German GP: Williams preview

There are only four days between the French Grand prix and the first Free Practice session of the German Grand Prix, which requires a big effort by the F1 logistic organisation. The four trucks and three motorhomes of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team will...

There are only four days between the French Grand prix and the first Free Practice session of the German Grand Prix, which requires a big effort by the F1 logistic organisation. The four trucks and three motorhomes of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team will arrive at Hockenheim on Tuesday at dawn. The team needs to prepare the two FW24's in only two days instead of the usual six, whilst being split between central France and Germany.

After a mixed performance at Magny Cours BMW WilliamsF1 Team are looking forward to Hockenheim after the dream start of 2001 at the BMW home race, with Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher on the first row. The Colombian set the fastest lap and the German won the race . After massive rebuilding, the Hockenheimring is no longer the extreme track it used to be but will no doubt prove a new challenge for the BMW WillliamsF1 Team.

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"The revised Hockenheim circuit is going to make it a bit of a gamble for everyone. Most of the drivers and engineers of course, haven't been there and it's going to be interesting how everyone will be able to work it out from scratch. Before making any comment about the new track I prefer to have a proper look at it, which will happen on Thursday as soon as I arrive. This fortnight is busy for Ralf and myself because on top of having just three days between the two race weekends, we will be on duty again next Tuesday and Wednesday due to some marketing commitments. We are going to Hockenheim hoping that our package will be able to show a better performance than in France. We know where the problems are and we will try to sort them out."

Ralf Schumacher:

"Looking at the new Hockenheim circuit does make me a little sad. At least I was the last winner on the old track, and no one can now take this away from me. However, the new track is an improvement and there are still some passing opportunities at the second corner after the start in addition to the braking area before the hairpin. This is exciting for the spectators as much as for the drivers. At first sight it looks like a track that requires a lot of grip, but we have got it anyway. In the past everyone always had the same problem at Hockenheim to find the combination of high downforce which is needed in the Motordrom whereas very little was required for the long straights. Now this has become much easier and furthermore I think that after the revision Hockenheim can still be counted among the very fast circuits."

Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer, WilliamsF1):

"The changes made to the Hockenheim circuit means the downforce and set-ups we will use are completely different to those used in the past. Likewise it will change tyre selection and strategy. We will have very few changes to the cars because of the short amount of time between the two Grand Prix. The new circuit appears to be high downforce with a lot of slow speed corners, however, there are still two or three high speed corners and a long straight. Traction will be important because of a lot of accelerating from slow speed in low gears. We will have to do a lot of work during Friday practice to check brake performance, which is another unknown quantity on this new track. The strategy will be completely open but we have made some simulations of where we think it will be and overtaking should be possible into the new hairpin."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"We are already shedding a few tears over the loss of the old straights of the Hockenheimring, where engine power was most important and last year we demonstrated what we were capable of. Last year we were using full throttle on the 68% of the circuit, but this year our simulation has shown that it will be only 60%. This means that in 2001 our drivers were driving flat out for 66.8 seconds on every lap, which will be now only 47seconds. Before the top speed of 221 mph could be reached in the wood but now top speed will be at the end of the Parabolika corner with 194 mph. In brief: the new layout requires more a good package than solid power. Nevertheless since last year we have improved in many areas and we are looking confident for the home race."

-williams-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Williams