San Marino GP: Sauber preview

The San Marino Grand Prix is the first European round of this year's Formula 1 World Championship. Having scored four more points at the last Grand Prix in Interlagos, Team Sauber Petronas now have altogether eight Championship points in their ...

The San Marino Grand Prix is the first European round of this year's Formula 1 World Championship. Having scored four more points at the last Grand Prix in Interlagos, Team Sauber Petronas now have altogether eight Championship points in their pockets.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):

"Imola has several slow to medium-speed corners, but you still need much horsepower because of the climb up from the Acque Minerale chicane. That is one of several chicanes, and besides the power you also need excellent braking performance and stability, good turn-in and directional change, and good traction to accelerate. The brakes in particular get a really hard time here and the drivers regularly see peak decelerations in excess of 4G."

"It is also very tricky to set the car up here. On one hand you want to maximise mechanical grip, traction and braking efficiency, on the other hand the right aerodynamic compromise is also crucial. We need relatively high downforce for the slow corners. Imola is also demanding on the drivers because of its combination of chicanes and medium and high-speed corners, and the changes in elevation. The chicane at the top of the hill, for example, requires a lot of precision on entry."

Nick Heidfeld (1 point 2003):

"I'm looking forward to the first race back in Europe. After a while it's better not to have so much travelling. Our last pre-season test was here in Imola, and it went well."

"I like the Imola circuit very much. It has quite a few quick chicanes and a nice combination of corners - slow and medium-speed. It's a challenge to establish a really good rhythm. The changes in elevation also make it more fun. I think it will suit the Sauber Petronas C22."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen (7 points 2003):

"Like Nick, I feel that it's good to be back in Europe. Imola is a sort of classic race track in the modern idiom, and the atmosphere here is always wonderful thanks to the enthusiasm and knowledge of the tifosi. I have some good memories of this place, especially as I won my first Grand Prix here!"

"Like Interlagos it is a left-handed circuit, but I've never found that any sort of problem. It's a combination of corners, which makes it interesting for the drivers. You get a little bit of everything, and it's challenging to do a really good lap without any mistakes. I believe we should go well again this weekend."

-sauber-

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