Following the British Grand Prix, the F1 world championship moves on to Hockenheim, Germany, for its 12th showdown of the season. Mika Hakkinen won the last race at Silverstone, where Michelin and the BMW WilliamsF1 Team netted a fourth-place ...
Following the British Grand Prix, the F1 world championship moves on to Hockenheim, Germany, for its 12th showdown of the season.
Mika Hakkinen won the last race at Silverstone, where Michelin and the BMW WilliamsF1 Team netted a fourth-place finish. Both BMW WilliamsF1 Team drivers made spectacular starts and Juan Pablo Montoya put on a great show. Running on a two-stop strategy, he led the race for a while, while Eddie Irvine (Jaguar Racing-Michelin) was regularly lapping at the same pace as the front-running Williams-BMWs and Ferraris.
Michelin motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier says: "The last race underlined, once again, that every grand prix marks the start of a fresh adventure and that we have to keep learning all the time."
"Our race tyres at Silverstone were fairly well suited to the track. On the flipside, the tricky free practice on Saturday morning, in the wet, confirmed that we have to make progress with certain of our tyres and to learn how to handle conditions that are particularly hard to replicate when you are testing during the summer months."
Stadium of flight...
If you were asked to name two of Hockenheim's landmark characteristics, you'd pick the impressive stadium and the voyage through the forest, where the track tends to remain damp for a long time in adverse weather conditions. This is one of the fastest circuits the championship visits and top speeds exceed 350 km/h (217.5mph) at the end of the straights, even with the two chicanes. The track measures 6.825 km (4.241 miles) and the race lasts 45 laps - a total distance of 307.125 km (190.847 miles).
Michelin's F1 project manager Pascal Vasselon says: "The track takes less of a toll on tyres than Silverstone, but you have to find a good compromise in terms of aerodynamic set-up and grip in order to generate high maximum speeds without allowing the car to slide around too much in the stadium and wear out its tyres. We did our final pre-race tests at Monza to finalise one of our two compounds and we will have two new options with us at Hockenheim."
Hockenheim has a number of potential surprises up its sleeve. Last year a protester staged a one-man track invasion that interrupted the race and heavy rain led to a number of off-track excursions, so the Safety Car had a busy afternoon.