Seven days after Monaco, Formula One is poised to return to another of its traditional venues - Germany's NÃ¼rburgring. The region has hosted top-level motorsport events since the 1920s, although the current circuit opened only 20 years...
Seven days after Monaco, Formula One is poised to return to another of its traditional venues - Germany's Nürburgring. The region has hosted top-level motorsport events since the 1920s, although the current circuit opened only 20 years ago.
Alain Prost (McLaren-TAG/Michelin) won the first Formula One race to take place here - the Grand Prix of Europe on October 7 1984. The track has been subtly updated in the intervening period and this will be its 12th world championship F1 event.
Michelin is approaching the seventh race of the season in a positive frame of mind: Jarno Trulli (Renault) and Jenson Button (B·A·R-Honda) scored a memorable one-two for the company in Monaco last weekend and Ralf Schumacher (BMW WilliamsF1 Team/Michelin) won at the Nürburgring in 2003, when he led team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya across the line.
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director:
"We know the Nürburgring well and have achieved some good results here in the past. The circuit features a varied range of quick, slow and medium corners and tyre manufacturers have to deal with a number of interesting challenges in the course of a single lap. The weather adds a few variables, too. Rain is always a possibility and at this time of the year the track temperature could be anything between 15 and 40 degrees. We know what it takes to succeed here, though. We proved that last season when Kimi Räikkönen qualified his McLaren on pole position and Ralf Schumacher won for Williams."
Pascal Vasselon, Michelin F1 programme manager:
"We finalised our tyre options for this race a couple of weeks ago, because there hasn't been time to test since our tremendous victory in Monaco last Sunday. We will have three dry-weather compounds available and these all come from the softer end of our range, because the Nürburgring isn't especially abrasive. It is what I would call a 'balanced' track. The loads on the front and rear tyres cancel each other out during the course of a lap so the wear rate tends to be very even."
Ralf Schumacher (BMW WilliamsF1 Team/Michelin)
"I am obviously pleased to be coming back to the Nürburgring - it is my home circuit and I have happy memories of my victory here last season. Michelin played an important role in that. The company is a strong ally and a very important part of our package. It is always vital to have a suitable tyre compound at the Nürburgring, because conditions are very changeable, and I am confident Michelin will provide us with exactly that."