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German GP: Preview - BMW

NEWS STORY
03/07/2009

You always have a special attachment to your home race - in both good times and bad - and BMW is looking forward to the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. Many chapters of success in BMW's motor sport history have been written at the circuit in the Eifel mountains, which is also used to put series-production cars through the most rigorous of testing. Plus, the company has played its part in the extensive modifications carried out at the 'Ring.

Robert Kubica: "The Nurburgring is our home race. Even though this season has not gone well for us so far, there will be a lot of BMW Sauber F1 Team fans there crossing their fingers for us. This is just the right time to put in a strong performance and record a good result. However, I have to admit that the track itself is not one of my favourites. Having said that, it does have a big variety of corners and also opportunities to overtake. The best of these is in the first corner, where you can take various different lines. So I expect we'll see more passing moves again at the Nurburgring and enjoy an exciting race."

Nick Heidfeld: "It goes without saying that our verdict on the season at the half-way point is anything but positive. Especially when you compare our results so far with our aims going into the season. Of course I hope we will make improvements, and that's what everybody in the team is working to achieve.

"A lot of fans and fan club members traditionally come to my home race. That is something I really enjoy and it gives me an extra shot of motivation. I will once again be lining up for my home race with a special helmet design. This year it has been created by a fan on my website, and he will present me with the helmet before the start of practice on Friday.

"I have many happy memories of the Nurburgring. I went there a lot with my parents when I was a child and the 'Ring is only an hour away from my home town of Mönchengladbach. In winter we went sledging on the Hohe Acht slopes, I learnt to ride a bicycle at the Nurburgring and this was also where I sat in a kart for the first time - with a tyre and a blanket wedged behind my back so that I could reach the pedals.

"Since then I've competed in races at the 'Ring in Formula Ford, Formula 3 and Formula 3000 and celebrated many victories there. My best Nurburgring result in Formula One was in 2005 when I took pole position and finished second in the race itself.

"For me, the Nordschleife is the most sensational race track in the world. In April 2007 I drove our Formula One car on the circuit, which was just brilliant! It was amazing to turn off the grand-prix course onto the Nordschleife and drive along this huge race track all alone in front of all those people."

Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "Going into the German Grand Prix, we cannot be happy with the season so far. After three successful years, this recent period has been the first set-back for our team - and is one we will overcome. After all, this is the same team in Munich and Hinwil that has delivered continuous improvements since the team was founded. We are all absolutely determined to start moving forwards again and I expect us to experience an upturn in form. It is certainly not easy to make up lost ground without the chance to do any testing, but that is what we're aiming to do. We are bringing a series of mechanical improvements to the Eifel mountains, as well as a further developed version of our double-decker diffuser.

"We feel a particular bond with the Nurburgring. Every series-produced BMW is tested on the Nordschleife circuit and BMW has celebrated some great successes in touring car racing here in the Eifel. The company also runs a Driver Training base here, as well as the BMW Lounge and the BMW Ring Taxi for the Nordschleife. Added to which, we are lending our name to the newly erected BMW M Power Tribune grandstand on the start/finish straight."

Willy Rampf, Head of Engineering: "After our disappointing performance at Silverstone we have to turn things around at the Nurburgring. That's something we owe our many fans who always come to the race here. The characteristics of the Nurburgring mean the cars tend to understeer here. The key question is: how do you set the car up to stop it pushing over the front wheels too much? That can be resolved by an optimal aero balance combined with the corresponding mechanical set-up. We will be bringing a modified version of our double-decker diffuser to the Nurburgring, and we have also made improvements on the mechanical side. Much will doubtless depend on how successful we are at getting the tyres to work."

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