German Grand Prix Preview – Mercedes GP Petronas
The 2011 Formula One season reaches its midway point this weekend with Round 10, the German Grand Prix, hosted at the historic Nürburgring circuit in the Eifel Mountains on Sunday 24 July. After the British Grand Prix on 10 July, the weekend will be the second home race in a row for the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS team.
• The run from the start to the first corner at the Nürburgring is 500m, the furthest of all circuits used in 2011.
• In the last ten years, only one Grand Prix at the Nürburgring has featured rain – the 2007 European Grand Prix.
• The difference in elevation between the circuit´s highest (627m) and lowest (565m) points is 62m – on the old Nordschleife, the figure was 300m!
“With two home races in a row, we are fortunate to be given an extra boost as we head to the Nürburgring next week for the German Grand Prix, just two weeks after Silverstone. This season has been a difficult one for performance predictions so far; however I can predict one thing for sure: the extra boost we are receiving will be transformed into extra motivation. We saw some improvements over the Silverstone weekend with our new exhaust system, along with improvements to how we work with the tyres, so we go to the next race weekend with a good feeling added to our fighting spirit. We definitely want to show our home crowds our best level of performance possible. It will be the first time that I race through the corner which is named after me (Turns 8 and 9), and obviously I would like to believe that this is not only making me proud, but also even faster.”
“Coming to the Nürburgring for the German Grand Prix always feels very special to me. There is so much history around this amazing track, especially for Mercedes-Benz with great drivers from the past having had such successful times on the Nürburgring and the legendary Nordschleife. This year, I will have the opportunity to drive Juan Manuel Fangio’s car from 1954 on the amazing old circuit, and that will be very special. But of course I am also looking forward to the Grand Prix itself. I hope that we can take another step forward with our new package and close the gap to the top a little. It will be exciting to drive in front of a big German crowd in the Mercedes-Benz grandstand. Hopefully they see a good performance from both me and our car.”
Ross Brawn, Team Principal
“Our second home race in succession is next on the calendar with the German Grand Prix taking place at the Nürburgring next week. It is always a pleasure to race in front of our home supporters, and as the Mercedes works team, we are looking forward to a special occasion for the team. Our car showed positive signs of improvement with the new upgrade package and exhaust system in Silverstone, and we have been working hard since then to further enhance our understanding of its performance capabilities. We are hopeful of continuing this progression and putting on a good performance next weekend, giving our drivers the opportunity to show what they can do in front of their own supporters.”
Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport “The story of the Silver Arrows began 77 years ago at the Nürburgring in 1934, and this year’s German Grand Prix will mark the first time that the modern Silver Arrows, and our MERCEDES GP PETRONAS team, will be racing at this historic circuit. This will be a very special weekend for our team, with many of our loyal fans and colleagues supporting Nico, Michael and Mercedes-Benz at our second home race in a fortnight. Formula One is on a high in Germany right now, and the crowd is going to be bigger than when we last raced there in 2009 – hopefully we will see a sell-out on Sunday and a fully packed Mercedes-Benz grandstand at the spectacular Turn 1 as well. The circuit itself presents a complete challenge: there are three corners below 100 kph as well as three over 250 kph, so good performance at both low and high speeds is critical. Of course, the famous Eifel weather is always capable of throwing a joker into the pack – even in late July – so we need to remain adaptable and ready to seize every opportunity. Our race performance in Silverstone showed signs of an upward trend, and we hope that the practice sessions next weekend will allow us to extract further performance from our new aerodynamic package. We will certainly be giving everything in order the get the best possible result on home turf.”