BMW Sauber: 2008 German GP preview 

Written by David on July 13th, 2008 at 12:51 pmLast Update: July 13th, 2008 at 12:53 pm

BMW-Sauber F1.08 Front ViewWilly Rampf: “Needless to say, Hockenheim is a very special race for us, and there is an extra buzz of anticipation within the team. The circuit is characterised by slow and medium-speed corners, where you need a lot of downforce. More than any other part of the track, the Motodrom is a key section when it comes to the lap time. However, you can’t afford to ignore top speed altogether, as the best overtaking spot is going into the hairpin after the long Parabolika, which is taken flat-out. Here, as well as a good top speed, the most important thing for the drivers is high braking stability and optimum traction on the exit from the corner.”

Robert Kubica: “In 2006 I had the opportunity to drive at Hockenheim in free practice on Friday, but this will be my first Formula One grand prix there – although I did race at the circuit in F3. We weren’t there last year so I think it will be a very special weekend for our team and especially for BMW and all the BMW fans. We always try our best. It is the kind of track with different kinds of corners, although not really high-speed corners. The only one that is quite quick is when you enter the stadium, where there is always a special atmosphere. I know corner one is pretty quick but not really a long corner. There are some quite short corners with only one line you can take through them.”

Mario Theissen: “This is the only F1 race being held in our home country in 2008 and naturally we’re very much looking forward to it. However, you can’t afford to let that disturb your concentration – after all, we don’t get any more points here just because it’s our home GP. The circuit has lost some of its allure since they cut out the straights through the forest, but the atmosphere should be fantastic after a year without Formula One. It is sure to be an extremely exciting race. Three drivers are tied at the top of the drivers’ standings, while Robert is only two points behind them. Nick is not far away either, and his strong performance at Silverstone has given him an extra boost. You could not have written a better script for our home GP. Hockenheim takes us into the second half of the season. The nine races so far have brought us 82 points and seven podiums, and we have scored points on every occasion. All of which means we are in second place in the Constructors’ Championship, 14 points behind Ferrari but 10 ahead of McLaren Mercedes. The highlight of our season so far has, of course, been the one-two in Montreal. Fastest race lap, pole position, race victory – in all the categories where there was a zero next to our team in the statistics not so long ago, there is now a 1. And that has, of course, given the team members in Munich and Hinwil even more confidence. Everybody in the team can see that we are on the right path. We set out to turn the two-horse race at the top of the standings into a three-way battle and to win our first race, and we have achieved this goal. Two teams are still a touch faster than us when you look at the lap times. However, as far as the reliability of our cars and the work of the pit crew and race strategists are concerned, we are already a top team. We will now make every effort to keep our chances alive this season, while not neglecting the development of the F1.09. That is a big challenge, especially given the radical rule changes due to come into force next year.”

Nick Heidfeld: “I’m really looking forward to my home grand prix. Hockenheim is a very special race for the whole team, while a lot of Swiss fans have traditionally made the trip across the border to give their support. I personally have a lot of good memories of the Hockenheimring, especially the old circuit with its long straights through the forest. Those sections were really unmistakeable, but the new track is, of course, significantly safer and better for the spectators – and I appreciate it for those reasons. Plus, a good overtaking opportunity has been created in the Parabolika. I’ve driven at Hockenheim in Formula Ford, Formula 3, Formula 3000 and Formula One, and can’t wait for this grand prix.”

source: BMW Sauber

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