San Marino GP: Sauber preview

Following the inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir, Team Sauber Petronas moves to Imola for the first European leg of the FIA Formula One World Championship on 25 April. Willy Rampf (Technical Director): "We'll be back to familiar territory...

Following the inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir, Team Sauber Petronas moves to Imola for the first European leg of the FIA Formula One World Championship on 25 April.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):

"We'll be back to familiar territory in Imola, after our visit to Bahrain, and we can expect lower temperatures for sure! Imola is a track that demands good traction and brake stability - it is even heavier on brakes than Melbourne. It requires maximum brake cooling, and the big challenge is to find the right brake balance and temperature for the one-lap qualifying as well as for the race. Brake balance and performance are crucial for a good car performance."

"We did our final pre-season test in Imola, and that was quite good and gave us also a chance at one stage to try Bridgestone wet tyres. We were able to continue our wind tunnel programme and will have several new aerodynamic components on the car in Imola."

"In Bahrain we made use of our power steering for the first time in a race. We were able to improve it further at our recent test in Barcelona and from Imola it will be used at every race."

Giancarlo Fisichella (126 GPs):

"Naturally, as an Italian, I love racing at Imola, but it goes deeper than that. It is my home race, I won my first Formula Three race there, and I scored my first Formula One points there with fourth place for Jordan in 1997. And, of course, although my first Formula One victory came in Brazil last year, it was not until Imola that I actually received my trophy! That was a moving and deeply satisfying moment for me. So it is a place that has some good memories for me. There are a lot of fans there, and the atmosphere is very special."

"It's a tough circuit on brakes and you have to use the kerbs a lot, but we have a reliable car and I believe that we will be in good shape. I'm really looking forward to it."

Felipe Massa (19 GPs, 1 point 2004):

"Having raced Formula Renault and Formula 3000 in Italy, and been a Ferrari test driver, I naturally feel a strong affinity with the country and Imola is a track I like. But overtaking there is very, very difficult. That means that doing a good qualifying is super-important, and so is your race strategy."

"It's a very hard circuit on brakes, but that's okay for the driver even though we feel very high G forces under braking, because you do it in a straight line. It's not like places in Sepang, for example, where lateral load is also a factor. What is tough on you at Imola, however, are the kerbs, especially in the chicanes, because they are high and you have to ride over them."

-sauber-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Felipe Massa
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Jordan