Bmw Saubers Goal: Get Both Cars to Finish Line

By: Anthony Fontanelle

After two races in North American metropolises, Formula One is reviving its taste for the countryside as it reaches halfway point this season. The drivers will line up in Magny-Cours on the 1st July to vie for the most-coveted title in racing. For the BMW Sauber team, the goal is to get both cars to the finish line.

After Robert Kubica's horrific crash in Montreal and after a number of unwanted retirements, the team intends to go full throttle at Magny-Cours to take advantage of the circuit's offers. A crash and a retirement saw the BMW Sauber leave North America feeling short-changed. The team expects an illuminating race likened to BMW tail lights. "The Magny-Cours circuit has a lot to offer - two tricky chicanes, a high-speed section and some slow corners. I'm looking forward to the race weekend. The track is demanding, I like the countryside around the circuit and you tend to eat very well in France. There's not a lot going on in Magny-Cours and it gets its fair share of criticism as a result. But I like a bit of peace and quiet now and again," said Nick Heidfeld.

Kubica noted, "I can't wait to get back into the car. I may not have been given the green light to compete in the USA, but I hope the medical examination at Magny-Cours will be a formality. The reason why I wasn't allowed to drive at Indianapolis had nothing to do with how I felt; the problem was the risk involved in suffering a second accident within such a short space of time. That's also why I wasn't allowed to test. I've used the time to focus intensively on preparing for the next race."

The Pole added, "I'm pretty neutral about the Magny-Cours track. It isn't one of my favorite circuits, but at the same time I don't have a problem with it. Magny-Cours is a lot more fun in a Formula One car than with the smaller cars I've driven there before in other categories of racing. You can particularly see the potential of the F1 car through the chicanes."

Mario Theissen, the BMW Motorsport Director, has this to say: "After the grand prix double-header in the big cities across the Atlantic, the slightly remote rural idyll of Magny-Cours represents a welcome contrast. You are free to focus on the sport and the demanding race track. Like Robert himself, the team is also hoping that he will be back in the car in France. The race doctors at Magny-Cours will have the final say on that one though."

He added, "We have finished in the points in every race so far this season, but in the last two GPs we only managed to get one car to the finish on each occasion. Nick would have been set for a third-place finish in the USA and his retirement was a real pain. We are looking to pick up points with both cars at Magny-Cours and in so doing strengthen our third place in the World Championship."

"The two grands prix in North America saw the cars run with medium downforce, but now we're heading into a series of races where high downforce will be the order of the day. Magny-Cours offers an interesting mixture of slow and fast corners. One feature worth mentioning is the track surface, which is very sensitive to fluctuations in temperature. The right set-up in the morning might not necessarily be any good in the afternoon. This is something you have to remember when you're making changes to the car," said BMW Sauber's Technical Director Willy Rampf.

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