Nurburgring track talk with Corbett

Toyota Track Talk - Europe Humphrey Corbett, Race Engineer Car 20 (Olivier Panis) "The best thing about the European Grand Prix is the proximity to the Toyota Motorsport factory in Cologne. There is no need to catch an aeroplane, no worry about...

Toyota Track Talk - Europe
Humphrey Corbett, Race Engineer Car 20 (Olivier Panis)

"The best thing about the European Grand Prix is the proximity to the Toyota Motorsport factory in Cologne. There is no need to catch an aeroplane, no worry about time difference and more importantly, we are within shouting distance if we need spare parts, or the like. It is as simple as jumping in the car and travelling three-quarters-of-an-hour down the road."

"The Nürburgring is steeped in history and I remember the old 14-mile (22-kilometre) track along the Nordschleife, which was fast, furious and a real racers' track. Unfortunately, it became too dangerous for F1 and was taken off the calendar back in 1976."

"The new track layout at 5.14 kilometres in length is very similar to other European tracks on the calendar and does not really have such a unique character, although it does pose some interesting challenges to a race engineer."

"For this weekend's race, we will run maximum downforce on the TF103s to suit the track's medium-high speed corners. This could make our life a little tricky for our home race because the TF103s have not tended to suit medium speed corners so far this year."

"We did some useful aero testing in Jerez last week, where we confirmed that the wings we used in Canada would also work well at the higher levels of downforce required for the Nürburgring."

"The circuit is average on the brakes, and quite easy on the engine, but the medium speed corners will necessitate good mechanical grip and good traction in order to set a competitive lap time. The last few corners also have some kerbing, which whilst not being as critical to ride like at Imola or Canada, are still an issue when setting up the car. We ran reasonably well over the kerbs in Canada, which was a big step forward, so I do not anticipate any real problems in that area this weekend."

"Since the modification to the circuit for last year's event - the renovation of the first corner and the infield section thereafter, which extended the track length by just over half a kilometre - has risen to a somewhat bumpy surface, so we have to increase the car's ride height to avoid bottoming. Again, we tested this in Jerez last week and the results we achieved were quite positive."

"There is little opportunity to overtake at the Nürburgring - your best bet is at the Veedol chicane, but even there it is not easy. Consequently, Saturday afternoon's qualifying will be important. Hopefully another top ten-grid slot is not out of the question, and more points are on the cards."

-toyota-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Olivier Panis