McLaren preview the Belgian GP

A favourite with the McLaren drivers, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button are hoping to enjoy a "positive weekend" at Spa.

Fernando Alonso: "Spa is an incredible circuit that definitely deserves its reputation as a legendary place to go racing. You have to have a strong package there, in terms of performance and reliability. More than 70 per cent of the lap is spent at full throttle, which will be a challenge in itself, but we’ve shown over the past few races that even on the circuits that statistically should be difficult for us, we’ve worked hard and surprised ourselves with our level of performance relative to our competitors.

“It’s a long lap, with two very high-speed sections and a twistier section, so we have to find the right balance between the two to get the best car set-up. We’re seeing good correlation between the data back at base and in the car on track, so I hope we can continue our momentum and get the maximum out of the weekend. This circuit is always a tough challenge for car and driver but if we can pull all the elements together we can enjoy a positive weekend. It won’t be an easy race, but as always we’ll be pushing for points as hard as we can.”

Jenson Button: “I love Spa! Eau Rouge is one of those fabled corners that drivers and fans always talk about – but it really is that special. The feeling of the sweep uphill through the corners is just awesome, every time. As well as being the longest circuit on the calendar, it also has an average speed of 230km/h (143mph) so it’s pretty quick! That means it’s pretty brutal on the cars – you’re at full throttle for almost three-quarters of the lap – so all the team and drivers will be working hard to manage all the different aspects of the car and react quickly to anything that crops up during the race.

“The important thing, as always, is reliability, and because of the nature of the Spa circuit it tends to be a race of attrition. The guys and girls back at MTC and also in Sakura are working hard to keep pushing the limits of our package, and I hope we can enjoy a smooth race from that point of view. I’ve always loved Spa right from the early days of my career – it still feels mega with every lap you do and never fails to put a smile on my face. It’s easily one of the best circuits on the calendar and definitely one of my favourites, so let’s see what we can do – I hope we can have a solid weekend.”

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