European GP: Sauber preview

After an exciting race in Monaco, which brought four-points to Sauber Petronas the team now heads to Germany for the first back-to-back race of the year, the Grand Prix of Europe at Nurburgring on 30 May. Willy Rampf (Technical...

After an exciting race in Monaco, which brought four-points to Sauber Petronas the team now heads to Germany for the first back-to-back race of the year, the Grand Prix of Europe at Nurburgring on 30 May.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):

"Most of the corners at the new Nurburgring are relatively slow-speed, so the emphasis is on setting up the car so that it is well balanced, and running as much downforce as possible. The level we use is actually quite close to Monaco's. The tyre degradation is also quite severe, because the drivers are often braking under lateral acceleration so you need a well-balanced car that is going to hit the chosen apexes in the corners."

"The good thing is that overtaking is possible there because of the first two corners. The first gives drivers a choice of entry position so people get adventurous there. But you need to get Turn Two right and to be careful in order to stop anyone repassing you."

"We will have some more new aerodynamic parts on the cars for this race. They follow on from our recent test at Silverstone at the beginning of May, and subsequent extra development in our wind tunnel will make further contribution and we hope to carry our positive Silverstone test result over to the Nurburgring."

Giancarlo Fisichella (129 GPs, 2 points 2004):

"I lost my first Grand Prix win at the new Nurburgring back in 1999, when I was leading easily in the wet but lost control and spun when my car's headrest came lose. I've scored points there a couple of times since."

"It's a good circuit, where you can get into a nice rhythm and flow, though it isn't particularly challenging. You need above everything to get the car working for you, and the first couple of corners are especially important."

"I was very happy with the C23 at our test in Silverstone two weeks ago. We have an even better understanding of setting the car up and I have more confidence in it, and that all helps. I am feeling comfortable with my situation here, which is living up to my pre-season expectations."

Felipe Massa (22 GPs, 5 points 2004):

"It was great to score four points in Monaco and to help the team to move up to the fifth place in the World Championship for Constructors. Now at the Nurburgring we need to try to defend this position, which will not be an easy task, for sure. However, I was sixth there in 2002, so naturally it is a circuit with good memories for me. I raced all the way through with my Sauber Petronas team-mate Nick Heidfeld and finished a place ahead of him. It would be nice to get a similar result this weekend although I'm aware that it will be difficult."

"The new Nurburgring flows quite well as is very technical, especially the first corner. You have a choice of line going in, but it's very important to get a clean and quick exit to avoid being repassed by the drivers you have just overtaken on the entry."

"We made some good progress with the C23 during our recent test at Silverstone, prior to Monaco. We had some new aerodynamic parts and the car was very well balanced and stable in the fast corners there."

-sauber-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Nick Heidfeld , Felipe Massa
Teams Sauber