BMW Motorsport Director, Mario Theissen, reflects on the French Grand Prix, highlighting all its incidents, from the BMW WilliamsF1 Team's point of view. "It was an unusual picture this weekend at Magny-Cours: At the wheel of the second...
BMW Motorsport Director, Mario Theissen, reflects on the French Grand Prix, highlighting all its incidents, from the BMW WilliamsF1 Team's point of view.
"It was an unusual picture this weekend at Magny-Cours: At the wheel of the second WilliamsF1 BMW FW26 wasn't Ralf Schumacher but Marc Gené, our test and reserve driver. He was stepping in for Ralf at the French Grand Prix after the German's high-speed accident at Indianapolis. And Marc did a good job. He finished in tenth place having lost a few positions at the start."
"I had no doubts that Marc would do a good job. He has run more kilometres in the FW26 than our two regular drivers. Since the beginning of this year he has completed over 13,000 kilometres of testing. He knows every development stage of the car and has the experience of 34 Grands Prix under his belt. He was the ideal choice, the perfect replacement for Ralf. In addition, we introduced a new aerodynamic package at Magny-Cours. Marc is used to evaluating new parts and dealing with them, it's pure routine work for him."
"Secretly, every reserve driver hopes that he will be given his chance one day at a Grand Prix but not every driver has the nerves to step in at short notice. At last year's Italian Grand Prix Marc proved that he is capable of rising to the challenge. He only got the call to step in for Ralf at Monza on the Saturday morning, after Ralf was forced to pull out of practice following a testing crash."
"Marc was first out for the single lap qualifying, for the first time in his career, and did a superb job in taking fifth position on the grid. He also finished the race in fifth position, taking four important World Championship points for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team."
"Meanwhile, Ralf is busy preparing himself for a return to the cockpit. The doctors have mentioned a recovery period of eight to twelve weeks. I hope that he can beat the doctors on this one. I am positive that Ralf will be able to put it all behind him and get back into his winning ways. It's not really important, whether he will return into the cockpit sooner or later. What's more important is that Ralf is getting back in to shape. I wish him a speedy recovery."