San Marino GP Williams preview

The first race of the European season sees the teams heading to Italy for the San Marino Grand Prix (15th April). After three long-haul races, everyone is happy to be racing in Europe again. The Brazilian Grand Prix saw a very strong performance...

The first race of the European season sees the teams heading to Italy for the San Marino Grand Prix (15th April). After three long-haul races, everyone is happy to be racing in Europe again.

The Brazilian Grand Prix saw a very strong performance from the BMW WilliamsF1 Team, although sadly neither of the drivers scored any points. The team looks now forward to achieving in Imola what in the previous races was just promised.

Ralf Schumacher
"The Imola circuit is interesting to drive as it has some blind corners. The kerbs invite the drivers to use them as part of the track, which does not work very well. The combination of fast and slow corners is very attractive. On the other hand, overtaking was very difficult in the last couple of years. I think that we are well prepared for the Grand Prix of San Marino. So I am looking forward to travelling to Italy as I love Italian food and the fantastic atmosphere around the race track. I hope that I can finish my race and collect as many championship points as possible."

Juan Pablo Montoya
"It's nice to go to Italy, there's nice people, nice food, the fans are quite ecstatic and the overall feeling is good. Imola should be a good track for us. Unlike the other circuits, which hosted the first three Grands Prix of this season, I have raced in San Marino before in F3000. I cannot say though that this is the most familiar track to me because my race there lasted about five laps before I crashed out! After the performance in Brazil I think we definitely proved what we can do and I am looking forward to giving it another go in Imola!"

Frank Williams
"Following the promising race in Brazil I feel that Imola will present the team with another opportunity to see if we really can close that gap between the cars currently leading the championship and the rest of the field. The team had a positive test in the rain at Magny-Cours. All the performance components of the car are improving in unison and there's reason to be hopeful again of a good result at this particular circuit."

Dr Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director)
"The three overseas races have clearly proved that we have managed a big development jump compared with last year. The gap to both the top teams has pleasantly decreased. But the team cannot be happy with a total of just two points, even if the three accidents that were not the fault of our drivers definitely contributed to that. Now we are pleased to start racing in Europe, where the distances are shorter and the working conditions for the team will improve. Imola is the track where we've been really quick for the first time last year, with Ralf starting fifth on the grid. Looking at our performances so far, we are obviously expecting that our engine will provide impressive performances here as well. Should our drivers not be involved in further accidents, our points score should also increase."

The 62-lap San Marino Grand Prix gets underway at Imola (Italy) at 14:00hrs local time (12:00hrs GMT) on Sunday 15th of April, Easter Day. A total race distance of 305.609 km (189.937 miles) will be covered at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari (4.933 km - 3.066 miles) where Heinz-Harald Frentzen still holds the lap record of 1m25.531s (in a WilliamsF1 FW19 in 1997). The 2000 race winner was current World Champion, Michael Schumacher.

- Williams

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