French GP: Sauber preview

Team Sauber Petronas is heading towards the next back-to-back event, the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours. Willy Rampf (Technical Director): "After the two North American races with medium downforce levels, Magny-Cours brings us back to the...

Team Sauber Petronas is heading towards the next back-to-back event, the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):

"After the two North American races with medium downforce levels, Magny-Cours brings us back to the high downforce tracks. Overall it is an interesting circuit from a technical point of view. It offers a combination of low speed corners, where traction and rear tyre degradation are the main issues to consider, and high speed corners where car balance can make the difference."

"The track temperatures can change a lot during the day and exert an influence on grip and balance. The evaluation of the tyre degradation will be crucial to define the best race strategy. To find, in a handful of laps, on Friday a good set-up that minimises the tyre degradation is challenging for both the drivers and engineers."

"As for the public, one interesting overtaking spot to watch is the Adelaide hairpin at the end of the back straight, where the drivers are braking from 320 kmh to 50 kmh in about 3 seconds."

Jacques Villeneuve (141 GPs, 5 points 2005):

"The last week was very pleasant. The BMW/Sauber announcement was great news to me, and we also had a two-day test in Jerez which was very productive. We did a lot of laps and I am very happy with the work we did with the C24."

"Jerez was really warm but the track tends to be quite hard on the rear end of the car, which is a kind of similar to Magny-Cours where we are racing this weekend. I also think that we did some good work with the tyres and I am pretty optimistic with the race in France - I think that we found some good options."

"I have to admit that Magny-Cours does not appear in my favourite track list, but there are a couple of high-speed chicanes which are fun. There is heavy breaking and a good overtaking opportunity at the Adelaide hairpin, but the rest of the circuit is quite slow. I have usually had good races there in the past so I am looking forward to it. The atmosphere is always pretty laidback too."

Felipe Massa (42 GPs, 7 points 2005):

"Magny-Cours brings us back to the high downforce tracks. It can be an odd place, because it gets really hot after 11 o'clock in the morning so the set-up of the car tends to keep changing all day with the temperature rise. You end up chasing a moving target and it is not easy to get the best out of the car because of this."

"It can be a tricky circuit to get a good lap on. There are a lot of difficult corners, ranging from slow through medium to quick. I really like the first sector which is fast and flowing, I like the hairpin because you have a chance to overtake there, and also I like the first quick ess after that. But the last sector is a bit Mickey Mouse."

-sauber-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Felipe Massa
Teams Sauber