French GP: Williams preview

Formula One returns to European soil next weekend for the tenth round of the championship, the French Grand Prix. Following events in Indianapolis, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team is eager to resume normal service and provide the sport's fans with an ...

Formula One returns to European soil next weekend for the tenth round of the championship, the French Grand Prix. Following events in Indianapolis, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team is eager to resume normal service and provide the sport's fans with an entertaining race.

Having won five out of the fourteen French Grands Prix to have been staged at the Circuit de Nevers, WilliamsF1 equals Ferrari as the most successful team ever to have raced at Magny-Cours.

The aggressive development programme continues with significant new aero parts for the FW27 which the team hopes will set a foundation for a positive result in France and the ensuing Europeans rounds.

Nick Heidfeld:

"I have good memories of Magny-Cours, having won there while competing in F3 and F3000. Although some people don't like this Grand Prix because it's in the middle of nowhere, it doesn't really affect the drivers as it means we can concentrate on the actual racing, which I prefer."

"I like the track itself because it's challenging, especially the two quick, blind chicanes which also have very tight apexes. We are taking a new package to Magny- Cours, so I hope we will make a good step forward with it as we need to keep scoring the points to remain competitive in the standings."

Mark Webber:

"I always enjoy going to Magny-Cours as it's in rural France, and in a part of the country I particularly like. The weather is usually good and the whole feel to the weekend is quite relaxed. The French GP is a pretty low key event in terms of off-track activities for the drivers as well. I enjoy being among the French fans and actually having the time to be able to concentrate on the job in hand without any distractions."

"Magny-Cours is a great track. It has a good mix of high and low speed corners and a short pit-lane which lends itself well to several pit stops and some good racing. We are quite excited by the prospect of some new aero parts on the car which we'll be running for the first time at Magny-Cours. I hope we're able to get the most out of them and enjoy a good start to the return of the European part of the championship."

Sam Michael (Technical Director, WilliamsF1):

"We return to Europe next week for the start of the second half of the season, which begins in Magny-Cours. The team has been testing at Jerez, in Spain, last week with Antonio Pizzonia and Nick Heidfeld in an effort to further improve the FW27 and continue tyre testing for Michelin. For Magny-Cours, we will have some aerodynamic improvements that are part of our on-going development programme to bring performance to the car. Some parts are more obvious, some not."

"Magny-Cours has three high speed areas, the first section of the lap and the two chicanes, as well as some slow and medium speed corners. It is traditionally a very smooth circuit which has an interesting end to the lap because the track creates a good line into the pit lane. This means that time lost in the pit lane is low."

"The tarmac at Magny-Cours is more dependent on temperature than normal which means lap times vary significantly during the day. Strategy will be interesting in Magny-Cours because of the pit lane time and typically high tyre degradation that we see at Magny-Cours."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"Over the last few days since Indianapolis we have been busy setting things in motion for the future beyond 2005, as well as discussing recent events in the USA. But now we want to turn our full attention to the next race and the rest of the 2005 season. We will be doing everything in our power to further improve the statistics of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team."

"The circuit at Magny-Cours has an average full throttle percentage. However, we have experienced a number of hot races there and high thermal loads naturally mean considerable demands on reliability. The two engines with which Mark and Nick will be racing in France are the same as those run in Indianapolis and therefore have covered a limited distance."

-williams-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Antonio Pizzonia , Mark Webber , Nick Heidfeld , Mario Theissen
Teams Ferrari , Williams