BMW Sauber F1 Team - British GP Preview
The 2008 Formula One season reaches its halfway mark on July 6th with a truly classic fixture: the British Grand Prix in Silverstone. The BMW Sauber F1 Team hopes the three days of testing at this challenging circuit in Northamptonshire will help it bring home a better result than at its last outing in the French Grand Prix. Silverstone features a lot of medium and high-speed corners, so good aerodynamic balance is always one of the key issues here.
The BMW Sauber F1 Team comes to Silverstone lying second in the Constructors' Championship, and with Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld second and fifth in the drivers' rankings.
On the same weekend that Kubica and Heidfeld are battling for championship points in Silverstone, Manchester will welcome the hands-on BMW Sauber F1 Team Pit Lane Park. This high-tech theme park will be open to visitors free of charge from Friday to Sunday until 10 pm. The park recorded more than 300,000 visitors during its 2007 tour.
"Over the main entrance to Silverstone there's a sign saying ‘Home of British Motor Racing', and that really sums up the atmosphere here. This classic track has stayed true to its roots. It really has character, which I like. There are a lot of great high-speed sections, and some memorable corners and combinations like Stowe, Copse and Beckets. Also, you can always count on the British spectators to create a special atmosphere. The British fans are really into racing; they're very informed and enthusiastic. I hope we can put on a good show for them."
"Silverstone has a great history and is a very nice track. It is very important to have good downforce here, especially in the high-speed first sector. Later on in the lap the track has some low-speed corners. From a driver's perspective, the circuit is a good mix that makes a lot of different demands. Wind conditions are always a big factor, and they can have quite an effect on the car in the first sector. Furthermore, British weather is always unpredictable, but I have been to races in Silverstone three or four times and never had rain. So let's wait and see."
Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director:
"Silverstone is a classic date on the racing calendar, and it attracts a special calibre of fan. A lot of the racing enthusiasts who come here are less concerned with the personalities and the show side of things and more interested in the sport itself. The team has already been testing in Silverstone this week. Both Robert and Nick have been working on their set-ups for the Grand Prix. Following the difficult weekend in Magny-Cours, we expect to get back on track again at Silverstone.
"For the BMW Group, Britain is the only market with production sites for all three of its brands: the MINI is built in Oxford, Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, BMW car engines are built in Hams Hall, and the Swindon plant is the main supplier of MINI body stampings and parts. After the US and Germany, Britain is the third-biggest market for the BMW Group."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director:
"Obviously, in England we'll be looking to prove that our result at Magny-Cours didn't do us justice. We picked up some interesting tips from testing in Silverstone, and I'm confident we'll recapture our previous strong form. To drive a fast lap at Silverstone you need a car with very good aerodynamic balance. The drivers have to carry as much speed as possible out of those medium and high-speed corners that are such a big feature of this course. Maggots-Becketts-Chapel is one of the best combinations on the whole calendar. Silverstone is a fairly abrasive track, so it's quite hard on the tyres. That means we will be using the hardest compounds."
Facts and figures:
Circuit/Date: Silverstone/6th July 2008
Start time (local/UTC): 13.00 hrs/12.00 hrs (14.00 hrs in central Europe)
Lap/Race distance: 5.141 km/308.355 km (60 laps)
Corners: 10 right-hand and 7 left-hand corners
Winner 2007: Kimi Räikkönen, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, 1 hr 21:43.074 min
Pole position 2007: Lewis Hamilton, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, 1:19.997 min
Fastest lap 2007: Kimi Räikkönen, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, 1:20.638 min
Data 2007 (race): Full-throttle percentage: 64%
Top speed: 294 km/h
Longest stretch at full throttle: 12 sec / 890 m
Gear changes per lap: 40
Tyre wear: medium to high
Brake wear: low
Downforce level: high
Date of birth: 10.05.1977
Place of birth: Mönchengladbach/Germany
Residence: Stäfa, Switzerland
Marital status: Partner Patricia Papen, daughter Juni, son Joda
Height: 1.67 m
Weight: 61 kg
F1 debut: 2000, Melbourne
GP starts: 142
Pole positions: 1
Podium places: 9
Fastest laps: 1
Best placing: 5th (2007)
Total points: 168
Points 2008: 28 (5th place)
Date of birth: 07.12.1984
Place of birth: Krakow/Poland
Marital status: Single
Height: 1.84 m
Weight: 69 kg
F1 debut: 2006, Budapest
GP starts: 30
Pole positions: 1
Podium places: 5
Fastest laps: -
Best placing: 6th (2007)
Total points: 91
Points 2008: 46 (2nd place)
BMW Sauber F1 Team
Locations: München (DE) and Hinwil (CH)
F1 debut: 2006, Melbourne
GP starts: 43
Pole positions: 1
Podium places: 9 (4 x 3rd / 4 x 2nd / 1 x 1st)
Fastest laps: 1
5th (2006), 36 points
2nd (2007), 101 points
2nd (2008), 74 points after 8 GPs
History and background:
2008 sees Silverstone host the British Grand Prix for the 42nd time. The Northamptonshire circuit is about halfway between Birmingham to the north and Oxford to the south. Formerly a military airfield during the Second World War, the venue saw its first race on 2nd October 1948. Since the official inauguration of Formula One (from 1950), the British GP has also been held in Aintree (five times) and Brands Hatch (12 times). England has also played host to three European Grands Prix: at Brands Hatch in 1983 and 1985 and at Donington Park in 1993.
Schedule for group interviews at the weekend:
13.30-13.50 – Nick Heidfeld – print media
13.50-14.00 – Nick Heidfeld – TV
13.30-13.40 – Robert Kubica – TV
13.40-14.00 – Robert Kubica – print media
14.00-14.10 – Christian Klien – TV
14.10-14.30 – Christian Klien – print media
14.00-14.20 – Marko Asmer – print media
14.20-14.30 – Marko Asmer - TV
15.30-15.35 – Mario Theissen – TV
15.35-16.00 – Mario Theissen – print media
18.00-18.30 – Willy Rampf – by prior arrangement only
16.45-16.55 – Nick Heidfeld – TV
16.45-16.55 – Robert Kubica – TV
15.45-15.55 – Nick Heidfeld – TV
15.55-16.15 – Nick Heidfeld – print media
15.45-16.05 – Robert Kubica – print media
16.05-16.15 – Robert Kubica –TV
16.30-16.35 – Mario Theissen – TV
16.35-17.00 – Mario Theissen – print media
Approx. 30 minutes after the end of the race, Heidfeld, Kubica, Theissen and Rampf will be on hand in the team's Hospitality area.
Involvement in the FIA press conference means the group interviews will be cancelled on the relevant day.