Armed with a significant amount of data gathered at the inaugural race in 2004, Team Sauber Petronas heads to the Bahrain International Circuit for the second Bahrain Grand Prix, which marks the team's 200th Formula One race. Willy Rampf ...
Armed with a significant amount of data gathered at the inaugural race in 2004, Team Sauber Petronas heads to the Bahrain International Circuit for the second Bahrain Grand Prix, which marks the team's 200th Formula One race.
Willy Rampf (Technical Director):
"We learned a great deal about the circuit at Sakhir during the inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix last year. Our major concern then was the high ambient and track temperatures and the amount of sand that was likely to find its way on to the circuit, and once again much of our preparation work was of a precautionary nature."
"We will use our maximum cooling bodywork package, and take a lot of time with additional filters and protection for things such as suspension pivots and wheel bearings."
"To be honest the sand issue was not as bad as we had expected, but because of the single-engine-for-two-race-weekends rule this year we will naturally still have to be very careful in the measures we take. With the new 2005 aerodynamic regulations we will once again run the maximum downforce available."
"Sakhir offers a wide range of corners. In sector one there is a tight turn at the end of the straight which requires good traction to maximise the speed into the following corner. Sector two is very demanding for the drivers as there are some esses and high speed corners. Braking at turn-in requires a car set-up which offers a high degree of stability."
"The circuit has a lot of run-off area, so if a driver goes off the track there is a high chance that he can get back on without too much difficulty and without damage. This is a good thing because the unusual width of the track has helped to generate one or two places where drivers are encouraged to attempt overtaking."
Jacques Villeneuve (135 GPs):
"Bahrain is a new track for me. I haven't seen it but I know that it's dry, sunny and sandy so visually it must be very interesting. Talking with other drivers, they say that the track is fun to drive but I didn't see the race on TV last year so I don't really know what to expect."
"It will definitely be an interesting trip as I've never been in this country before. I am also going to play with an F1 video game that includes this track to get used to the layout, but I will really have to find out when I get there."
"We are not going to test before the race so I hope that we will be able to get the best out of the equipment in Bahrain. We made some good progress concerning set-up in Malaysia so I am confident that we are heading in the right direction."
Felipe Massa (36 GPs):
"Bahrain is a bit cooler and less humid than Sepang, and last year it was similar to most other races in that respect. It's a nice circuit, with a few quick corners, but there are also a lot of slow and medium-speed bends so we need full downforce."
I like driving there, because there are a couple of places where you can pass. It's not easy, but you can do it, especially if you get a good tow. Bahrain itself is also an exciting place."
"Last year we hadn't fully sorted the C23 by that stage so the race was not one of our better ones, but I am optimistic that the C24, on Michelins, should suit the circuit well."