British GP: Sauber preview

After a four-day test in Barcelona team Sauber Petronas is now heading towards the eleventh round of the Formula One World Championship in Silverstone. Willy Rampf (Technical Director): "Silverstone is a medium to high downforce circuit that...

After a four-day test in Barcelona team Sauber Petronas is now heading towards the eleventh round of the Formula One World Championship in Silverstone.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):

"Silverstone is a medium to high downforce circuit that has a similar surface to Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya. There is plenty of grip but it is quite abrasive, so tyre wear and tyre degradation will be a factor. Added to that, it is fast but quite complex."

"Copse corner is fast, and then there are some high-speed curves, particularly the flowing section comprising Maggotts, Becketts, and Chapel which lead on to the Hangar Straight. The driver must be very accurate when placing his car here, and again on the entry and exit of Stowe. He must find the perfect line to achieve the optimum lap time. This is the critical sector of the track, together with Bridge corner."

"Setting up the car can be very tricky here because high-speed stability is essential. You are looking for a set-up that will enable the car to change direction smoothly at very high speed, with minimal fuss. At the same time you also need good traction and mechanical grip for the slow-speed infield corners such as Abbey, Luffield and Priory and the first part of Woodcote."

Nick Heidfeld (60 GPs, 2 points 2003):

"I like coming to England, and Silverstone. I was there often when I was racing in F3000 and testing for McLaren Mercedes, and I have some good memories of those days."

"It's quite a difficult circuit, quite special, particularly the complex at Becketts. That's very challenging, a nice point of the circuit. Club is also quite difficult; it's fairly slow and looks easy but it's difficult to get right because the exit is long and the camber slopes to the outside. When I tested there for McLaren I was losing all my time to Mika Hakkinen there until I figured it out. Bridge is easy flat, and actually pretty easy altogether."

"I like the English fans. They really like the sport and the drivers, and are into the history. That makes for a great atmosphere all weekend. Our recent test at Silverstone in mid June went well and our car has been well suited to the track in recent years, so I am hopeful. And of course there is always the chance of rain!"

Heinz-Harald Frentzen (151 GPs, 7 points 2003):

"Silverstone is a circuit I like, and I don't mind the sort of weather you get there. It's not too hot and not too cold. There are some quick corners, such as Copse, which is very fast, and the Becketts complex which is one of the most exciting parts of the track. You really feel the g forces there, through the left, right, left section. We can pull up to 5g there, more than you can at many other tracks. It's like the esses at Suzuka, and you need to take the perfect line."

"Stowe is also a good corner. Bridge is also quick and pretty much blind on entry, but that corner and Luffield allow you to take different lines without losing lap time. The whole track is a very good combination of corners and its very exciting to drive and physically demanding."

"The British fans are enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and more balanced than fans anywhere else in the world. We get a lot of support from them. They are quite open in their emotions. I hope we can give them something good, especially after the way our car went in the pre-race test."

-sauber-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Mika Hakkinen , Nick Heidfeld
Teams Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren