F1

Italian GP: Williams preview

For the first time this year, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team will line up on the grid for the Italian Grand Prix leading the FIA Formula One Constructors' World Championship. With only a slim, eight-point margin over its closest rivals, the fight for ...

For the first time this year, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team will line up on the grid for the Italian Grand Prix leading the FIA Formula One Constructors' World Championship. With only a slim, eight-point margin over its closest rivals, the fight for points will be more competitive than ever.

To add to the compulsion of the closing races of the season, the drivers championship is as hotly contested as the constructors', with only three points separating the leading trio.

In preparation for the race, the team undertook an extensive four day test in Monza concluding on September 5. Significant progress was made in relation to tyre, aero and subsidiary component development, as well as set-up work to optimise the car for the forthcoming race.

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"Monza is a good track for me. I've been on pole twice and I also achieved my first Formula one victory there. We looked quite strong while testing at Monza this week, which makes us quite confident for the race weekend. I like being in Italy and I spent some time there in 1990, when I was racing in the Kart Junior World Championship in Lonato, near Brescia. I learned the language and I can understand Italian quite well now. The people are so friendly and passionate about Formula One that the atmosphere at the Autodromo is really special!"

"There will obviously be a lot of Ferrari fans at the track so it would be very nice to score another victory at their home circuit, but Ferrari are also looking good for the race. My main focus now is scoring points and finishing the remaining races in front of my main rivals, Michael and Kimi. It's going to be a very, very interesting race."

Ralf Schumacher:

"After my accident at the test in Monza this week, the most important thing for me now is to concentrate on getting back to one hundred percent fitness. The accident as such does not bother me and I do not have any concerns that I will not be fit for the race next weekend."

"I love the race at Monza, not only because the BMW engine gives us an advantage for the several long, full throttle sections, but also because I find the changes between the fast and slow sections quite interesting. It is necessary to drive through the chicanes with absolute precision in order to gain as much momentum as possible to take with you onto the faster parts of the circuit. This includes driving over the curbs properly, if you don't your car jumps and you lose time."

"For this race, my goal is to try to keep my slim chance in the Drivers' Championship alive. However, it is even more important to perform as a team and to defend our lead in the Constructors' Championship."

Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer, WilliamsF1):

"Monza is such a different circuit compared to the other Grands Prix on the Formula One calendar. With top speeds of more than 360kph, we are operating the car at its limit. Dominated by long straights, three medium speed corners and chicanes, Monza is hard on brakes and engines. Setting the car up for the curbs is important, while maintaining good braking stability."

"Strategy will be interesting at Monza, particularly since overtaking is more likely in the race due to the long straights and the fact that it is possible to get a large tow. As normal, in line with our development program, we have a few aerodynamic and mechanical improvements for this race. We are also arriving with two new tyre compounds that we have developed with Michelin."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"Monza is the last genuine high-speed circuit on the Formula One calendar. As such, it is one of the highlights of the season for us as an engine manufacturer, but it also presents a major challenge. Our BMW P83 is extremely 'familiar' with the Monza circuit profile, as it is the reference track for simulated endurance tests on the engine rigs in Munich, so hopefully we will run fairly competitively there. Last year, Juan Pablo set a world record during his qualifying lap with an average speed of 259.827 kph and a top engine speed of over 19,000 rpm."

"As a team, we have for the first time taken the lead in the Constructors' Championship ahead of Ferrari -- an incredible development after a weak start to the season. In the Drivers' standings, Juan Pablo is also right up at the front with Ralf only a few points behind. Our aim, therefore, for this race is to consolidate our position and hopefully extend the gap between us and our rivals."

-williams-

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