European GP Prost preview

The Prost Acer Test Team spent three days testing at Silverstone last week. The session focused on electronics, tyre evaluation and set-up work in order to prepare the cars for the European and British Grands Prix. Stéphane Sarrazin opened the...

The Prost Acer Test Team spent three days testing at Silverstone last week. The session focused on electronics, tyre evaluation and set-up work in order to prepare the cars for the European and British Grands Prix. Stéphane Sarrazin opened the test programme on Tuesday, and Jean Alesi alongside Luciano Burti completed the two following days of work. In total, the three drivers covered 275 laps, which in total amounted to more than 1400 kilometers.

The European Grand Prix, ninth round of the 2001 World Championship, takes place at the Nürburgring track, in the beautiful setting of the Eifel mountains in Germany. The present circuit, a 4,556 km-long track, lives in the shadow of its predecessor, the Nordschleife, a giant circuit which stopped hosting Grand Prix racing in 1976 after it almost claimed Niki Lauda’s life in 1976. Even being less spectacular, the smaller Nürburgring is a far safer and modern circuit, with wide run-off areas. Drivers sometimes regret the lack of sensation which results from the grandstands being kept to a distance. However the new track, opened in 1984, poses its own set of challenges. It's is made of a slow hairpin and a combination of slow to fast corners, which require a good traction and a smooth suspension treatment in order to have a responsive car in the numerous changes of direction. Weather conditions should be more favourable as the race will take place one month later than last year, but the region is well known for its unpredictable weather changes. As the Nürburgring is a low grip track, this will certainly increase tyre manufacturers competition this weekend.

This will be Luciano Burti’s first race at the Nürburgring. Jean Alesi, who has had mixed fortunes on this track (his best result being 2nd in 97), will be looking forward to set a good performance after his excellent results in Monaco and Montreal.

Henri Durand, Prost Grand Prix Technical Director :

"With a maximum speed of around 300km/h, the Nürburgring is a very technical track which offers a mixture of low and high speed corners and requires quite a high downforce level. As usual, we will have to use the tyres to their best and we have seen recently it can make a very significant difference in our performance. We will not introduce any new parts on the car for this race, as we are currently working on the next step of our aero package which should be partly ready for the Magny-Cours Grand Prix, just one week after the Nürburgring event. This race brings us good memories as Jarno Trulli’s second place in 99 is the team’s best result so far. We are looking forward to a good performance on this challenging track, especially after the encouraging results in the last two races.”

-Prost

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Luciano Burti , Jean Alesi , Stéphane Sarrazin , Niki Lauda