Spanish GP: Sauber preview

After making a significant step forward in Imola and scoring further points, Sauber Petronas has prepared for the fifth round of the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship in Barcelona by conducting more tests in Fiorano last week further to...

After making a significant step forward in Imola and scoring further points, Sauber Petronas has prepared for the fifth round of the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship in Barcelona by conducting more tests in Fiorano last week further to refine the new rear-end aerodynamic package.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):

"The Circuit de Catalunya has a wide range of corners, from slow through medium to very fast, so that makes it a very popular test venue and means that everybody knows it well. It exposes the character of a car and the tyres. Aerodynamic efficiency is paramount, together with tyre performance."

"The track has been resurfaced, so it will be interesting to see what effect that has; in the past it has been very abrasive. Of course this year tyre degradation is a key factor as we can only use one set of tyres from Saturday qualifying on, so it will be interesting to see whether the situation has become better or worse."

"We run high downforce at Barcelona, and I am confident that we will be in even better shape than we were in our recent test there as we have since introduced the revised rear-end aerodynamic package that gave us such a performance increase in Imola. We have also since worked on our traction control and mechanical set-ups, so I think we can be in effective shape this weekend."

"One of the characteristics of Barcelona is that the track is very sensitive to temperature change, and as it rises the grip level goes down. You thus find that what works well in a morning session does not necessarily work so well in the afternoon, and continually have to make changes to compensate. This will make tyre evaluation challenging on Friday, and will surely keep the engineers on their toes!"

Jacques Villeneuve (137 GPs, 3 points 2005):

"Barcelona has some long and fast corners so the cars have to be set-up very precisely. It is difficult to overtake on this track because the braking zones are quite short. Physically, it is demanding on the neck due to these fast corners and the high G-forces. However, there is always a good crowd there and it is a pleasant circuit to drive - you can really have fun if you can attack.

"I had a difficult test recently in Barcelona, but we didn't have the new aero package then and as we showed at Imola, that really has made a big difference to the performance of the Sauber Petronas C24. For sure it will also help us in Barcelona this weekend, but a lot will depend on how quickly we will be able find the right set-up."

"I had more freedom to set the car up the way I like in Imola, and was really pleased with my race there, so I am hoping all of that will carry over in Spain. Scoring three points has helped a lot and has relieved some of the pressure from the first three races. After the way the car went in Imola, I can't wait to get to Barcelona."

Felipe Massa (38 GPs, 2 points 2005):

"I am really looking forward to Barcelona! I had a good test there recently, albeit not necessarily in terms of pure lap time, and that was without the new aero package that gave us such a significant step forward at Imola."

"We need further to improve on this type of circuit, which has historically not always suited us as well as, say, Imola and Bahrain. We need more work to improve the car in fast corners, but the new aero package has really helped so I am encouraged."

"I like the circuit. The times can be funny because it is always faster in the morning. The wide variety of corners means you have to compromise on car set-up but it's fun to drive there. If your car goes well there, generally it will go well anywhere."

Jacques Villeneuve and Felipe Massa at charity tennis tournament

The Sauber Petronas drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Felipe Massa are invited together with other Formula One pilots for a charity tennis tournament at the Sanchez-Casal Tennis Academy in Barcelona on Thursday morning. Their team mates at the matches will be Spanish top tennis players.

At the Grand Prix of Monaco on 22 May an auction will take place where amongst others car parts of Sauber Petronas are given away for a charity aim. The fund goes to the Northampton Intensive Care Hospital near Silverstone.

-sauber-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Felipe Massa
Teams Sauber