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Team and Driver race preview

Renault - McLaren - Toyota - Williams - Ferrari
Red Bull - Sauber - Jordan - BAR - Minardi

(selected team quotes, for a full team and driver preview click on the team name)

Renault ( Fernando Alonso, Giancarlo Fisichella )

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering
The Nuerburgring is poles apart from Monaco in the characteristics it demands of the car, and I see no reason at all why we should not be extremely competitive there, as we have been at every other circuit this season. We learned a lesson in Monaco, and we will be looking at how we can begin applying solutions to the problems from the next race onwards.

Full Team and Driver Preview  Back to Top

McLaren ( Kimi Raikkonen, Juan Pablo Montoya )

"The result in Monaco, and the race pace demonstrated by both Kimi and Juan Pablo, was very positive for the team and we are now looking to build on this at the Nürburgring. The European Grand Prix is the second race in a very intensive period for Formula One, with six Grands Prix in eight weeks. To give you an idea of the logistical effort required, all the Team McLaren Mercedes racing equipment was packed and left Monaco shortly after 22:00 on the Sunday night after the race. Upon arrival at the Nürburgring just after 13:00 on Monday afternoon, garage build began immediately and was completed later the same day. As the Monaco race took place just a couple of days ago, there will be no major new developments to MP4-20 for this race."

Full Team and Driver Preview  Back to Top

Toyota ( Jarno Trulli, Ralf Schumacher )

Mike Gascoyne - Technical Director Chassis:
"Because the Nürburgring is the closest circuit to Toyota Motorsport's factory in Cologne we will have a lot of our people there watching very closely from the grandstands. You always try to do something special in your home races - and we have a lot of home races - but that doesn't mean you try any harder than usual. You do the best you can at every race. If there was room for improvement there's something fundamentally wrong with what you're doing. It does make life easy in terms of logistics, though. If we need a spare part it can be driven up within hours. The circuit itself is typical of F1 - unlike its predecessor, the Nordschleife. There is a reasonable mix of high speed and low speed corners and the cars run with fairly high downforce. Such a mix means a car has to be good in every area. When it comes to Toyota's performance, I think we'll be okay. We've shown ourselves to be pretty competitive on that type of circuit so I don't think we will have any issues there this week."

Full Team and Driver Preview  Back to Top

Williams BMW ( Mark Webber, Nick Heidfeld )

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."

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Ferrari ( Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello )

Not yet available

Full Team and Driver Preview  Back to Top

Red Bull ( David Coulthard, Christian Klein )

CHRISTIAN HORNER, Sporting Director:
“This weekend sees a change to the qualifying format, with just a single session on Saturday determining the grid for Sunday’s race. I believe this will be an improvement on the previous format, with qualifying split across two days, as we will have a defined grid by Saturday evening. Our cars have always tended to work better when running with the race fuel load in the Sunday session, so this new format should suit us. The weather can be unpredictable at the Nürburgring and therefore could provide some interesting results.”

Full Team and Driver Preview  Back to Top

Sauber ( Jacques Villeneuve, Felipe Massa )

Willy Rampf (Technical Director): "The Nurburgring has a good mix of corners, mostly slow and medium-speed. The cars tend to understeer here, which is the main consideration for us in setting up the car. Particularly in the long corners, where the camber drops off to the outside edge, understeer tends to predominate. It's possible to compensate for this by several means, such as achieving good aerodynamic balance by adding frontal downforce via different wing adjustments. However, this can generate oversteer in the faster corners. Another means of compensating is via mechanical set-up, by running a relatively soft set-up in the front suspension. It's a matter of finding the right compromise.
"As for downforce level, the new regulations which have limited aerodynamics have put the Nurburgring firmly into the category of tracks that require the maximum. The surface has quite a level of grip and there is medium tyre degradation, so we tend to run medium soft tyre compounds.
"Thanks to its flowing characteristics the circuit is not particularly demanding on brakes. This enables us to use brake material which on one hand has a higher degree of wear but on the other provides enhanced controllability.
"After Sao Paulo the Nurburgring is the highest track above sea level and the thinner air generates a performance loss, so the stress on the engine is automatically reduced. The maximum speed is around 310 kmh and this is reached either at the end of the pit straight or before the NGK chicane, depending on wind direction.
"The ban on tyre changes has made the window for optimal strategy even smaller. There are only really two-stop races now, unless you have to start from the back and switch to another strategy as a penalty for an engine change. The Nurburgring is one of those circuits where the fuel load strongly influences the lap times. Since overtaking is difficult here - apart from in the first corner - a good grid position is essential. Therefore low fuel load is recommended for qualifying. But if you have to do your first pit stop too early you immediately lose positions. This conflict ultimately obliges the teams to adopt a similar strategy."

Full Team and Driver Preview  Back to Top

Jordan ( Tiago Monteiro, Narain Karthikeyan )

Trevor Carlin, Sporting Director
“We are very pleased to be here in Nürburgring this week. The circuit, which is set in a beautiful location, will be interesting for the drivers, as normally it will be less difficult for them to learn than Monaco. We’ve got a new driver in the team this weekend, Franck Montagny, who will help us with the development and work on Friday and give us an idea of where we are with the overall performance on the car. It should be very exciting few days.”

Full Team and Driver Preview  Back to Top

BAR Honda ( Jenson Button, Takuma Sato )

"We have spent the last few weeks waiting somewhat impatiently for this weekend and, although we would rather have been racing, all efforts went into turning this hiatus into an opportunity for the team to improve its performance. We continued testing and are confident of a good showing at the Nürburgring, just as we were heading into Barcelona. Since we last raced in Imola there have been several enhancements to our aerodynamic performance, which bode well for the coming races. As we haven't had the opportunity to measure up against the competition, we look forward to doing so at the Nürburgring."

Full Team and Driver Preview  Back to Top

Minardi ( Christijan Albers, Patrick Freisacher )

Not yet available

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Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport, said: “Although we did not achieve our aims in qualifying at the last round in Monaco, the car - tyre race performance was noticeably strong and I am confident that, together with our teams, we can build on that performance at the Nurburgring this weekend. The European Grand Prix is also a significant race because of its proximity to Michael Schumacher’s home town and it would be very satisfying to see him do well in front of his home crowds. Furthermore, I look forward to seeing the GP2 Series racing again after the excellent performance of our GP2 tyres in Monaco, which resulted in several positive comments from the drivers.”

Full Bridgestone Preview  Back to Top


Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director
“It is always slightly tricky to prepare tyres for events at the Nürburgring, because the weather is unpredictable throughout the year. Even in May, it might vary by up to 20 degrees from one week to the next. In meteorological terms it certainly isn’t as stable as Monaco, where we recorded our seventh straight Formula One success last weekend.”
“Our latest grand prix victory puts us in good heart coming into Sunday’s race. The Nürburgring is a balanced track and, fickle weather apart, doesn’t pose any specific technical problems. There have been no major changes since last season, so we are dealing with a known quantity. We have evaluated some interesting tyre options during recent testing and I’m sure we will continue to give our partner teams a performance edge, just as we have at every circuit this season.”

Full Michelin Preview  Back to Top

Race Preview

Main European Grand Prix Page


Session - Local time



1st Friday Practice - 11:00ResultsReportResults
2nd Friday Practice - 14:00ResultsReportResults
1st Saturday Practice - 9:00Results Results
2nd Saturday Practice - 10:15ResultsReportResults
Qualifying - 13:00ResultsReportResults
Race - 14:00ResultsReportResults

What the teams and drivers said
Preview - Friday - Saturday - Sunday

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