Formula One remains in Asia after the Japanese Grand Prix, and travels west to China for the final round of this year's Championship. Following its successful debut on the F1 calendar last year, the team returns to one of the more...
Formula One remains in Asia after the Japanese Grand Prix, and travels west to China for the final round of this year's Championship. Following its successful debut on the F1 calendar last year, the team returns to one of the more favoured GP.
The close of the 2005 season also marks the end of the alliance between BMW and WilliamsF1. After six seasons, the partnership has celebrated ten Grands Prix victories together.
"Last year's inaugural Chinese Grand Prix was one I enjoyed a lot. I went to Beijing beforehand and visited the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. All those monuments and venues are very interesting and one really must go and see that part of the world."
"I think it's a good thing that China is hosting a Formula One race, especially in Shanghai, which is an incredibly modern city.
The circuit itself is unique, especially the first sector which has a great layout and includes a long back straight where you can get some good overtaking done."
"The facilities are world class and the atmosphere at the track is better than we anticipated it to be for a new venue. I enjoyed last year's event and I'm now looking forward to returning.
"Shanghai is another new track for me, just like Suzuka, and another learning curve. I went to last year's race though so I have some idea of what the track looks like. To get to know the layout a bit better I've been on the simulator in Grove and will watch last year's GP, as I always do before a race."
"Most of the drivers say they enjoy the circuit so I am really looking forward to this, the last race of the year. Hopefully we can close the season with a good result for the team."
Sam Michael (Technical Director, WilliamsF1):
"Shanghai circuit has a unique layout, particularly at the first corner, with a good mixture of corner speeds and straights. It is quite twisty in areas and the back straight leads into a corner where you can overtake under the right circumstances. Strategy will be straight forward as we can apply the rule changes to last year's race results."
"After Suzuka, we are looking forward to finishing the year well. Although this year has not yielded the results that would be satisfactory for WilliamsF1, it has given us added incentive to correct our position in 2006. In China, we also bid farewell to BMW with whom we have enjoyed many successful races over the last six years."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
"In Shanghai, both cars will have fresh BMW P84/5 engines for the very last time, as the Chinese Grand Prix will be the final race for the V10. No doubt we will shed some tears over the end of this era but are now looking ahead to the challenges we will face with the new V8s."
"China also marks the last race with our long-term partner, WilliamsF1. We have a six year history together, during which both parties benefited and learnt a lot from each other. Together, we have won ten Grands Prix and, in 2003, we were fighting for the Constructors' title right up until the last race of the season."
"Unfortunately, we did not reach our mutual goal of winning the World Championship together. I'm hoping for a good final race to close our partnership.
"China is one of BMW's fastest growing markets with enormous potential. BMW actually produces cars in China. Compared with 2004, our sales have grown by 25 percent in the region. In 2003, BMW started its first motor sport project in China with the Formula BMW Asia Championship."
"Ho-Pin Tung, who won the series' first drivers' title, later became the first Chinese driver to ever test a Formula One car when he drove the Williams BMW FW24 in 2003. Formula BMW will again feature in this year's support package. In China, curiosity and interest in motor racing are intense and it's going to be exciting to see how this will develop in years to come."