German GP: Sauber preview

Due to its vicinity to Switzerland Hockenheim is a home race for team Sauber Petronas. What makes it further special for the Swiss team is the fact that it will celebrate the National Swiss Confederation Day on 1 August. Willy Rampf (Technical...

Due to its vicinity to Switzerland Hockenheim is a home race for team Sauber Petronas. What makes it further special for the Swiss team is the fact that it will celebrate the National Swiss Confederation Day on 1 August.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):

"The revisions made to Hockenheim for 2002 completely changed its character. In the days when it had very long straights it was one of the fastest circuits on the calendar so we ran with the lowest level of downforce that we used all season. That meant developing the aerodynamic package to maximise straightline speed."

"Today Hockenheim is a very different proposition, because it is shorter and tighter. There are no more any long straights or tight chicanes. Now it is actually quite similar to the A1-Ring in Austria, which means that we run in high downforce configuration. Last year's race confirmed our expectation that there would be overtaking opportunities at the new hairpin that follows the curving back straight, and this meant that setting the car up for maximum stability under braking and traction exiting the corner became very important."

Nick Heidfeld: (61 GPs, 2 points 2003):

"Another home Grand Prix for me, but Hockenheim is a bit further from where I was born than the Nurburgring, where I did some of my early racing. The most special thing will be the atmosphere of the crowds when you come into Hockenheim's stadium. That is something you never forget."

"The other distinctive thing were the long straights, which belong to the past. Now the circuit is more modern, and fortunately it generates similar overtaking opportunities. The new layout is safer and better for the spectators, who get to see the cars for more laps. I think it should be good for our car. Last year we were competitive there and scored points."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen (152 GPs, 7 points 2003):

"Hockenheim is a special race track. For the spectators the design of the infield is impressive with a sort of stadium atmosphere. By modifying the track last year to make it shorter the organiser have enabled them to see even more action."

"I have known the track for many years as I started racing there in 1985. But after the revision for 2002 I only knew four or five of the corners well so it posed a new challenge. I knew so many of the circuits from my time in Formula One that it was good to see something new."

"I was surprised last year to see so many overtaking moves so that promises some great spectating in this years Grand Prix. I'm looking forward to having a good race in front of my home crowd."

-sauber-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Nick Heidfeld
Teams Sauber