BMW interview with Tung

With his test drive for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team, Ho-Pin Tung went down in the annals of F1. In an interview with BMW, he describes his impressions gained during the test drive. Q: Did you complete a special programme in order to prepare ...

With his test drive for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team, Ho-Pin Tung went down in the annals of F1. In an interview with BMW, he describes his impressions gained during the test drive.

Q: Did you complete a special programme in order to prepare yourself for the run at Jerez?

Ho-Pin Tung, the first ever Chinese driver to test a Formula One car.
Photo by BMW PressClub.
Ho-Pin Tung: Yes, physically I trained even harder and more than before, especially my neck muscles to cope with the extreme g-forces of a F1 car. Unfortunately, there wasn't a possibility left to have a test on the Jerez circuit before the F1 test, so I had to learn the track in the F1 car.

Q: You seemed quite relaxed before your first drive in a Formula One car. How did you feel after the test drive?

H-PT: The BMW WilliamsF1 Team was fantastic. They were very open to me and I felt really comfortable. I wasn't nervous at all, not before, not during and not after the test. After the test, however, I was a bit disappointed that it was already over! I wanted more!

Q: How was the reaction in China after your test drive in the FW24?

H-PT: Incredible! All the big newspapers covered the news, CCTV was at the race track and taped everything for a special feature programme and on the Internet, and the news is also massive.

Q: What did impress you most when you were driving the WilliamsF1 BMW FW24?

H-PT: Everything was impressive, but I think the brakes were the best, unbelievable good!

Q: What are the main differences between Formula BMW and Formula One?

H-PT: Engine power, corner speed and brakes.

Q: What kind of things do you still have to learn or get used to?

H-PT: Mainly the amount of downforce the car generates in the faster corners, that's amazing.

Q: How did you get along with your new "team-mates", Juan Pablo Montoya and Marc Gen?? Did they provide useful information on how to perform in a F1-car?

H-PT: They were really great! They helped me a lot and if I wanted to know something, they gave me all the information I needed. The day before the test, I completed some laps in a road car with both Juan Pablo and Marc. I chatted a lot with them and we had a lot of fun and were making some jokes.

Q: What did the team tell you after the tests?

H-PT: I mainly talked with my engineers and analysed the data. In addition, I attended the team briefing at the end of the day.

Q: After Nico Rosberg and Nelson Piquet, you are the third young driver to test for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team in 2003. Do you stay in contact with the two drivers?

H-PT: I met Nico for the first time in Monaco during the F1 Grand Prix when I participated in a go-kart event of our mutual sponsor Hugo Boss. He's really a nice guy and we made a lot of fun in the karts, especially when it started raining! And Nelson, I met him only briefly when I visited the Williams headquarters in Grove. We only shook hands but he seems a nice guy to me.

Q: Would you rather start your F1-career as test driver for a top team like the BMW WilliamsF1 Team, or would you prefer to drive for a small team like Minardi?

H-PT: That's a difficult question to answer, but I think I would prefer to get my start in Formula 1 as a test driver for the BMWWilliamsF1 Team.

Q: Do you think BMW will be able to secure the World Championship title in 2004?

H-PT: I'm convinced that they will be very strong and have a very good chance to win the World Championship.

-bmw-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Nelson Piquet , Nico Rosberg , Ho-Pin Tung
Teams Williams , Minardi