AT&T Williams F1 - French Grand-Prix Preview

25.06.2007: AT&T Williams F1 - French Grand-Prix Preview

Round eight of the 2007 FIA World Championship takes Formula One to rural France this weekend for the French Grand Prix on Sunday 1st July. The Circuit de Nevers, located in the country’s rural heartland 150 miles to the south of Paris in the upper Loire region, has been a staple on the calendar since 1991. This year’s race, the 57th to be held in France, will be the country’s last for the foreseeable future.

The AT&T Williams has had cause for many a celebration at Nevers. Over its 16 race history, the team has claimed five victories, taken half of all available poles and recorded five fastest laps, placing it second only to Ferrari as the most successful Formula One team that has ever graced Magny-Cours circuit.

 With a steady improvement in performance over the season, combined with a revised aero package for this race, the team will be racing for a points reward this Sunday.

 

Nico Rosberg

"I can’t wait to get to Magny-Cours. I really like the track and I’ve always seemed to do well there. It’s a nice place to go as well and has a good vibe so it’s a shame this is going to be our last visit.

I have good memories of Magny, I’ve won a few races there and it was where I won my first GP2 race. We’ll definitely have made some progress with the car as our test at Silverstone last week went really well. It’s also going to be exciting to see how the new upgrades work in competition."

 

Alex Wurz

"After a positive Silverstone test, I am looking forward to this coming race weekend in France. All the other teams have also been testing upgrades as we have, but I think we have the car to bring home some points from Magny-Cours.

Personally, I like the track, but I have not yet raced on the new layout of the last sector. I am sure that I will tune into the modified section very quickly though. There’s one certainty this weekend and that’s that it will again be a very competitive field and so it will be another fierce fight for points."

 

 

Sam Michael, Technical Director, Williams F1

After two competitive races in North America, we are looking forward to the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours. We’ll be bringing some aerodynamic and mechanical upgrade components to the race, which are part of our ongoing development programme and yielding good performance results on the FW29. We have also been doing some more work on our reliability at last week’s Silverstone test.

Reliability is much stronger now than in previous years, but clearly we still have a couple of small weaknesses, highlighted by some separate oil leaks that we experienced in practice and during the race in Indy. We now have solid solutions in place for these faults.

With respect to Magny-Cours, the track has a broad range of corners, two high speed chicanes and one slow speed chicane with massive curbs. Traditionally, it’s a very smooth circuit that emphasises the importance of aerodynamics, as is usual in Formula One.

Strategy will be quite interesting because multiple stop solutions have been applied in previous years to good effect. Even though the latest qualifying regulations and pitlane speed limits have shifted everyone to a lower number of stops, Magny-Cours may be the exception. The pit wall has made some really good calls on strategy this year so we look to continue that trend at the French Grand Prix.

Circuit de Nevers, Magny-Cours

Set amid rural surroundings in France’s Burgundy region, the 4.4km Circuit de Nevers is characterised by a collection of slow hairpins, medium speed corners and high speed chicanes. The French track requires a high downforce set-up, one which provides stability through the twisty sections, but one which equally does not compromise straight line speed.

Magny-Cours is renowned for its smooth surface which, when combined with the area’s variable temperatures, provides one of the greatest challenges for the teams over the weekend. The unpredictable weather, which can generate track temperatures in excess of 50°C, places high thermal loadings on the tyres, while the slower hairpins also generate longitudinal loadings, all of which can destabilise the balance of the car.

With several acute braking events (the drivers will experience 4g when braking from 300km/h down to 60km/h into the Adelaide hairpin), durable brakes are also a pre-requisite. Aerodynamic efficiency and car driveability are therefore key for a successful race this weekend.

 

STATS & FACTS

RACE DISTANCE / LAPS 4.411kms / 2.741 miles. 70 laps = 308.586kms / 191.755 miles

RACE START TIME

Local: 14.00, BST: 13.00

2006 FASTEST LAPM Schumacher, Ferrari: 1:17.111

2006 POLE SITTERM Schumacher, Ferrari: 1:15.493

2006 RACE WINNERM Schumacher, Ferrari

PIT-STOP SCHEDULE

1 stop: Laps 36 - 44

2 stops: Laps 20 – 30, 40 - 50

3 stops: Laps 16 – 22, 32 – 38, 48 - 54

 

- Liam Clogger, Claire Williams -

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25.06.2007 / MaP

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