2001 Mobil 1 French Grand Prix The West McLaren Mercedes team arrives at Magny-Cours for the 2001 Mobil 1 French Grand Prix, round ten of the FIA Formula One World Championship, looking to strengthen the second positions currently held ...
2001 Mobil 1 French Grand Prix
The West McLaren Mercedes team arrives at Magny-Cours for the 2001 Mobil 1 French Grand Prix, round ten of the FIA Formula One World Championship, looking to strengthen the second positions currently held in both the Constructors' and Drivers' World Championships. David Coulthard has 44 points, following his podium finish at the Warsteiner European Grand Prix, and the West McLaren Mercedes team has a total of 53 points.
To allow for the August break from the Championship, a change to the FIA regulations implemented for the 2001 season, the Mobil 1 French Grand Prix is taking place just one week after the European race. The West McLaren Mercedes team has been preparing for the Grand Prix at the Woking factory due to the ban on testing in the week prior to a race. The Mobil 1 French Grand Prix is sponsored for a fourth consecutive year by Mobil 1, a Technology Partner of the West McLaren Mercedes team.
The French Grand Prix first took place in 1906 at Le Mans. Since the inception of the World Championship in 1950, McLaren has won the event, which has been held in eight different locations, five times. The first victory for the team was in 1976 with James Hunt at the wheel, and most recently last year when David won the race in spectacular style. Mika completed a dominant weekend for the West McLaren Mercedes team by finishing second.
"Over the course of the season we attend a number of test sessions at Magny-Cours so we know the track pretty well, which is always an advantage, especially as race strategy can often be important to the outcome at this circuit. I am looking forward to the 2001 Mobil 1 French Grand Prix and hopefully a repeat of last year's result."
"Although there are limited overtaking opportunities at Magny-Cours, the approach to the Adelaide hairpin under braking often leads to some exciting manoeuvres adding to the enjoyment for fans and teams alike. I have finished in the points in four out of the last six French Grands Prix and I am hoping to continue the consistency this year."
"With the two consecutive races so close together, this has been a highly focused week for West McLaren Mercedes, however the team has been working hard throughout to maximise performance in preparation for the 2001 Mobil 1 French Grand Prix"
Located close to Nevers, some 160 miles / 257 km south of Paris, Magny Cours first hosted a Grand Prix in 1991 following significant development to the circuit as part of a French Government backed initiative.
The 2.641 miles / 4.25 km track offers excellent pit facilities and a mixture of sweeping corners and tight hairpins. The circuit requires a medium to high downforce configuration and the smooth surface characteristic results in low mechanical grip, and allows very low ride heights to be run.
Lap of the Magny-Cours circuit - Alex Wurz, West McLaren Mercedes third
Crossing the start-finish line at Magny-Cours you accelerate to 170mph / 272kph in fifth gear on the approach to the Grand Courbe, a long left-hand curve, which is taken at full throttle. Exiting the Grand Courbe, the speed is maintained and it is crucial that you take the right line as it is immediately followed by the long, sweeping right-hander of Estoril. Through the corner you stay at a speed of 120mph / 193kph in fourth gear as you go through a 180-degree change in direction, with understeer often causing problems. Leaving Estoril you climb uphill into Golf, the long back straight that has a slight right-hand curve.
Going quickly up through the gears along the length of the straight, you reach the top speed on the track, 186mph / 300kph in seventh gear before braking hard for the main overtaking opportunity, the Adelaide hairpin. A first gear right-hander taken at 40mph / 96kph you turn back on yourself, with the track you have just come down now on your right. On the exit you push hard on the throttle reaching 160mph / 225kph in fifth gear along the straight, through the slight right kink before dabbing the brakes for the fast N