French GP: Williams preview

The BMW WilliamsF1 Team enjoyed a noteworthy weekend at the Nürburgring with both an emphatic one-two victory and the announcement that the Anglo-German partnership will be extended for a further five years through to the end of 2009. Buoyed by...

The BMW WilliamsF1 Team enjoyed a noteworthy weekend at the Nürburgring with both an emphatic one-two victory and the announcement that the Anglo-German partnership will be extended for a further five years through to the end of 2009.

Buoyed by this optimism, the team travels to Magny-Cours in a positive and determined mood. Recent successes, however, have only been possible with the commitment of the team's technical partners. Notably Petrobras who have produced a new fuel providing real performance gains, as well as Michelin's unremitting efforts in tyre development which has become increasingly evident this season. It is this broad partnership of expertise that has moved the BMW WilliamsF1 Team consistently towards the front of the field.

Ralf Schumacher:

"After my victory at the Nürburgring I am going to Magny-Cours with much more confidence. In the last few races we have proved that we can compete with the Ferraris and the McLarens and, if you can do well on a circuit like the Nürburgring, you should be able to do well elsewhere. Our expectations are obviously high, but we know we still have work to do to maintain our current competitiveness."

"The Magny-Cours circuit should suit our car but it is not one of my favourite tracks to visit, mainly because it is in the middle of nowhere! However, the facilities are very modern and the circuit design always provides good racing. Furthermore, I'm going there with good memories. In 2001 I achieved my first pole position in F1. Winning at the Nürburgring was a great birthday present but I would have no objections to repeating that with a win in France!"

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"The French Grand Prix will hopefully be another good race for us as our car is always fairly competitive at Magny-Cours. Last year I was on pole and I've always been pretty quick there anyway. Combined with our recent performances and the continuous efforts being made in Grove and Munich, we should get another top points finish. For the last two years it has been really hot there which will really suit our Michelin tyres as well. One could say that the French Grand Prix is kind of a home race for me as I live in Monaco so I hope I can do well and give the fans a good race to watch."

Sam Michael (WilliamsF1, Chief Operations Engineer):

"After showing how competitive we were at the Nürburgring, we are looking forward to going to Magny-Cours. We have improved our package significantly during the course of the year through an aggressive development program and that seems to be paying off. This has been heavily supported by our track testing program, an essential component to any realistic championship challenge as shown by the testing options available this year. All of our testing program is integrated with Michelin and this ensures that WilliamsF1 leads the direction of tyre development."

"Magny-Cours has one high speed section and a couple of high speed chicanes, as well as a couple of slow and medium speed corners. The circuit has also been changed at the last corner to create another overtaking opportunity. Strategy will be interesting again with the new rules and the typical tyre degradation that we see at Magny-Cours. Since the rule changes the race strategies have been varied and this GP will be no different."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"The last three races have shown that we have accomplished a significant leap in development. In Monaco the demand was for mechanical grip, in Montreal it was mainly performance and good brakes, and we managed to be right at the front at the Nürburgring where aerodynamic performance is of essence."

"We've closed the gap to the leaders so we rate our chances for the French Grand Prix as well. Playing a major role in our recent successes is tyre partner Michelin, for whom Magny-Cours is a home race. We are certain that the French company will, as always, provide us with an excellent capability here as well. In terms of the circuit, it presents an average challenge for the BMW P83, although we have frequently experienced hot races in France that put the thermal stability of the engines to the test."

-williams-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams