McLaren Mercedes CEO Martin Whitmarsh insists that the Woking-based team is leaving 'no stone unturned' in its preparations for the European Grand Prix at the new Valencia circuit.
The Spanish city will play host to its first F1 event later this month as racing resumes following a brief summer break, with the race taking place on a unique venue around the marina.
A round of the Spanish F3 and GT championships acted as the warm-up for the Grand Prix itself, and Whitmarsh said that the McLaren squad had been closely watching what has been happening in Valencia ahead of the race.
"We've been paying very close attention to the construction of the new shorefront circuit in Valencia and are convinced it is going to be an exciting addition to the Formula 1 calendar and an absolutely top-line facility,” he said. “There are a number of things we as a team can do ahead of arriving at any new circuit. In this instance, we have had people visiting Valencia regularly to collect data about the track surface, kerb heights and run-off areas so we can build up as clear a picture as possible of the demands that will be placed on a Formula 1 racing car during the European Grand Prix.
"We've left no stone unturned, we've even been studying onboard racing footage of the circuit to get an idea of where the overtaking opportunities lie. Unlike most street circuits, however, Valencia is unusual in that it is relatively high-speed track and will require a much lower downforce set-up than we'd normally see at a place like Monte-Carlo, for example.
“We are anticipating a fascinating engineering challenge and, while there's always an element of uncertainty whenever you arrive at a new facility, we're confident we've done as competent a job as we can of preparing for it."