Bmw Sauber Adds Herbert to Part Lineup

By: Anthony Fontanelle

Former British Grand Prix winner Johnny Herbert has been added to the driving lineup in BMW's Pit Lane Park display at Silverstone. The team had already announced that 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell would demonstrate on Friday the BMW Sauber Formula One car. Now the team has revealed that Herbert will take over from Mansell for Saturday's runs, before the team's test driver Sebastian Vettel steps in on race day.

Herbert, which will be seen behind the BMW window motor on Friday, raced in Formula One from 1989 to 2000, grabbing three victories including his celebrated home triumph for Benetton in 1995. He then shifted to sportscars, but briefly returned to the Formula One arena as sporting relations manager for the Midland team before it was sold to Spyker.

BMW designed the Pit Lane Park as a 'high tech theme park' that brings Formula One aficionados even closer to the action at grands prix. In addition to demonstration runs by Formula One machinery on a short section of track, there are also interactive features and other fan-friendly activities. The park is situated behind the Becketts complex and entrance is free to British Grand Prix ticket-holders.

BMW Sauber, currently third on constructors' standing, is very optimistic of the race at Silverstone. "I especially like the crowd in England because they are just true racing fans. They are very well informed and were also enthusiastic in the years when they did not have a home grown front runner. Of course with Lewis Hamilton the interest will increase a lot for this year's race, but the atmosphere has always been good," said Nick Heidfeld.

He added, "During the test I found the circuit extraordinarily bumpy, and apparently other drivers thought the same. The English weather can also add to the excitement. The sequence of the corners at Becketts is very fast and very special. For Silverstone it is especially important to have a good aero package for the fast corners."

Robert Kubica, after his crash in Montreal and a nice comeback performance at Magny-Cours, has this to say about the upcoming race: "Silverstone, I think, will be a good weekend for us. I hope so. Last year we were quite strong. I like the track as it is very challenging. Very quick, especially the first sector. Last year it was quite low grip there. I missed the test session this year, so it will be interesting to see how it is on Bridgestone tyres."

"It is nice to be there because I like the style of the track and British people enjoy motor racing," the 22-year-old Pole added.

Mario Theissen, the BMW motorsport director, is quoted as saying: "At the mid point of the season, Formula One is restless. After the back-to-back races in North America and a test session in Silverstone, we are now in the middle of the next double header in Europe. Hats off to the team ' I have to say."

"We want to continue in this way and also improve. Britain is the only market for the BMW Group which has production facilities for all three of the Group's brands. The MINI is built in Oxford, Rolls-Royce cars in Goodwood and BMW car engines in Hams Hall. Great Britain is the third-largest market for the BMW Group after the USA and Germany," Theissen noted.

"Silverstone is renowned for its many medium and fast corners, where drivers have to carry as much speed as possible into the straights. In the infield there are also some very slow corners. Silverstone is a very challenging circuit," said Willy Rampf, Sauber's technical director.

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