British GP: Sauber preview

For the third back-to-back of the season, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 11 July, Sauber Petronas will have new rear bodywork and the latest B specification version of the Petronas V10 engine. Willy Rampf (Technical ...

For the third back-to-back of the season, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 11 July, Sauber Petronas will have new rear bodywork and the latest B specification version of the Petronas V10 engine.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):

"Silverstone is an extremely demanding circuit. There are some very high-speed sections so aerodynamic efficiency is critical. High-speed stability is paramount through the Maggotts/Becketts sweeps where the drivers have to make accurate directional changes without upsetting the equilibrium of the car."

"You also need good traction and grip through the infield section of the lap after Bridge Corner, which these days in an F1 car is flat-out. In the slower corners you also are looking for good controllability, but the braking energy here is low. The tyre degradation is relatively high so we run quite hard tyres."

"Since our test in Silverstone before the Monaco Grand Prix we have added the new front wing that we used in Magny-Cours, and for this race we will also have revised rear bodywork. This is the second step in the package of new radiators that we introduced at Monaco. The engine cover is lower and this will enhance airflow over the rear wing, and this has only been possible because the new radiators created such an efficient cooling system."

"We have not been able to test the new bodywork prior to the British Grand Prix, but we are confident it is an improvement from our wind tunnel tests and will make a full assessment in Friday practice. Furthermore we will use in Silverstone for the first time the latest B specification version of the Petronas V10 engine, which has more horsepower than the currently used A unit."

Giancarlo Fisichella (133 GPs, 10 points 2004):

"Silverstone is a very good track, and we had a good test there in mid-May. We did a lot of laps and even though I was running alone so there was no rubber down, we did a 1m 18.3s lap, which is competitive. We will have the new front wing from Magny-Cours and some new bodywork, so with more downforce since then I think we can do really well."

"You need a stable car at Silverstone because of the high-speed directional change that is necessary, particularly in the Becketts complex. That is a real buzz when you are driving there, and I remember when I was in Formula Three going down to watch there and being very impressed. It's pretty special. Bridge is fun, though nowadays it's easy flat and less of a challenge than it used to be."

Felipe Massa (26 GPs, 5 points 2004):

"This is a very nice track, and I love driving there. There are a lot of quick corners that I really enjoy. Copse is quicker than you think, just a quick downshift and then straight back hared on the power, and I like Stowe, too. Very high speed with some hard braking. Then there are some medium-speed corners and a couple of slow ones too. It's a good mixture. The tyre degradation is quite high, so we tend to go for harder tyres."

"We recently had a good test at Silverstone and the car went really well, so even though the UK teams tend to have a small advantage from testing there so much, I think we will be competitive and I'm looking forward to a strong race."

-sauber-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Felipe Massa
Teams Sauber