BMW Sauber: 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix preview 

Written by Nick on October 09th, 2009 at 12:47 pmLast Update: October 09th, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Willy Rampf: “Interlagos is one of very few circuits that are driven anti-clockwise. The key stretch is the middle sector, where it’s just one turn after another. Plenty of downforce, good traction and good balance are crucial here. With the car’s set-up you also have to allow for the fact that the air is thin because of the altitude and so the engines lose output. In the final sector particularly, with its steep uphill start/finish straight, high engine output is critical. Since the track was resurfaced, it has been a lot less bumpy than before. That makes the mechanical set-up of the cars somewhat easier. The weather can play a decisive role in Interlagos with the likelihood of rain at this time of year being pretty high. Heavy rainfall causes rivulets of water on the track, which leads to aquaplaning. After experiencing compromised race weekends in Singapore and Japan, in Brazil we will do everything we can to fully exploit the potential of our heavily modified car and achieve a correspondingly good result.”

Robert Kubica: “Brazil was the season finale in the past years. With Abu Dhabi new on the calendar, the situation is different this year. The Interlagos track is very nice to drive. Especially sector 1 with the first three corners is quite challenging. Turn 1 is blind and therefore it is difficult to find the ideal braking point there. The final sector goes up a huge hill and consists of a couple of left turns. In Brazil we drive anti-clockwise, which is physically quite tough as we are used to driving the other way round. If it rains in Interlagos, driving will be very tricky as there is lots of standing water on the track. So I’m hoping for good weather.”

Mario Theissen: “It’s the final spurt for the 2009 Formula One season. Brazil marks another traditional circuit on the calendar, whereas in the final race at Abu Dhabi we’ll all be broaching new territory. While in 2008 the BMW Sauber F1 Team was still in contention for both World Championship titles up to the penultimate race of the season, in 2009 it’s a case of making the best of the situation and taking away as many points as we can. The results of the recent Grands Prix show that our development work is bearing fruit: we made it into the points in five consecutive races. Nevertheless, in Singapore and in Japan we fell short of our potential. Interlagos is about 800 metres above sea level. Due to the thinner air, all engines lose around eight per cent of their output. This makes the engine wear a little less as the loading on the crank assembly is slightly reduced. That will not only suit our team. Nick will keep running his ninth race engine which was fitted in Singapore, and Robert his eighth also from Singapore. Naturally we want to avoid fitting another new unit, which would mean being relegated ten places on the grid.”

Nick Heidfeld: “Interlagos is a fantastic and very challenging track. Because you drive it in an anti-clockwise direction, it puts a real strain on your neck muscles. The circuit used to be full of horrible bumps. Having it resurfaced before the 2007 Grand Prix made a huge difference, but by 2008 the track wasn’t as good. I’ll be interested to see what kind of condition it is in now. In the last two years we had some exciting championship deciders there, with the weather always ready to tip the scales. There could be a repeat in 2009, even though Brazil isn’t the final race this time. I’m in two minds about São Paulo. The churrascarias are really special, and I guess the city has a great deal to offer. On the other hand you hear about all these muggings year after year, which puts you off any major excursions. I’m looking forward to seeing Felipe (Massa) in the paddock again.”

source: BMW Sauber

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