BMW WilliamsF1 Team Speed Challenge at Silverstone Speed made visible In the brief interval between the French and German Grands Prix, the Formula One drivers of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team found time for an event of a rather special kind. On ...
BMW WilliamsF1 Team Speed Challenge at Silverstone
Speed made visible
In the brief interval between the French and German Grands Prix, the Formula One drivers of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team found time for an event of a rather special kind. On Wednesday, Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher took part in the BMW WilliamsF1 Team Speed Challenge on the short track at the Silverstone circuit. The aim was to make speed visible.
Four BMW vehicles with different performance levels set off in sequence, starting with a 400 bhp BMW Z8 Roadster, then a BMW 320i from the European Touring Car Championship, and thirdly a Formula BMW racing car - three fast cars with professional racing drivers at the wheel. After a long gap, the Formula One car finally took to the track, yet still managed to catch all the others up. In the showdown on the finishing straight, the enormous excess speed from more than 850 bhp and a weight of 600 kilograms became graphically evident.
In the days before lighters replaced matchboxes, photographers always seized on this ubiquitous accessory whenever they attempted to explain the relative size of an object in a picture. Similarly, speed can only be grasped in relative terms, though obviously not through a still image. That is how the idea of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team Speed Challenge was sparked.
"Even the television broadcasts of the races can't really convey the speed and acceleration in Formula One," explains Ralf Schumacher, "because you just have cars of more or less equal speed racing against each other. But in our Speed Challenge we had the perfect opportunity for a comparison."
Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director responsible for technology, was also taken with this demonstration. "Even for the experts, who know the performance data of these four cars by heart, it was pretty impressive. The real thing beats the theory any day."
At the BMW WilliamsF1 Team Speed Challenge at Silverstone, BMW works driver Jörg Müller (GER) manned the Formula BMW. Dutchman Tom Coronel was at the wheel of the BMW 320i from the European Touring Car Championship, and ex-Formula One driver Bruno Giacomelli (ITA) was racing the Z8. Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher took it in turns to blast around the 2.6-kilometre Northamptonshire track in the WilliamsF1 BMW FW24.