Italian GP: Williams preview

The BMW WilliamsF1 Team travels to Monza next week for the Italian Grand Prix, and the last of the European rounds of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championshp season. The FW26 demonstrated a promising level of competitiveness at last weekend's...

The BMW WilliamsF1 Team travels to Monza next week for the Italian Grand Prix, and the last of the European rounds of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championshp season. The FW26 demonstrated a promising level of competitiveness at last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, and with further improvements on the car for Monza, the team is looking forward to translating the developments to points to consolidate the team's position in the Constructors' World Championship standings.

Although Ralf Schumacher's recuperation continues well, the German driver's return to the cockpit is now expected after the Italian Grand Prix. Consequently, Antonio Pizzonia will once again deputise for Ralf following his strong performance in Spa.

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"We had a productive three day test in Monza this week where we managed to complete our scheduled programme, so I am confident that we will have a good race weekend in Italy. Monza is always special to me because I had my first Formula One victory there in 2001. It was a really great feeling to be on the top step of the podium on Ferrari's home ground!"

"We should be able to perform well in Monza this year because the circuit suits our chassis and engine package and both Antonio and I like the track. I always like going to Italy, the people are friendly, the weather is usually good and the food is just brilliant. After the disappointing outcome of the Belgian Grand Prix, our aim remains to collect as many points as possible. We proved we could do it, but we just need a bit more luck!"

Antonio Pizzonia:

"After the disappointment of missing my first Formula One podium finish in Spa, I am very happy to be racing in another Grand Prix, especially on this track which I really enjoy. I have raced in Monza twice in F3000, but never in an F1 car, and I just can't wait. Having tested on this track for three days, I should be in the best possible position to race here."

"This is one of the most exciting races on the calendar because it offers a lot of overtaking opportunities, like on the long start/finish straight where you can slip stream and pass at the first corner. We have a good engine for the long straights and our car is really good over the kerbs and under braking, which is all you need here."

Sam Michael (Technical Director WilliamsF1):

"Monza is now a unique circuit on the Formula One calendar, one dominated by long straights, a couple of chicanes and only four important corners. With top speeds exceeding 370kph during the race, Monza is also the fastest circuit of the season. Set-up demands the lowest amount of downforce possible, and therefore requires special, one-off front and rear wings that only work on the Monza track. Good curb riding ability is important, as is the medium speed balance for the corners around the lap."

"We will have some mechanical and engine improvements on the cars for this race. In addition, the team has focused on brake work at the Monza test this week in preparation for the hard braking the cars will experience during the race. Even though our starts were good at Spa, we have been working hard to make further advances."

"Michelin have also been hard at work since the tyre failure we had on Juan's car in Belgium, and have devised a new, higher strength rear tyre. Their work for Spa showed that they were in the correct compound region for the race. Antonio will once again drive alongside Juan and, after his excellent drive in Spa, he is looking for a strong result with his team mate."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"From BMW's point of view, Monza is a particularly satisfying circuit. The straight measures 1,236 metres, making it the second longest on the Formula One calendar after Indianapolis. The straight provides 14 full seconds of flat-out racing, with half that time driven in seventh gear. Overall, Monza has the highest full throttle ratio of all Grand Prix circuits at 68 percent."

"With these challenges in mind, in recent years we have always brought the current engine to this Grand Prix in its latest development stage. In 2004, we will be doing just that with the BMW P84. Last week's Monza test produced positive results in that respect as well. Together with the on-going development of the chassis, we should be in a good position for the race at Monza."

-williams-

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