European GP Preview: WilliamsF1


After a rewarding double podium finish at last weekend's blue riband event in Monaco, the team has little time to draw breath before heading to the Nürburgring for the European Grand Prix. The BMW WilliamsF1 Team achieved its best result so far this season on the streets of Monte Carlo when Nick Heidfeld and Mark Webber crossed the line in second and third places, respectively. With both drivers using new engines for the seventh round of the championship, the team is hoping for another positive result at the first of two of BMW's home Grands Prix.

Mark Webber: The Nürburgring is a track steeped in history, especially the old part of the circuit. As it's located in the mountains, the weather can be very temperamental and normally plays a big role in the race. I think the way the organisers have changed the layout of the first sector over the last few years has made it more interesting than it was in the past and the Dunlop Kurve, where you have a quick left-right up the hill, is a great part of the lap. I also like the circuit because it has a good mix of corners. The Nürburgring is obviously an important race for BMW so it would be good to repeat the success of Monaco and get another good result there.

Nick Heidfeld: The race at the Nürburgring is a very special one for me. It's my home GP as it's the closest track to Mönchengladbach where I was born. I learned how to ride a bike near the circuit when I was three years old and my father often used to take my two brothers and me there when we were young. In the winter, we would go sledging on the Nordschleife! When I was eight, I started go karting there as well, so it's easy to understand why I have a special relationship with the circuit. I've raced at the Nürburgring many times, in Formula Ford, Formula 3 and Formula 3000, and have always enjoyed it. I've also won quite a few races there too!

It's also nice to go there because I have more supporters at the Nürburgring than at any other race. During the GP weekend, I will have to spend more time doing PR work and interviews, but it is part of the sport and I actually like it. It's a great boost to go to my home Grand Prix having achieved my best result in my F1 career so far at Monaco last weekend and I hope I can do well again for the team in Germany.

Sam Michael (Technical Director, WilliamsF1): As we are in the middle of back to back races, we can not have the normal testing session after the Monaco GP. However, we are completing a shakedown test at Silverstone with Nico Rosberg, and we used previous test sessions to verify the tyre compounds that Michelin are bringing to Germany.

The Nürburgring is a high downforce circuit, with a lot of medium speed corners and one high speed section. There are two opportunities for overtaking into the first corner and one more obvious one into the last chicane. All of the chassis parts that we added to the car for Monaco will be used at the Nürburgring. We have improved the aerodynamics on the FW27 significantly since the start of the season and we are concentrating on traction control and start performance with BMW.

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): The two podium finishes in Monaco are a motivational boost for the team. BMW has a very special relationship with the Nürburgring, and not just because of the F1 one-two victory there two years ago. The Ring has been the venue for many BMW touring car and endurance triumphs. Our latest success there came just three weeks ago when BMW Motorsport had a clean sweep in the 24 hour race with two M3 GTRs. With 18 wins in total, BMW is the most successful manufacturer by far in the endurance classic. At times during their winning performance, the drivers had to contend with rain, hail and even snow. For the sake of the Formula One fans, we hope that the Eifel will provide more clement weather conditions for the European Grand Prix.

Last year, the organisers of the race introduced a number of new attractions for the spectators which proved very successful. One such initiative, that will be repeated this year, was taxi rides for the fans. For this, BMW provided the vehicles which were chauffeured by the team's drivers. We will be providing this opportunity once again this year.

Today's Nürburgring unites the magic of motor racing's past with modern race track architecture and a stadium atmosphere. Demands on the BMW P84/5 engine are average at the Ring in comparison to other GP tracks and, in 2004, we recorded a full-throttle proportion of 55 percent. Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld will both receive new engines for the European Grand Prix.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 24/05/2005
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