FIA Formula One World Championship 2001 Grand Prix of Europe Â Nurburgring - Sunday, June 24th, 2001 After scoring his maiden Formula 1 success at Imola earlier this year, Ralf Schumacher (BMW WilliamsF1 Team/Michelin) picked up another...
FIA Formula One World Championship 2001 Grand Prix of Europe Nurburgring - Sunday, June 24th, 2001
After scoring his maiden Formula 1 success at Imola earlier this year, Ralf Schumacher (BMW WilliamsF1 Team/Michelin) picked up another victory in the most recent round of the world championship at the Île Notre-Dame in Montreal, Canada. He held off the Ferrari of his championship-leading brother Michael but such a bald statistic does little to portray the epic battle that raged between them throughout the opening 45 laps of the race.
"With one car on the front row, fastest race lap and this second win of the season, there was a lot for Michelin to be pleased about during the weekend. And on top of that Jean Alesi (Prost-Acer/Michelin) and Pedro de la Rosa (Jaguar Racing/Michelin) finished fifth and sixth, which gave us even greater cause for satisfaction. The only downside of the weekend was that Stade Toulousain beat AS Montferrand in the French rugby championship final, but that's another story..." said Edouard Michelin,
"Schumi versus Schumi"
The fans at the Nürburgring, venue for this weekend's Grand Prix of Europe, are traditionally united in their support for Michael Schumacher and Ferrari. But might they change allegiance in favour of Ralf, Williams, BMW and Michelin?
"Why not?" Dupasquier says. "You could draw comparisons between the wide open spaces in Canada and the forests of the Eifel mountains, except that you can get to the track by tube train in Montreal, while the village of Nürburg is pitched in the middle of nowhere.
"I hope you know what I am getting at," he adds with a smile, "if I say that I would be very happy if the GP of Europe gave us at least a taste of what we encountered in North America. Especially as there is no major difference between the two tracks. At 4.556 km in length, the German circuit is mildly less abrasive, although the weather could well be very different. The track temperature reached 40°C in Canada but you never know whether it will be 5°C or 45°C at the Nürburgring, and there is a serious chance of rain. It is a track at which race strategy plays a crucial role."