Â· The Circuit Race Distance - 67 laps 189.664 miles (305.235km) Circuit Length 2.831 miles (4.556km) Germany's NÃ¼rburgring - host to the European Grand Prix since 1995 - is decidedly tame by comparison to its intimidating 14-mile-long ...
· The Circuit
Race Distance - 67 laps 189.664 miles (305.235km)
Circuit Length 2.831 miles (4.556km)
Germany's Nürburgring - host to the European Grand Prix since 1995 - is decidedly tame by comparison to its intimidating 14-mile-long predecessor. There are no particularly tight 'S' bends, making it a fairly high downforce track that is light on brakes and tyres. To achieve a competitive lap time here requires all the normal chassis attributes: good traction (particularly out of the hairpins), good chassis balance and stability under braking, and the best possible compromise between downforce and straight-line speed. As the circuit is situated close to the Eifel mountains, weather can often play a major role in the outcome of races at the Nürburgring.
· The Team
Following the disappointment of the Canadian Grand Prix, the team set about a thorough investigation into the problems experienced in Montréal. As the season reaches its mid-point, Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda are eager to eradicate any reliability problems and focus on the strong points finishes it knows are well within its capability.
Last week, Jacques Villeneuve and Olivier Panis were busy testing at Silverstone with development driver Patrick Lemarié and test driver Takuma Sato. This gave the team the opportunity to run through some specific items for the British Grand Prix and to continue with general developments for the European and French Grands Prix.
As a result, it is a very positive Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda that heads to the Nürburgring this weekend. Whilst the 2000 race failed to yield any points for the team, Jacques has won here twice before and it's a track both drivers are familiar with and enjoy. Sunday's race also marks Olivier Panis' 100th career Grand Prix so the team are optimistic that this will be a weekend with plenty to celebrate.
Commenting on the outlook for the 2001 European Grand Prix:
Team Principal and Managing Director Craig Pollock said, "We've had a very productive week since our return from Canada, ensuring that the frustrations of the last race are well behind us. We are now at the mid-point of the season and although things may not have gone quite according to plan so far, we have invested a great deal of time in analysing the difficulties we have experienced. As a result, everything is in hand for us to move forward at the Nürburgring and beyond. Most of the circuits that lie ahead are circuits which suit the car so we are confident that we can make this the turning point. We are hoping for great things from both drivers but obviously wish Olivier the very best of luck for the special occasion of his 100th Grand Prix.^Ô
Technical Director Malcolm Oastler said, "Two DNFs came as quite a surprise to us in Canada and the Silverstone test gave us the opportunity to make some improvements and raise our game. Importantly, we've improved our aerodynamics package and we're all optimistic about our prospects for the second half of the season."