Topics: Nick Heidfeld, Monaco Grand Prix, BMW-Sauber
May 29, 2007
"Anything is possible in Monaco," said Nick Heidfeld of the BMW Sauber Team. The German driver himself holds warm memories of the narrow circuit. "I managed to record a second place here once. Based on our own strength, our situation isn't very different compared to the first four season races. But with a bit of chaotic weather anything can happen here," he said.
The Monaco Grand Prix is the only race run exclusively on a track formed of public roads. This in itself provides a series of challenges, such as the bizarre bend with the track peaking in the middle and dropping down to the gutters on either side of the road, white lines and manhole covers.
Heidfeld noted that the team might experience a very different result in Monaco - one way or the other. The "Circuit de la Principauté" in Monaco is probably the most famous and spectacular race track of the Formula One season. Overtaking is harder for the drivers than any other race track. As a fact, no other track experiences more race surprises and incidents. In 1996, Olivier Panis histrionically celebrated his only career victory in the Ligier, benefiting from the fact that only seven drivers were classified and only four drivers actually crossed the finish line.
"My lap times don't look good, but it isn't that bad. I had problems with the fuel pressure and, of course, when the engine cuts out it costs time. Apart from this both sessions went well, and in the morning the track had a surprisingly high amount of grip. Today we have tested both tyre compounds properly,” Heidfeld added. “For the race it is not only important to get a good grid position, especially because overtaking is so difficult, but also the right strategy is extremely important. Another factor for the strategy is the new safety car rule. There is a higher probability of the safety car coming out here than elsewhere.”
In Heidfeld’s opinion, however, rainy conditions do not necessarily play into the cards of the BMW Sauber F1 Team. "In the last few years we could see that anything can happen when the conditions are chaotic. Slower teams and weaker drivers can win the races. It's simply unpredictable," noted Heidfeld. Superb BMW engine parts and other excellent race equipment could boost the performance of the team.
Willy Rampf, the technical director of the team, has this to say: "Overall we are very pleased with the day. This relates to the set-up of the cars as well as the race preparation. Monaco is always a special challenge. Not only is its layout unique, but it has also a special surface that changes a lot during the sessions and makes it difficult to find the right direction for setting up the cars. Nick's car suffered a fuel pressure problem which affected his lap times, but we will solve it before tomorrow. For me it's positive to see the parts which we developed specifically for this race obviously works well."