European GP Williams preview

It will be quite an exciting weekend for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team as it faces its first home-race for both Ralf Schumacher and BMW. After some strong recent performances which brought the team up to third place in the Constructors' table, the BMW...

It will be quite an exciting weekend for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team as it faces its first home-race for both Ralf Schumacher and BMW. After some strong recent performances which brought the team up to third place in the Constructors' table, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team now looks forward to round six of the 2000 FIA Formula One World Championship at the Nurburgring. The European Grand Prix provides the first dose of Formula One for the German fans who have this year -- with the Bavarian Constructor having entered the playground -- one more good reason for attending the 67-lap battle.

In preparation for this race, the team tested for two days at Jerez last week with both drivers.

Frank Williams

"We continue to be encouraged by our performances and we are looking for similar results. Last year, Ralf came very close to his first victory on this track, but was unluckily prevented from stepping onto the podium by a puncture. In the end, he was forced into fourth place. Knowing Ralf, I am quite confident that he will try and set the record straight this time round."

Dr. Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director)

"After our good start to the season, we are now facing our first race on home soil. A home Grand Prix always has special significance and in our case, we have an enormous level of interest from BMW's workers. In the last few weeks, we have worked very hard on improving the reliability and performance of our engine -- both at tests and in Munich. Our engine development programme is a step-by-step process. So far, we are very pleased with our development and we look forward to racing at home."

Ralf Schumacher

"The Nurburgring is one of my favourite race tracks. I know this area quite well. Kerpen is not so far away, and when I started my racing career, I spent a lot of time at the "Nordschleife" doing laps in road cars.

"But I also like the new Nurburgring. I have good memories of most of the races here. I have had some successes in Formula 3 as well as in Formula 1. Last year I was in the lead for the first time in Formula One, until a puncture forced me to make a pit stop. At the end I finished fourth.

"Overtaking possibilities are only in the breaking area to the Castrol-S and Veedol-S. Most of the corners are mid-slow and fast, which means you need a lot of aerodynamic downforce and a good mechanical grip. Last year, I remembered that we had understeering problems turning into the corners. I expect the FW22 to cause relatively less problems and I am optimistic in finding a good set-up. Because of our good performance in Barcelona, it should be possible for the WilliamsF1 BMW combination to score points at the Nurburgring."

Jenson Button

"I have never raced at the Nurburgring before, so there is little I can say about the circuit. As always, I will prepare myself by watching on-board footage from last year's race and on Thursday I'll also have a ride on the track, probably by bike. I'll obviously be working closely with the BMW WilliamsF1 engineers in an effort to understand the Nurburgring. Our testing this week at Jerez went well and the FW22 is feeling better all the time. BMW are working very hard to solve the engine problems that plagued my Spanish Grand Prix and given how hard everybody is working, I really hope we can go one step better at the Grand Prix of Europe."

. The 67 lap European Grand Prix gets underway at 14:00hrs local time (12:00 GMT time). A total distance of 189.715 miles (305.252 km) will be covered on the 2.83 mile (4.556 km) circuit.

. The 1m18.805s lap record is held by Heinz-Harald Frentzen and was set in 1997 (WilliamsF1).

. In 1999, two Stewarts stepped onto the podium of the European Grand Prix, with Johnny Herbert first and Rubens Barrichello third. Jarno Trulli (Prost) was second.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Ralf Schumacher , Johnny Herbert , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Rubens Barrichello , Frank Williams , Mario Theissen
Teams Williams