Following an improved performance at the British Grand Prix, and the successful completion of an all important test session at Jerez this week, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team head to the German Grand Prix with a fresh sense of optimism to produce a...
Following an improved performance at the British Grand Prix, and the successful completion of an all important test session at Jerez this week, the BMW WilliamsF1 Team head to the German Grand Prix with a fresh sense of optimism to produce a strong performance on BMW's home soil.
For the second of the German races, the team will continue to run revised components on the WilliamsF1 BMW FW26, as well as having a new face in the cockpit. While Ralf Schumacher continues his convalescence, the team's second test driver, Antonio Pizzonia, will join Juan Pablo Montoya to secure further points for the Constructors' Championship.
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"The last victory I had was at last year's Grand Prix in Hockenheim, so it would be good to win again this year. It would also be a great boost for the team, and increase our points tally, but we know that it won't be easy as our competitors are more aggressive than ever. Nevertheless, we have always performed well at this track and that gives us more confidence."
"No matter what the weather conditions will be like in Hockenheim, they can't be as unpredictable and as cold as they were at Silverstone two weeks ago, so this should make our job a bit easier. The BMW WilliamsF1 Team will have an all South American driver line up at the German Grand Prix, so I wish Antonio all the best. I'll also be doing my best to score points and to help him do the same."
"I am very happy to have been given this opportunity by the BMW WilliamsF1 Team and I will do my very best to assist the team in scoring some points. My total concentration is now on the forthcoming race weekend, and I have a clear preparation plan prior to Hockenheim."
Sam Michael (Technical Director, WilliamsF1):
"Hockenheim is a great track for overtaking, particularly on the long straight from turn two down to turn three, which also has the added advantage of a large, tarmac run off area at the end. The Hockenheimring is therefore a good example of how circuits can contribute to improving overtaking opportunities in Formula One."
"The circuit layout itself is dominated by slow and medium speed corners which dictate the set-up of the cars and, as always, traction will be an important factor. We will have some additional aero and mechanical improvements on the car in Germany which we hope will help us make some progress up the grid. Last year's race showed how severe the track is on tyres, so making the correct tyre selection with Michelin will be of paramount importance."
"Strategy will be the most important factor of the weekend, as well as the efficiency of the pit crew. The WilliamsF1 pit crew was critical in helping the drivers gain positions at Silverstone, so we are confident that we can produce a strong showing in Germany. Antonio will be driving his first race for the team next weekend, so we will do everything we can to help him bring some points home at BMW's home race."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
"After the race at Silverstone, it was very important for the team to be able to finally carry out some intensive testing on the numerous new components we have on the car, particularly as the forthcoming testing ban means we won't have another chance to do so until after the Hungarian Grand Prix in mid-August. Simulations can not entirely replace testing on the track, especially for the chassis and the car's aerodynamics. During the test at Jerez de la Frontera, we gathered a large amount of data that should help us with the set-up of the car in Hockenheim's free practice sessions."
"Up until, and including 2001, Hockenheim was a paradise for powerful engines. However, the subsequent modifications to the track saw the removal of the long forest straights which rewarded engine power. Compared with other circuits, Hockenheim ranks in the top third in terms of the challenge it poses for the BMW P84. Last year, we registered a full throttle ratio of 62 percent, while a top speed of 332 km/h also puts the circuit profile into the upper middle sector."
"As far as temperatures are concerned, we are longing for summer. Last year's race at Hockenheim was one of the hottest of the season, with temperatures reaching 37° Celsius. Time and again, the BMW engine has proved particularly resilient under such thermal loads, while our Michelin tyres have also performed repeatedly well in similarly high temperatures."