European GP: Williams preview

The ninth round of the Formula One World Championship takes the BMW WilliamsF1 Team to the Nürburgring, high in the Eifel Mountains. The European Grand Prix is an important venue for BMW, the first of three races this season hosted in one of the...

The ninth round of the Formula One World Championship takes the BMW WilliamsF1 Team to the Nürburgring, high in the Eifel Mountains. The European Grand Prix is an important venue for BMW, the first of three races this season hosted in one of the home countries for the Anglo-German partnership.

For Ralf Schumacher too, the venue is significant, with his home town of Kerpen being only an hour's drive from the circuit. After two consecutive pole positions in Monaco and Montreal, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team are eager to capitalise on their evident potential. The Nürburgring historically has suited the team, with both drivers collecting points in 2001 and Juan Pablo Montoya holding the standing lap record.

Ralf Schumacher:

"On one hand, I am happy to go racing at the Nürburgring, as it is the closest track to my native town, Kerpen. On the other hand, after the last couple of races we as a team need to show how good we really are. We are clearly the second strongest team so far this season, but we just need to prove this at every race. If we focus on this, good results will return and we may possibly be able challenge Ferrari as well."

Juan Pablo Montoya:

A few days have passed since the Canadian Grand Prix and I have finally recovered from the great disappointment. I feel like some recompense is due for the last two races, where I was denied from picking up a good handful of points. The team has been working hard to address the problems we had and therefore I hope the Nürburgring track will be able to reward our efforts."

"Also I want to add to the very good result I had there last year. It was my second podium of the 2001 season and I had a really good car, but I am confident that we have an even better car this year. The new modifications to the track are going to be a good challenge as it will mean the circuit is 'new' to everyone in the field. I am certain it is going to be an interesting race because there should be more overtaking opportunity than recently."

Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer, WilliamsF1)

"Nürburgring is a maximum downforce circuit, particularly now with the circuit modifications that mean that there is one less high speed and three more slow speed corners. Good traction and slow speed grip is important here. Weather conditions can be quite variable as well and this makes tyre choice difficult. Strategy is by no means certain and this race can be won or lost in the pits. Last year we ran strongly in the race and I am sure Michelin will provide a tyre that will give us the opportunity to compete at the front again."

Gerhard Berger (BMW Motorsport Director)

"After the engine failures from Montreal for us the focus is clearly on reliability. Our ambition is to improve our points standing. It is difficult to predict what the partly redesigned layout of the Nürburgring will mean for us. But compared to last year we have found that our advantage on high speed circuits is not as significant as it was in 2001, but at the same time, our disadvantage on the slower circuits has reduced. Therefore we should be able to cope with the Nürburgring as well."

-williams-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Williams