French GP: Sauber preview

Sauber Petronas French Grand Prix preview Willy Rampf (Technical Director): "Magny-Cours where Team Sauber Petronas will race on coming July 21, is a medium to high downforce track, rather like the Nurburgring used to be before its ...

Sauber Petronas French Grand Prix preview

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):

"Magny-Cours where Team Sauber Petronas will race on coming July 21, is a medium to high downforce track, rather like the Nurburgring used to be before its modifications. It is also the smoothest track in F1. The surface is remarkably free of bumps and undulations. Because of its geography, however, it is also the most sensitive to ambient temperature."

"You can end up chasing chassis set-up all day, simply because of minor changes in temperature. That usually means that what works well in the morning sessions isn't good enough by the time the sun comes out in the afternoon. And it can be very hot there! "Traction is very important here and has a strong influence on lap times because the exit to the last corner in particular dictates so much of your speed for the next half of the lap. It is also particularly important to set the car up well for the high-speed Estoril chicane."

Nick Heidfeld (43 GPs, 6 World Championship points):

"I like Magny-Cours because it is not boring and requires a lot of concentration. The two quick chicanes are very narrow and you really have to focus very hard there when you tackle them at high speed. The entry to second chicane is blind, which is pretty tricky, and the car tends to go quite light there. At the last chicane, you can damage your undertray very easily if you are not careful. It's very much a track that keeps you on your toes. I can say that I know it pretty well after covering a total of 1626 kilometres during the three days of the race last year (767 kilometres) and during the tests (859 kilometres) there for team Sauber Petronas last year!"

Felipe Massa (11 GPs, 4 World Championship points):

"I've never been to Magny-Cours, but I won't have any problem to learn the circuit. And it's always better if you don't have so many bumps. The Sauber Petronas C21 is quick and well balanced, so I think we will be competitive again this weekend."

-sauber-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Nick Heidfeld , Felipe Massa
Teams Sauber