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Europe stays in the spotlight this weekend as the teams travel to Germany for the third race in less than a month. With the Championship in full swing, the classic Nurburgring takes centre stage for the European Grand Prix, this Sunday 22 July. Hosting round ten, and its 37th Formula One event, the track is located just 80kms south-west of Cologne close to the Belgian border. A place of pilgrimage for many fans, the Nurburgring has experienced considerable change over its long history in order to tame the famous circuit to meet current safety standards. Having originally stretched through some 14 kilometres of the picturesque Eifel region, the track now only incorporates five.
In last year's race, Nico Rosberg climbed from last on the grid to finish seventh in his home race to collect two points for the team. This year, he'll be driving in search of further points, as will team mate Alex Wurz, who will be racing at the track for the first time for the AT&T Williams team.
Nico Rosberg: The European Grand Prix is going to be good. The German fans are really supportive and I'll have a lot of friends with me over the weekend. The track is cool and the car normally goes well there. I'm really looking forward to turning things around at this race and getting a good result because we need to start scoring more points. We tested in Spa last week, which was a great experience in itself because I've never driven the track before in a Formula One car. There was a lot of rain, but we just slowly worked our way through our planned set-up work and made some good progress.
Alex Wurz: Ever since I can remember, the Nurburgring has meant something special to our family. My Grandfather used to take my father on trips there from Austria to watch the races on the legendary Nordschleife, so there was always lots of talk about this crazy racetrack in our family. During my days in German F3, I lived just a few hundred metres away from the circuit for two years. The new track layout requires a neutral set-up and, as a driver, you need to find a good rhythm in order to get the best lap time. It's going to be a great race and I hope that in the post-Schumacher era the German fans will still be as excited about Formula One as they were before.
Sam Michael, Technical Director, Williams F1: Nurburgring is a track at which we are looking forward to seeing the performance of the FW29. It benefits from a good circuit layout, and there are some great overtaking places. The last chicane always provides opportunities on the entry, and exit, if someone gets it wrong!
With such sustained lateral loading on the car, the tyres always get a hard time around this track. The Bridgestone Potenza tyres we will have in Germany will be the medium and soft versions, two tyres that we have plenty of experience with. Teams will either use a one or two stop strategy in this race. The gap between everyone is now so close that every half a tenth really counts, whether gained in qualifying or the race.
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