Sam Michael, Technical Director After a couple of good race results at two quite different circuits, the team is looking forward to a competitive outing at Hockenheim. Our target is to qualify both cars in the top ten and to race for points. We...
Sam Michael, Technical Director
After a couple of good race results at two quite different circuits, the team is looking forward to a competitive outing at Hockenheim. Our target is to qualify both cars in the top ten and to race for points. We have made some further modifications to the diffuser and also to the blown rear wing, which we'll test during Friday's practice sessions. Although the development race is fierce, testing restrictions really enable all of the teams to compete on equal terms.
Hockenheim is a very challenging track, particularly for setting up the car. Despite the revisions a few years ago, the circuit still has a longish straight, but if you set up specifically for that you just lose time in the infield area. It's quite a high speed course, and you need straight line speed in order to attack into the corners. That really applies going into the hairpin which is a good place to overtake, in fact it's probably the best opportunity we have around the lap. The stadium section is tight and tough on tyres.
The German Grand Prix is really popular among the fans, so the weekend has a great atmosphere and I enjoy going there. It's where I took my first GP win so I obviously have nice memories of this race. The team are still working hard to bring more improvements to the car. It would be positive to continue our recent run of form at Hockenheim and stay within the top ten.
Racing in front of a home crowd is a different experience to going to any other Grand Prix. I know that the German fans are really looking forward to their race and they'll create a really buzzing atmosphere. Everything will be a little more focused on the German drivers, so it will be a busy weekend.
Hockenheim is actually one of my favourite tracks on the calendar. I've had some strong races there in the past and some good results, especially the two wins in 2005 in the Formula BMW-ADAC series. The track layout is quite interesting and the Motodrome is the best part of it. It's like a football stadium and has a very special atmosphere. There are very quick parts to the track, like turn one, as well as some slow and tight corners, which means we will have to find a good compromise on car set-up. Plus, we have to be quick on the straights because there is a good chance to overtake going into the hairpin. We have to be careful with the tyres as well because the track can be quite hard on them. Scoring a point at Silverstone was satisfying and motivating, but I am hungry for more and want to improve upon that result in Hockenheim.