After another strong qualifying performance but ultimately unsatisfactory conclusion to the European Grand Prix at the NÃ¼rburgring, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team has redoubled its preparations for the forthcoming British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The...
After another strong qualifying performance but ultimately unsatisfactory conclusion to the European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team has redoubled its preparations for the forthcoming British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The mainstay of preparation work has been a week of testing at Circuit de Catalunya in Spain, under the stewardship of test team drivers Marc Gené and Antonio Pizzonia. Specific developments that have been under assessment include a revised aero package for the WilliamsF1 BMW FW24.
The Silverstone race is another "home" event for the Anglo-German partnership, and is especially poignant as it was the venue for WilliamsF1's first race victory in 1979, as well as their 100th GP win in 1997 with Jacques Villeneuve. WilliamsF1 has eight race victories to its credit since Clay Regazzoni's maiden GP win for the team 24 years ago, giving the team a win rate of just under 50% of all races entered at the circuit.
This year's British Grand Prix will mark the BMW WilliamsF1 Team's principal sponsor livery change to the Hewlett Packard (HP) brand (see further details attached).
"I can't wait to go racing to Silverstone because we have been quite strong there over the course of many tests, as well as having good recent race performances. It would be really great if we could achieve a good result at WilliamsF1's home Grand Prix. The track is again a compromise between quick and slow parts, of which the latter may cause us some problems, but we are taking some new aerodynamic parts to the Silverstone and this should make our BMW WilliamsF1 car very competitive."
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"I think Silverstone is going to be a hard race and our success really depends on the tyres, which are going to be the key to the result. Hopefully it doesn't rain, then all should be well for us. We didn't qualify particularly strongly but performed really well on Sunday. I really feel like making up for the last three disappointing races after as many brilliant qualifying sessions, but the British Grand Prix promises to be a tough one."
Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer, WilliamsF1):
"This week at the Barcelona test we have been concentrating on the problems that affected our car at the Nürburgring. Silverstone is harder on tyres than the last three races and as such requires stiffer compounds to minimise degradation.
"The circuit has a good mixture of low, medium and high speed corners as well as three straights which mean aero efficiency is important. Setup is usually geared towards helping high speed stability. Strategy is not clear at Silverstone with a mix of one and two stoppers last year, but overtaking is also possible as we proved in 2001."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
"There is no doubt that we want to record top results in races as soon as possible. Good race results are more satisfying than three pole positions in a row which are not rewarded with any points. At the Nürburgring we used the latest engine evolution for the first time in the race as opposed to only in qualifying, and we had no problems. This means after the failures in Monaco and Canada we did not go backwards but have actually take a step forward. At the same time we have worked on reliability. For Silverstone we just hope that everything works well again in every aspect of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team and enables us to claim some points."