STEWART-FORD NOTES & QUOTES French Grand Prix: Preview * The team is in buoyant mood after the positive results of three days of testing at Magny Cours last week. Both drivers worked through a programme which included set-up evaluation and tyre...
STEWART-FORD NOTES & QUOTES French Grand Prix: Preview
* The team is in buoyant mood after the positive results of three days of testing at Magny Cours last week. Both drivers worked through a programme which included set-up evaluation and tyre comparisons in preparation for this weekend's race. Both recorded competitive lap times putting them in the top six on the time sheets. The SF3 ran at an impressive pace in race-style simulations runs.
RUBENS BARRICHELLO Car No.16 (SF3-04) What are your objectives for the weekend? 'I'm hoping for a longer race in France than I had in Montreal! My aim is to keep up my average or better in qualifying. Obviously we have proven that we are competitive but we haven't come away with as many points as we should have done. I'm keen to mix it with the Ferraris and McLarens again in the race. I don't see any reason why we shouldn't be challenging for the podium if we run a reliable race.'
What makes the circuit challenging from a driver's perspective? 'Tyres are a big issue at Magny Cours. As a driver you are conscious of looking after tyres in a race by not throwing the car around too much. Because of the mix of high speed corners and chicanes the car changes direction quite a lot so you are always busy in the cockpit. Staying smooth and getting the balance of the car right for the circuit layout are the keys to a quick lap.'
JOHNNY HERBERT Car No.17 (SF3-05) What has your fifth place in Canada done for your confidence? 'It's relaxed me quite a bit because I was frustrated at not finishing a race. Getting two points under my belt has given me the confidence to attack qualifying in a positive frame of mind. I'll definitely be aiming to add to my points tally this weekend.'
Is Magny Cours a circuit which is hard to tame? 'Looking at my record I would say yes. I've only had one point in seven races there so I'm desperate to put that right. The results have never worked in my favour, so I have a real desire to beat it, and beat it I will.'
GARY ANDERSON, SGP Technical Director 'Aerodynamics are crucial for Magny Cours. The circuit is characterised by fast corners and high-speed chicanes which the car should be suited to. We made a real step forward at the Magny Cours test because we were able run the sort of mileage which gave us a chance to correctly evaluate tyres. The pace we were able to sustain over longer distances bodes well for the race. Overall it's pleasing that we have maintained our early-season momentum in qualifying and we haven't dropped off the pace of the front runners. In fact we closed the gap to the McLarens in Canada. What we are aiming to do now is push ahead and challenge for the front row in Magny Cours.'
MARTIN WHITAKER, Director, Ford Racing, Europe 'In preparation for the French Grand Prix, the Stewart-Ford team completed a three day testing session at Magny Cours from Wednesday June 16th until Friday June 18th, which provided plenty of useful data and gave us an opportunity to work on set-ups for the race. The pace of both Rubens and Johnny throughout the test gave an indication of the ever improving performance of the team. We experienced no problems and are looking forward to another points scoring finish.'