British GP: Williams preview

The BMW WilliamsF1 Team head to their home Grand Prix at Silverstone next weekend hopeful of another dominant race performance. With a pair of one - two victories secured in eight consecutive days at Nürburgring and Magny-Cours, the team is now...

The BMW WilliamsF1 Team head to their home Grand Prix at Silverstone next weekend hopeful of another dominant race performance. With a pair of one - two victories secured in eight consecutive days at Nürburgring and Magny-Cours, the team is now only three points behind Ferrari in the fight for the Constructors' Championship and is looking to steal the advantage.

The team completed an intensive testing programme at the Circuit de Catalunya this week, with the primary objective of securing an optimum set up for the British Grand Prix. The team also supported tyre partner Michelin with their development work, in order to keep the BMW WilliamsF1 Team ahead of the field prior to the testing ban.

Ralf Schumacher:

"WilliamsF1's home race is a special event for the whole team but this year's race is going to be even more special following our recent victories. After Magny-Cours, the team's mood is particularily buoyant but we can't afford to be complacent -- the victories are the team's rewards for having worked so hard over the past months but we know we need to continue developing the package. Consequently, we've been testing various set up configurations as well as completing tyre evaluations in Barcelona this week so we should be well prepared for Silverstone."

"The car is quick on a variety of circuit layouts so we should be able to produce a good result at Silverstone, as long as the British weather is kind to us, to do this would be great at our home Grand Prix. The track combines a good mixture of slow, medium and fast corners and has three straights where overtaking is possible. I am looking forward to Silverstone, as the car always seems to run well in both races and testing. In 1999 I achieved third place but I would be very pleased to do better this year!"

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"The majority of teams spend a lot of time testing at Silverstone so most of the drivers could drive the track blindfolded! The last time we were there we managed to set some encouraging times so we're fairly confident for next weekend's race. Furthermore, I've collected some valuable points in the past couple of races at Silverstone, with a third and a fourth."

"However, it is a very different circuit from both the Nürburgring and Magny-Cours where we have performed so well in the past two weeks. It would be great to keep this momentum going though, epsecially as it is WilliamsF1's home Grand Prix. We are very aware that weather conditions will play an influential role over the weekend. It is not unusual to get a lot of wet running during the British GP weekend, which doesn't really suit our tyres too much but we are definitely aiming for more podium positions."

Sam Michael (WilliamsF1, Chief Operations Engineer):

"The team is very much looking forward to going to Silverstone this year and hopefully maintaining our current strong form. The test team have been at Barcelona since our last win at Magny-Cours and their hard work has enabled Michelin and BMW WilliamsF1 to push the tyre programme forward again before the test ban. So far, we are the only team to have scored points in every race this year, an achievement that is only possible through extensive testing to ensure reliability, and something we hope to continue."

"Silverstone is an interesting track with a mix of high speed corners, three straights, where power and drag are important, and a slow speed complex to finish off the lap. Aero efficiency is therefore critical and the set-up of the car has to be geared towards optimising high speed stability whilst not losing too much grip in the complex. Strategies are becoming more exciting with every Grand Prix, with the teams pushing themselves towards multi-stops. This is an advantage for us as we are as strong as ever in the pitstops. Overtaking is not impossible at Silverstone, so it should be an interesting race for the drivers and the fans where we are looking to secure the lead in the Constructors' Championship ahead of Ferrari."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"Without a doubt we're extremely happy with our recent results, we're especially pleased that the team can approach WilliamsF1's home race in such a strong position. However, we're only too aware of how quickly the balance of power can shift in Formula One - one day you can be at the top, the next you can be fighting mid-field. Consequently, we've done very little celebrating and just continued working hard at the factories in Grove and Munich as well as completing an intensive testing programme at Barcelona."

"At Silverstone, the team has the opportunity to take the lead in the Constructors' Championship and we will be pulling out all the stops to achieve that. So far, the BMW P83 engine has been excellent, not just in terms of its performance, but also as far as its reliability is concerned. Silverstone circuit has a few high speed corners, so aerodynamics will play a crucial role, but it is also a challenging track for the engine. Last year, Juan Pablo took pole for the team, but in the race itself we struggled with the rain which is always a worry at the British Grand Prix."


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Williams