McLaren believes its KERS will provide it with a big advantage at next weekend's Italian Grand Prix, but the team has played down talk it is clear favorite for victory.
The long start-finish straight at Monza will provide drivers with the chance for a double-boost in qualifying – both before and after the main lap - which should help KERS cars grab the top spots on the grid. That factor is behind the optimism within the team about it chances for the race.
Heikki Kovalainen said: "I think our car will be reasonably well suited to the circuit. Like every team, we'll be running a special low-downforce aero package in Italy – but we'll also have the benefit of using KERS along the straights, which should give us a greater advantage over a single lap, especially in qualifying, where it will be extremely valuable. It should be fun!"
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "Monza is notable for being a power circuit, and, with KERS, we should see some incredible speeds – particularly during qualifying when the drivers will double-deploy KERS along the start/finish straight."
Despite the boost from KERS, Mercedes-Benz motorsport boss Norbert Haug thinks the closeness of the competition in Formula 1 at the moment points to a very open field for Monza.
"No other team scored more points during the last four races than Vodafone McLaren Mercedes," he said. "In the remaining five races we will build on this with a healthy ambition – without seeing us being the favorites for Monza. There will be at least a handful of them, which is first class for the sport."