French GP Arrows preview

It's a short trip for the teams this week as the trucks make their way westwards across Europe into France. The 2001 French Grand Prix arrives just one week after the European Grand Prix and the short journey will go some way to making up for a ...

It's a short trip for the teams this week as the trucks make their way westwards across Europe into France. The 2001 French Grand Prix arrives just one week after the European Grand Prix and the short journey will go some way to making up for a hectic fortnight.

Although somewhat awkward in location, situated in rural France, 160 miles south of Paris, the track's unique configuration makes it a popular race for many of the drivers. It has a good combination of tight hairpins and slow corners with a long straight where cars can reach maximum speed. A very smooth surface allows the cars to run with very low ride-height giving more downforce without too much extra drag. The downside to the smooth track however, is a very low grip level, which makes set-up particularly difficult. The circuit's pre-race test was held just one month prior, so the majority of teams will have taken the opportunity to gather information and data required to find the best set-up possible.

The OrangeArrows team had a tough time in Magny Cours last year. Despite Jos, true to tradition, fighting his way past a few cars on the first lap, he retired from the race with transmission problems, as did his team-mate. Although frustrating, the team learnt a lot about the track so are ready to renew the fight this weekend.

Jos Verstappen
looks forward to the weekend and feels optimistic for the race...

"This is a tough track for finding grip, especially when it gets hot. It's got everything including fast, sweeping corners, medium to fast corners, a hairpin and a long straight. Set-up can be tricky but we have tested here and found a good set-up so have a good idea where to go with that. Hopefully we will be able to get it right in qualifying as that is where we are lacking at the moment but all in all this should be a good track for us."

Enrique Bernoldi
is eager to return to Nevers and has fond memories from races previous...

"I enjoy racing at Magny Cours. The track has a very smooth surface and a good mixture of corners so you can get into a good rhythm without being thrown around over bumps. I raced here four times in Formula Renault and won every time so this circuit holds good memories for me."

Mike Coughlan, Technical Director,
describes the track and his expectations for the weekend...

"Magny Cours is a very unique track. It has an exceptionally smooth surface with high speed chicanes and slow speed corners - this is the area we need to work on. We're not going in blind though as we tested there recently so have a lot of data to work from. Bridgestone are working hard at the moment as it became clear at the last race that the Michelins are getting stronger. We expect to be more competitive than at the Nürburgring."

-Arrows

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Enrique Bernoldi