Australian GP Sauber preview

Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "The Albert Park circuit in Melbourne presents a range of different challenges for the drivers. It is flat and, in places, very fast. On the pit straight and again on the back stretch between the Waite and Ascari...

Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "The Albert Park circuit in Melbourne presents a range of different challenges for the drivers. It is flat and, in places, very fast. On the pit straight and again on the back stretch between the Waite and Ascari corners, drivers reach 180 mph. This places a premium on aerodynamic performance at high speed. At the same time, however, they must also brake very hard for the ensuing corners, and this places great strain on the brakes. At Team RED BULL SAUBER PETRONAS we have completed more testing in the off-season than at any time in our history. Even before Christmas Nick Heidfeld covered 1630 kms in the C19, and Kimi Raikkonen 1161. Since January their respective figures in the new C20 are 3010 and 2765 kms. That's more than 8000 kms. We believe, therefore, that we are well prepared for this very important first race of the new season."

Nick Heidfeld: "The first Grand Prix of the season is always very special to a driver. This year it even has more importance for me because it is going to be my first Grand Prix with the RED BULL SAUBER PETRONAS C20, on my second visit to this street circuit.

"I have already had the opportunity to travel through Australia and appreciate the countryside and the friendliness of the people. I especially like it Down Under for the beaches and the deserts, and the forest and wild animals. You can have some great vacations there!

"As for driving on the Melbourne track, despite being a street circuit it is very much like a normal road course. I like it because there are not too many quick corners and the track is not too technical. This is what a driver and team need in their first Grand Prix of the new season, to assess accurately the performance of the car the rest of the year."

Kimi Räikkönen: "I am really looking forward to getting my Grand Prix racing career off the ground! I have never flown for more than four hours before in my life, so I have been leaving for Melbourne early. That will give me plenty of time to get over jetlag, to acclimatise to the time zone and to have a bit of a break and see some of the sights. Our physiotherapist, Josef Leberer, has also devised a programme to help me through.

"My first Grand Prix is going to be a big challenge, but I'm ready and I'm looking forward to it. Jacky Eeckelaert and the engineers back in the Hinwil factory have given me advise on the course, but a map of a track is still just that; I can't wait to see it from the wheel of the RED BULL SAUBER PETRONAS C20 for my first experience of it. It's been my life's dream to become an F1 driver, and I will be going to Australia determined to do my very best for Team RED BULL SAUBER PETRONAS."

************ As part of the team's programme in Melbourne, Kimi Räikkönen will be a guest of the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) Roulettes for a flight over the track on Wednesday. The RAAF will have cameras onboard and can supply films and photos to the media.

Then the RED BULL SAUBER PETRONAS drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Nick Heidfeld will team up to meet newborn baby animals at the Melbourne Zoo .

Meanwhile the RED BULL SAUBER PETRONAS C20 will be the subject of a Vogue Australia photo-shoot in the pit-lane.

-Sauber

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Nick Heidfeld , Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Sauber