After the vagaries of the British summer made for a gripping race at Silverstone last weekend, the warm summer conditions allied to the remarkably even surface and fast corners make for a more predictable expectations from the French Grand Prix at...
After the vagaries of the British summer made for a gripping race at Silverstone last weekend, the warm summer conditions allied to the remarkably even surface and fast corners make for a more predictable expectations from the French Grand Prix at Magny- Cours.
In spite of the weather, the British Grand Prix produced encouraging results for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team. The WilliamsF1-BMW FW24's new aerodynamic package, introduced at Silverstone, proved to be a decisive step forward with Juan Pablo Montoya achieving his fifth pole position and concluding the race on the third step of the podium. Ralf Schumacher thrived on the Magny-Cours circuit last year when he started from pole position and finished second. With both a strong performance last weekend and an established record in France, the BWM WilliamsF1 Team is approaching the 11th round of the FIA Formula One World Championship in confident mood.
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"I think Magny-Cours is a pretty good circuit and it should prove to be a strong race for us. It's Michelin's home ground and this makes it even more interesting. According to the development schedule, the team should benefit from some new tyres which will allow us to perform more consistently in the French GP. Last year the race was not so good for me and I retired from second place, so I am hoping to score some points this time. My priority is to improve my position in the Drivers World Championship standings."
"Putting aside the problems we experienced with the fuel rig at Silverstone that we will solve, last race showed that we have taken a considerable step forward in dry conditions. The new aero package and our hard work testing tyres and traction control have pushed us forward and have made us more competitive. We are improving step by step and the same should be true at Magny-Cours as well. To be honest, I don't feel like congratulating my brother on his World Championship victory in France. I would prefer to delay this as much as possible!"
Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer, WilliamsF1):
"Magny-Cours should be a competitive circuit for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team and with the improvements we have brought to the car we are confident of a strong performance. The circuit has one high speed section and a couple of high speed chicanes, as well as a couple of slow and medium speed corners. Traction will be important and the tyres will tend towards the soft side because of the smooth tarmac. For the same reason the set-up can be run stiffer to give high speed support without too much compromise at slow speed. The strategy is usually clear due to the typical tyre degradation and the pit lane at Magny- Cours. Overtaking is also possible at the end of the long back straight."
Gerhard Berger (BMW Motorsport Director):
"In Magny-Cours we will be facing a medium speed circuit and most likely a true summer race. At the last race in Silverstone we managed to make it to the podium again and we are hoping for good results in France as well. In view of Ferrari's current performance, Michael Schumacher might win the championship in Magny-Cours. At the same time, we also want to make a step forward in our ambitions to strengthen our second position in the Constructors' World Championship in relation to McLaren. The new aerodynamic package we used for the first time in Silverstone should help us as well as the tests which are focused on the tyre development in order to perform more consistently in the race."