European GP: Williams preview

The tenth round of the Formula One season brings the BMW WilliamsF1 Team back to Europe and the infamous Nürburgring. Set in Germany's Eifel region, the historic track combines tradition as well as modernisation following modifications made to...

The tenth round of the Formula One season brings the BMW WilliamsF1 Team back to Europe and the infamous Nürburgring. Set in Germany's Eifel region, the historic track combines tradition as well as modernisation following modifications made to the circuit last year to meet revised safety standards. However, driver and machine are still faced with the ultimate circuit challenges of balance, brake stability and traction all need to be mastered and perfected in order to secure victory.

The team's recent qualifying and race performances in Monaco and Canada reflect a relative upsurge in the competitiveness of the FW25 -- one that the team hope to maintain and develop for next weekend's race in order to consolidate their positions in the Drivers and Constructor's Championships.

Ralf Schumacher:

"I am really looking forward to going to the Nürburgring for next weekend's race partly because it is so close to Kerpen, where I grew up, but mainly because the FW25 is continually improving and producing good results. This has obviously been hugely motivating for everyone in the team as well as for myself."

"When I was younger I used to go to the Nürburgring as often as I could though now it's hard to believe that F1 cars used to race here before all the recent track modifications. There never used to be run off areas around the 20 kilometre lap so I imagine it was pretty terrifying to race a Formula One car there. I've raced at the Nürburgring seventeen times in my career with my first win in 1993 in a BMW powered Formula Junior car. Formula One podiums have been elusive but I'm hoping the recent developments we've made to the car will change that and I can come away with a good result."

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"The motivation within the team is better than ever at the moment after our encouraging performances in the last couple of races. Winning definitely creates a better atmosphere, which you could almost feel at the Silverstone test this week, and also provides a great environment to produce more good results."

"We're therefore heading to Germany with an optimistic attitude -- I especially enjoy this race as it's a great driver's circuit. Since the changes made for last year's race, there are more overtaking opportunities making it a more interesting race to drive as well as providing a better spectacle for the fans. Last year Ralf and I started from the front row of the grid and two years ago I came second, so I'm fairly confident we can achieve another solid finish."

Sam Michael (WilliamsF1, Chief Operations Engineer):

"Nürburgring is a maximum downforce circuit with really only one high speed section so good traction and slow speed grip are crucial. The Eifel is also notorious for its variable weather conditions -- and often the decisive factor of the outcome of the race -- so tyre selection is critical."

"With relatively few overtaking opportunities, the race could very well be won or lost in the pits, choosing the best strategy is therefore essential. We've obviously made some headway with the FW25 -- our recent increase in pace clearly demonstrates that -- so we're fairly confident we can maintain the momentum throughout the European rounds and convert those improvements into points."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"The home race at the Nürburgring is naturally a special event for us. We are particularly keen therefore to continue our recent success there. The Eifel circuit places very different demands on the chassis than Monte Carlo and Montreal. If our car is quick next weekend, we will have validated the progress of the development work over the past few months. The BMW P83 also faces another tough test at this race. But I am confident that this is the strongest BMW engine yet and has also surpassed its predecessors in terms of reliability."

-williams-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Williams