As the Formula 1 World Championship makes its twelfth stop of the year, Mild Seven Renault F1 Team drivers Jarno Trulli and Jenson Button are hoping to build on successful past form in Germany in order to score further points on a revised...
As the Formula 1 World Championship makes its twelfth stop of the year, Mild Seven Renault F1 Team drivers Jarno Trulli and Jenson Button are hoping to build on successful past form in Germany in order to score further points on a revised Hockenheim circuit.
Following a solid performance at the French Grand Prix, where the Team reinforced its fourth position in the Constructors' Championship with a sixth-place finish, both drivers believe this level of competitiveness should be maintained at the forested German track.
"We have not yet both finished in the points so it would be nice for that to happen in Germany," said Trulli. "I have a good record there - I won six races out of six from pole position in Formula 3, and finished fourth on my F1 début - and hopefully that will continue at the new circuit.
"It is hard to judge a track from pictures alone, but the simulations we have done give a good idea of what the changes will be like."
Button has fond memories of the old circuit, having scored points on his two previous visits, and is confident that the demands of the modified 4.574km layout will suit this year's R202.
"I have scored points every time I have raced there," said Button. "I finished fifth last year, and in 2000 coming from the back of the grid to fourth was great. Hopefully we can create the same sort of memories this year - although I hope we don't start from the back!
"It is a little bit disappointing I won't be able to continue that on the same circuit, but I'm sure the new layout will suit us well. The downforce required should suit us well, although we will obviously need fairly high temperatures for the tyres to be at their best - and that's not always something you can guarantee at Hockenheim."
Although Trulli and Button will only get their first sight of the circuit proper on Thursday morning, both have studied the team's computer simulations closely and are fully briefed on what to expect.
"I have seen the new track in drawings and I had a look at it on the computer at the factory," said Button. "We have been trying to work out the gear ratios and set-ups, but it is still difficult to know what it is going to be like until you drive it.
"It's good to have a new circuit, though, to have something different. It is always interesting to see who learns a new circuit fastest, and it should give the fans a bit of excitement on the Friday as we try and find the limits.
"It looks like it has some interesting areas: the long curved straight into the hairpin is good, although it seems a bit scary because it's so tight and we will be carrying a lot of speed into the braking area. There should be a lot of overtaking there, but I think we'll probably see a few people out-braking themselves too."
The German Grand Prix is the second race of a double-header begun at Magny-Cours in France. But Trulli believes the pressure of a quick turn-around between the two races is no inconvenience.
"It is not really much different to testing between races," Trulli said. "You can cope with it once a year because we are used to going testing straight after the races anyway. It is very similar - there is no difference in how we prepare for the race.
"I just think that, as always, we really need to concentrate on our job and keep working as we have done up to now, because the team has done a great job. We need to keep on pushing to get closer and closer to the best teams."