfying wins of my career just because I felt strong and confident for the entire weekend.”
He added: “We don’t go to Spa with the package to win, but I’ll still be making the most of every single lap around this place – it’ll still feel incredible.”
Team-mate Sergio Perez revealed that he is feeling strong and refreshed after the summer break, fully revitalised for the sports return: “We had a positive race in Hungary, which was a nice way to end the first half of the season. Hopefully, it gave everybody within the team the motivation to return to work after the summer break with renewed focus. I’m certainly feeling incredibly strong and refreshed and am really looking forward to getting back into the cockpit and back to work.”
He feels that Spa is the perfect place to kick off the second half of the 2013 season, with Spa and Monza, saying: “They’re two of Formula 1’s most iconic and evocative tracks, and two of the greatest challenges for any driver. I love Spa, but I didn’t get too much of an opportunity last year: after qualifying fourth, I was one of the victims of the first-corner accident, so I didn’t get to see what our car could do.
“So I’m going to Spa this year with added motivation to do well. It’s such a great place – I love fast corners, and the feeling of taking to the car to the limit around such a big and long circuit is incredible.”
McLaren will be hoping that their upgrades and hard work since the last round has paid off, with team principal Martin Whitmarsh aiming for continuous improvement and understanding of the revolutionary MP4-28.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic