BMW Sauber All Set For Monaco
Topics: Monaco Grand Prix, BMW-Sauber
May 21, 2007
After recording their fourth 4th place finish at the fourth race of the season, team BMW Sauber is ready to take on the rest of the field at the forthcoming Monaco Grand Prix. The said race is regarded as one of the most prestigious races of the Formula One season. At the Circuit de Monaco, team BMW Sauber would have to contend with history since McLaren is coming in as the team with the most victories at the said circuit. Aside from that, last year’s winner of the race, Fernando Alonso, is now driving for McLaren.
To prepare for the grueling battle ahead, the team made sure that their cars will not be suffering the same malfunctions that it met at the Spanish Grand Prix. During that race, Nick Heidfeld was forced to retire due to a malfunctioning transmission. Mario Theissen, the BMW Motorsport Director, confirmed that they have fixed the problem on Nick Heidfeld’s car’s gearbox. “We managed to get to the bottom of the gearbox problem in Nick's F1.07 in Barcelona before the race day was over, and corrective measures were already being applied during the test in Paul Ricard. We have also worked through Nick's botched-up pit stop and learnt the lessons for any future incidents,” says Theissen.
In addition, he talked about his views on the upcoming race. “The Monaco Grand Prix is fascinating,” he says. “On the one hand it's the highlight of the season, and on the other it's an anachronism. The race puts the teams under extreme pressure due to the narrow circuit, it's an extreme challenge for the drivers because of the sheer precision it demands, and for the spectators it's a unique experience to be so close. No grand prix is as famous as this one and none as glamorous. Yachts and partying are a matter of taste, but Monaco wouldn't be the same without them.”
Nick Heidfeld who managed to score at the first three races of the season was clearly disappointed with his car’s malfunction at the Spanish Grand Prix. Although his car’s transmission failed, other parts like the BMW clutch and other drivetrain parts did not act up. With regards to the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix, he is visibly excited. “I'm looking forward to Monaco,” says the German Formula One driver. “Everything about this race is just spectacular: the backdrop with all those yachts, the stars and starlets, the parties, and unfortunately the prices as well. And, of course, the circuit itself. You can't really put into words what it's like to drive a F1 race car through the built-up streets.”
He went on to describe the track and how it contributes to winning at the said track. “The ratio of narrowness to speed simply defies description, and it's something I really enjoy. Two years ago I came second in Monaco. Last year we had a fault during qualifying, which meant I started from 16th, but still managed to pick up two championship points by finishing seventh. It goes to show that the key thing in Monaco is not to make any mistakes.” He added that: “The Monaco GP is a highlight not just for us drivers, but for the spectators as well. Nowhere else can you get so close to the circuit. At modern race tracks the fans are miles away from the action. Also, the sound of the engines downtown is out of this world. I lived in Monaco for a few years and had a lot of fun there. I was looking for a quieter long-term environment for my private life, but I love coming back to Monte Carlo year after year.”
Meanwhile, his teammate, the young Pole, Robert Kubica, has this to say about the track: “From a driver's point of view the Monaco Grand Prix is something really special in the Formula One calendar. There's very little room for error and you're driving at the limit virtually the whole time. You can't afford to slip up on these narrow streets.”
While being a newcomer to the sport, the driver has already experienced driving at the Monaco track. “I've raced in Monte Carlo in the World Series by Renault, but this year it will be an experience for me to appear there for the first time in a Formula One race,” he said. “For the first time since the start of the season in Melbourne, high downforce is required again, and that's another reason why I'm looking forward to Monaco. It's going to be a real challenge and I can't wait to see how well we do. In the past I've always managed all right on city circuits.”