European GP: Williams preview

Following an eventful race at Monaco, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team heads to Germany this week for the European Grand Prix hosted at the Nürburgring. The seventh round of the FIA Formula One World Championship marks the first of several back-to-back ...

Following an eventful race at Monaco, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team heads to Germany this week for the European Grand Prix hosted at the Nürburgring. The seventh round of the FIA Formula One World Championship marks the first of several back-to-back races and the first of BMW's home races this season.

A high downforce circuit, with several overtaking opportunities, the Nürburgring is a demanding track for both driver and machine. However, the venue has often proved fortuitous for the team with Ralf claiming his first win of the season there last year, while Juan Pablo clinched second place to secure a one-two victory for the team. With the season progressing, expectations will be high at the European Grand Prix for a more exacting performance from the Anglo-German partnership.

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"The Monaco Grand Prix is only just over and we are already heading to the next race. It is quite demanding for all the team having back-to-back races, but some of us are used to it as we often have to leave for a test session straight after a race. I quite like racing at the Nürburgring. I think this track is challenging which, for a driver, makes it fun. We have always managed to perform quite well there, both in qualifying and in the race and we will have some new bits on the car for this Grand Prix, so my impression now is that we could aim for a good result."

"Thanks to last weekend's fourth place in Monaco, I have added some further points to both mine and the team's tally. We still need to work hard though in order to pick up as many points as possible and catch up with the front-runners."

Ralf Schumacher:

"I was absolutely delighted to win my home race last year. Such an event is an unforgettable highlight in a drivers' career, so a repeat performance would be more than welcome. I will obviously do everything I can to make it happen, although our package is not working as well as it was last year. I can promise, though, that we will keep working around the clock to return to form and compete with the front runners."

"The Nürburgring has always been special for me. It is only a short drive from Kerpen, where I grew up, so I have watched many races there. I also practiced my road car driving on the old Nordschleife . I've competed in 18 races on the Nürburgring and I won my first race in a Formel BMW Junior car there in 1993, which has to be a good omen. In any case, I am really looking forward to the great atmosphere and hope to see many BMW WilliamsF1 Team fans at the track."

Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer WilliamsF1):

"It is obviously a very short break between the two races at Monaco and Nürburgring, so it is quite a challenge for the guys to move everything from one venue to the other in such a short space of time, but they are experienced in managing the logistics of back-to-back races."

"For the European Grand Prix, we will have further aerodynamic and mechanical upgrades to run on the car in order to improve our competitiveness. Michelin will also be providing us with two new tyre developments."

"The Nürburgring is a high downforce track with numerous slow and several medium speed corners but also a crucial high speed section. The circuit offers overtaking opportunities, the best one seems to be in the section from the last chicane until turn one, which has been seen in previous races. Following the special requirements that Monaco demands, race strategy wilI be back to normal for this event. It is likely we will see more pit stops than in previous races at the Nürburgring when the lower pit-lane speed limit was in force."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"Both the races that take place in Germany are obviously special for BMW and we are really looking forward to meeting our fans on home soil. The organisers have done a lot of work in order to promote ticket sales at the Nürburgring, so we hope their efforts will reap rewards. The circuit has been improved a lot over the last few years, with new pit buildings and a new stadium-like section having been built. At the Nürburgring, the modern and traditional architecture really do compliment each other well."

"The Nürburgring is a different challenge for the BMW P84 engine compared to the narrow streets of Monaco. The full throttle percentage in the Eifel region will be about 51% per lap, on a qualifying lap it will be up to 64%. Both figures are about average compared to other circuits. We will return to the Nürburgring just 14 days after the European Grand Prix, when we will line up two BMW M3 GTRs on the grid for the 24-Hours race on the legendary Nordschleife."


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Williams