Italian GP: Sauber preview

Due to its vicinity to Switzerland and the team's relationship with Ferrari Sauber Petronas has a strong link to the Italian Grand Prix. During a three-day test in Monza last week the team intensively prepared for this race. Willy Rampf...

Due to its vicinity to Switzerland and the team's relationship with Ferrari Sauber Petronas has a strong link to the Italian Grand Prix. During a three-day test in Monza last week the team intensively prepared for this race.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):

"Monza is the fastest track that we visit all season. Nick and Heinz-Harald will attain 350 kph in two places, but more critical even than that they will have the throttle wide open for longer than on any other circuit. This means that the Italian Grand Prix is always a very high-speed race and very hard on engines in particular."

"One of our major advantages here is the reliability and power of the Petronas V10 engine of which we will use the C spec for the remaining races. But we must also match that with excellent brake performance and chassis stability under braking, as the drivers have to slow down for three tight chicanes during the course of the lap."

"Pre-race testing has indicated that the Sauber Petronas C22 is competitive and well balanced in the very low downforce trim that you need at Monza. In the last week's test here in Monza we have successfully examined newly developed aerodynamic parts such as a new floor, turning vanes, engine cover and rear wing."

Nick Heidfeld (63 GPs, 2 points 2003):

"I remember that it was at Monza that I first fulfilled myself as a budding Formula One driver. In one of my very early tests for McLaren I set the fastest time of the day after only five laps of a session, which was tremendously satisfying."

"Monza is a special place. Now that Hockenheim has changed it is the last track with very high-speed straights where you run very low downforce, and as a result you have good overtaking chances under braking."

"I don't understand why people are anti-chicane, because chicanes are part of motorsport and there are three of them at Monza. I preferred the old layout of the first one, but the new one is safer. Those at Monza are a good compromise and you have to jump over the kerbs a bit at the second one. They have smoothed the kerbs off a lot, and that has made things more comfortable for both the driver and the car."

"The speed at Monza is something that you immediately adjust to, but the braking always requires maximum concentration. It's a great challenge that you really look forward to, and I hope that the changes we have made to the car for the race will pay big dividends this weekend."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen (154 GPs, 7 points 2003):

"Power and aerodynamic efficiency are the keys to performance at Monza. But because the layout is relatively simple and less demanding than some other places, you can really concentrate on what you are doing at the wheel, trying to be very precise. And when you are running very little downforce you have to be very delicate because the car is moving around a lot. It's a huge difference to the Hungaroring, say, where you are running maximum downforce."

"We have a lot of aerodynamic modifications for the C22 for this race, and after our recent performance there in testing I am looking forward to a competitive weekend."

-sauber-

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