The midway point of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship arrives next weekend with Round nine, the German Grand Prix, to be held at the historic Nurburgring circuit in the Eifel Mountains. The home race for Brawn GP's engine partner ...
The midway point of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship arrives next weekend with Round nine, the German Grand Prix, to be held at the historic Nurburgring circuit in the Eifel Mountains.
The home race for Brawn GP's engine partner Mercedes-Benz, the venue for the German round of the championship alternates between the Nurburgring and Hockenheim, with the last Grand Prix taking place at the Nurburgring in July 2007.
Today's Nurburgring is much shorter in comparison to the famous Nordschleife, its intimidating 22.5km and 172 corner predecessor, however the current 5.148km layout, which dates from 1984 with further reprofiling in 2002, still poses some significant challenges for the cars and drivers. The lap has a good range of low to high speed corners and significant undulation change which is unusual for most modern circuits.
ROSS BRAWN, TEAM PRINCIPAL
Q. What are your thoughts as Brawn GP approach the midpoint of the 2009 season?
"The team is looking forward to returning to the race track at the German Grand Prix next weekend and the Nurburgring should be a good circuit for our car and play to its strengths. We have several new aerodynamic parts from Silverstone which were not used in qualifying and the race due to the issues that we faced there, along with additional improvements scheduled for the Nurburgring, which should position us well going into the weekend. Whilst coming away with third and sixth placed finishes from Silverstone was still a good outcome from our home Grand Prix, we would be the first to admit that the result did not meet our expectations. However we have always said that we would have a fight on our hands to maintain our excellent run of results at the start of the season and everyone at the factory and at Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines in Brixworth is looking forward to that challenge. As a team, we have a good history of going away from a race, thinking about the outcome, identifying where we need to make improvements and then coming back stronger. As the home Grand Prix for Mercedes-Benz, we will be hoping to come away from the race in Germany next weekend with a successful result."
Q. Will the characteristics of the Nurburgring suit the Brawn-Mercedes car?
"The Nurburgring is a tricky circuit but there are two key characteristics which should be good for our car. It is a relatively slow circuit with a lot of medium-speed corners which are one of the strengths of the BGP 001. The Nurburgring is also one of the heaviest braking circuits on the calendar so you need a car which will be good through the four heavy braking zones. With the extra week's break, everyone at the factory and at Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines has been working extremely hard in preparation for the German Grand Prix to get the best package for the race and we're looking forward to showing what the car can do at the Nurburgring after a disappointing weekend by our standards at the British Grand Prix. My last stint at Silverstone showed that the pace of the car is really competitive so we're confident that we can turn it around at this race. I'm sure we will see a really intense fight with our closest competitors and hopefully a great race for the fans."
Q. What are the key considerations for a good lap around the Nurburgring?
"I have always enjoyed racing at the Nurburgring and it provides a good challenge for the drivers. The layout and flow is nice which allows you to get into a rhythm and there are some interesting undulations and bumps to look out for. I won the race here back in 2002 so the circuit always holds some good memories for me. The weather can be a little unpredictable due to its location right in the Eifel Mountains but we'll be hoping for some warmer temperatures than we saw at Silverstone for the last race. The first corner here is really important to set yourself up for a good lap and it's a bumpy run down from the start line. You have to get your approach absolutely right and position yourself well for a good exit. However it is also one of the best overtaking opportunities if the cars around you slide straight on so you need to be alert to take advantage of any opportunities. Many of the corners at the Nurburgring are off-camber so getting the correct line for your corner entry is important all round the lap. We haven't raced here for a couple of years so it will be interesting to see how the circuit feels in a good car."
-credit: brawn gp