European GP: BMW Sauber preview

Munich/Hinwil, 14th August 2009. Following the announcement by BMW that it will be pulling out of Formula One at the end of the season, the members of the BMW Sauber F1 Team now have an extra source of motivation; performing as well as possible...

Munich/Hinwil, 14th August 2009. Following the announcement by BMW that it will be pulling out of Formula One at the end of the season, the members of the BMW Sauber F1 Team now have an extra source of motivation; performing as well as possible will promote their case for a future in the sport.

Robert Kubica:
"I really enjoyed the Valencia circuit a lot. I like the character of stop-and-go tracks. In Valencia you have a lot of long straights followed by narrow corners and long straights again. That means a lot of heavy braking. It was very hot there last year as the track is between concrete walls and there is not a lot of air. These conditions are very tough for the car's cooling. Last year I performed quite well in Valencia."

Nick Heidfeld:
"Valencia is a street circuit, but it doesn't drive like one. In fact it's just like one of the modern race tracks. You're not right up against the buildings, there isn't the tightness you usually get at street circuits, but there are run-off areas. I'm excited to find out what effect the latest modifications will have on our car. Valencia is a great city, of course, and I'm looking forward to going back to a fine restaurant which I discovered on my last visit."

Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director:

"Clearly we're all disappointed about the decision to withdraw from Formula One. The team had established itself at the top in just three years and we would love to have shown that the poor results we've had this season were just a blip. Now our work is focusing on the next few months. While efforts are continuing behind the scenes to find a solution for the team, everybody is aware that putting in good performances at the circuits is the best way to advertise their abilities. We want to get back into the fast lane, and so the development packages for Valencia and Singapore will be put into practice as planned."

Willy Rampf, Head of Engineering:

"The race in Valencia was a new addition to the calendar last year and represents a real gain for Formula One. The track, which is built into the port area of the city and has 25 corners, boasts a unique character all of its own. It is a street circuit, but cannot really be compared with Monaco, for example. Indeed, it is wider and allows a much higher average speed. Plus, there are generous run-off areas at practically all the potential trouble spots around the track, which guarantees a high level of safety. Despite the two-week summer break, during which the factory in Hinwil was closed, we will bring a development package to Valencia headed by numerous aerodynamic parts."

History and background:

The Valencia street circuit made its debut on the Formula One calendar in 2008. Although Valencia already had a permanent race track - the Circuito Ricardo Tormo - it was decided that, rather than upgrading it, a course running through the city and along the harbour would provide the venue for the race. Despite being a street circuit, it has little in common with the picturesque surroundings of Monaco. Instead, it is characterised by modern buildings and relatively wide roads with reasonably generous run-off areas. The cars reach speeds of over 300 km/h and pass across a bridge that links the North and South Marina. The team garages are set up in port buildings for the race weekend.

Valencia has long cast off its former image of an industrial port city and has emerged as one of Europe's cultural metropolises. The marina in Valencia - Spain's third-largest city, with a population of around 850,000 - has been transformed into a trendy, modern complex on the back of the America's Cup held there in 2007.

-credit: bmw sauber

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Nick Heidfeld , Robert Kubica , Mario Theissen
Teams Sauber