Brazilian GP: Sauber preview

The Brazilian Grand Prix at Sao Paulo on 24 October will be the 18th and final round of the FIA Formula One World Championship 2004. For team Sauber Petronas this also means the finish of a successful season. Willy Rampf (Technical ...

The Brazilian Grand Prix at Sao Paulo on 24 October will be the 18th and final round of the FIA Formula One World Championship 2004. For team Sauber Petronas this also means the finish of a successful season.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):

"Interlagos is a very challenging circuit, with a variety of difficult corners. There is a special combination of the two long straights followed by the infield complex, and that places different demands when you set-up the car. Naturally the straights require low downforce for high top speed which is essential for overtaking, while you need good grip and traction on the infield."

"As Interlagos is a very bumpy track, the engineers spend a lot of time optimising the mechanical set-up by means of spring, anti-roll bar and damper setting. Simulating these track conditions on our 7-post rig helped to achieve a good compromise for all track conditions."

"Last year we found a good set-up compromise for single-lap qualifying and the race at Interlagos, so I am confident that we will be in good shape also for the final race of this season. The high-speed nature of the track will suit the aerodynamic behaviour of the C23."

Giancarlo Fisichella (140 GPs, 22 points 2004):

"Last year gave me one of the most satisfying moments of my life, when I won the race. I have a very good feeling with the track. It's one of the best, and also one of the most difficult. There are all sorts of corners there, and on the first day it is always quite slippery because there isn't much rubber there. You need to be consistent, otherwise it's easy to make mistakes."

"In the past I did very well there. Once third, once second. Last year first! So I really like Brazil, and Sao Paulo, and I like the character of the people. They are very enthusiastic. I am looking forward to the race, and to do my best. I think the C23 will be competitive there as well."

Felipe Massa (33 GPs, 11 points 2004):

"I feel lots of pressure racing in Brazil, but it's also a fantastic feeling to be at home. Running in front of my fellow countrymen is the best feeling I've ever had in racing. There is nothing else like it! When I was racing in other categories the Brazilian Grand Prix was always the race I paid most attention to, and I always hoped one day to compete in it. Drivers such as Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna were my role models."

"When I finally raced there for Sauber Petronas in 2002 it was only my third Grand Prix, so it was tough for me. I knew Interlagos well because I raced there four times in Formula Opel, but it was still difficult to cope with the pressure then and with learning all about Formula One. I did a bad race and collided with Mark Webber."

"Now, with the race being at the end of the season instead of the beginning, I have a lot more experience and for sure that will help. The Sauber Petronas C23 is getting better and better and I really think that we can do well there. Scoring points would be nice, while a podium for me would be fantastic!"

-sauber-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Mark Webber , Felipe Massa , Ayrton Senna , Nelson Piquet
Teams Sauber