Fresh from testing at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, Team Sauber Petronas is ready for the sixth round of the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship, the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo. Willy Rampf (Technical ...
Fresh from testing at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, Team Sauber Petronas is ready for the sixth round of the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship, the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo.
Willy Rampf (Technical Director):
"Monaco is a great challenge, both to the drivers and to the engineers. It is a maximum downforce circuit, and we will be bringing a revised aero package to Monte Carlo to achieve this. Unlike other tracks, the speeds are relatively low so that pure efficiency is less important than outright downforce."
"Traction is also crucial. The C24 is much improved in that respect, and we are continually refining our traction control settings, but you need to make sure the engine does not suffer. The track is also tough on the drivetrain; due to the high number of corners and the associated braking and acceleration, we have more gear changes there than anywhere else."
"Among other modifications are revised front suspension geometry to facilitate more steering lock specifically for this track, and further refinement of the power steering."
"The brake material for this track has to offer a high level of controllability and consistency to avoid severe wheel locking, but also needs good performance as there is no long straight to cool down. Tyre wear could be an issue as we use the softest tyre compounds of the whole year. The track itself only offers low grip as it is used for public traffic."
"Overall, our target is to combine good grip and traction with neutral handling balance. The car needs to behave with precision because the run-off areas are very limited, and they are one-way!"
Jacques Villeneuve (138 GPs, 5 points 2005):
"I've been looking forward to racing in Monaco for weeks! It's a great circuit and just the kind of challenge I like."
"Our car was very good in Imola, and even though Spain was a disappointment my tyres were great the whole race in Barcelona. We will be able to get away with running softer compounds in Monaco, so I'm looking forward to being able to fight hard there."
Felipe Massa (39 GPs, 2 points 2005):
"Monaco can be a funny track. I never drove a car there yet that had a really comfortable set-up, though last year things were reasonable and I scored points for fifth because I was able to get to the finish. It's one of those places where you can often score provided you get to the end, even if you are not fast."
"It's very easy to crash there; in 2002 I had a big shunt at Ste Devote after a brake problem. To go fast you have to go close to the wall every lap, so you are always right on the edge."
"It's also even harder to overtake there than it is at Imola. The Tunnel isn't really straight enough to line up a pass, and generally speaking you can only pass if the guy in front makes a mistake. But you do get a buzz driving there, though you soon get used to the feeling after your first few laps on the limit."
"The problem is finding that limit without stepping over it, because if you go over you crash. Simple as that. I did spin once in the chicane without hitting anything, and on the exit to the Swimming Pool, but that was pure luck!"