British GP: Williams preview

This weekend's British Grand Prix, the eleventh round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the second of three home races for the Anglo-German BMW WilliamsF1 Team, and the last of a succession of gruelling double headers. The home of ...

This weekend's British Grand Prix, the eleventh round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the second of three home races for the Anglo-German BMW WilliamsF1 Team, and the last of a succession of gruelling double headers.

The home of British Motorsport, Silverstone is a particularly poignant venue for WilliamsF1. Not only did Jacques Villeneuve secure WilliamsF1's 100th win at the Northamptonshire track, but this year's race marks the 25th anniversary of WilliamsF1's first ever Formula One victory, claimed by Clay Regazzoni in 1979.

Following his solid performance at Magny-Cours, Marc Gené will once again deputize for the recovering Ralf Schumacher. With further aerodynamic and mechanical modifications on the FW26, the team are determined to improve upon recent performances in front of a home crowd.

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"The BMW WilliamsF1 Team has tested twice at Silverstone this year so we have already collated some valuable information even before Friday's practice sessions. From past experience of British Grands Prix weekends, we usually seem to be quicker in the race than in Friday practice or during Saturday's qualifying. Last year, for example, I finished the race in second place although I started from seventh on the grid."

"We haven't managed to collect many points in the last few races so we really must get it right at Silverstone, especially as it's the home race for WilliamsF1. I know a lot of people from the factory are coming to Silverstone over the weekend so I hope we can give them something to cheer about! I am very pleased that Marc is racing again at this Grand Prix and I'll give him all the support he needs. I get on very well with Marc and whatever I can do to help him, I'll do for sure!"

Marc Gené:

"I am very much looking forward to Silverstone. Although everything went well for me at Magny-Cours, I will be using that experience to help me improve my race performance at Silverstone. We've spent a lot of time testing at Silverstone in the past so I'm confident when I say that the track suits the FW26. We've always achieved competitive lap times there so I hope we can do the same over the Grand Prix weekend. It would also be good to score some points as it's WilliamsF1's home race and many of the guys from the factory will be there."

Sam Michael (Technical Director, WilliamsF1):

"Silverstone has a mix of high speed corners, as well as three straights, where power and drag are important, and a slow speed complex towards the end of the lap. Aero efficiency is therefore crucial while the set-up on the cars needs to be geared towards aiding high speed stability without losing too much grip in the complex."

"For the British Grand Prix, we will again have some aero and mechanical upgrades on the cars which will hopefully give our drivers an improved package. Once again, Marc Gené will be driving the second car as he did a good job in Magny-Cours. His fastest lap in the race was a tenth faster than Juan-Pablo's, so we are sure that he will be fired up to score some points for the team."

"Silverstone offers a few good overtaking opportunities which encourage exciting racing, as demonstrated at last year's Grand Prix, a race particularly enhanced by safety car stints which put the cars on quite different strategies. Strategy decisions are continually changing at the moment which is interesting, the very different strategies employed at the last Grand Prix was a good example of this."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"Our partner's home race marks the end of an extremely draining period for all the team, during which we've had six races in eight weeks as well as test sessions at Silverstone, Monza and Jerez. Since the Canadian Grand Prix we've seen marked signs of improvement in the car's competitiveness, despite the string of unforeseen circumstances."

"At the same time, structural changes have been pushed forward to improve the chain of communication between BMW and WilliamsF1, as well as the introduction of a demonstrably enhanced chassis. The BMW WilliamsF1 Team is currently going through a difficult phase, but I am confident we will come out of it much stronger."

"As far as engine development in Munich is concerned, everything is running to plan. Thanks to the engine's reliability under high revs, we are in a position to choose gear ratios, which takes the engine to seventh gear with maximum revs, a significant development, especially for Silverstone's fast corners and three straights."

"For the remaining eight Grands Prix of the 2004 season, we have to work on closing the gap to the front runners. Marc Gené will be the second driver alongside Juan Pablo for the British Grand Prix and his input will be crucial for our efforts in this direction."


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