German GP – Preview

The German GP, to be held at the Nurburgring in the coming weekend, will be run in the season’s crucial moment, only a few days after the British GP at Silverstone. It will be so difficult for the teams to make upgrades. In Germany the Pirelli will bring new compounds which will have unknown results. No doubt it wouldn’t have been possible to use the same tyre used at Silverstone, because of their technical issues and I’m sure the Italian supplier will supply teams with the already-tested tyre which were used in the past season (Soft and Medium), even though cars development has been remarkable in the last few months, especially from the point of view of the downforce.

The Ferrari will have to reverse a difficult situation both in qualifying and during the race, as, besides Alonso’s talent and good performance in the last GP, the performance gap between the Italian team and Red Bull- Mercedes was still remarkable, as shown by Webber’s recovery. The Red Bull still remains the reference car and the car to defeat. Red Bull and Mercedes will fight for the pole and I think the Ferrari can achieve good results, as well.

Great attention will be focused on two outsiders such as the Toro Rosso and the Force India, who showed to be able to take some important points off the top teams. The Lotus will have to take a step backwards after the introduction of a new damping, which has given the team the same competitiveness it had at the start of the season. As far as the weather is concerned, in Germany temperatures are usually low.

MEMORIES. The Nurburgring reminds me of great moments. We took part in the F.2 covered-wheel final race and we took an amazing 2nd place with Nannini, after a beautiful bagarre with the BMW-March. In that race Nannini crossed the line having only 3 tyres left, because of a clash which drove him off track.

In a difficult 1999 F.1 season, we managed to take a 6th place with Mark Gené. We would have achieved a double success, as, thanks to excellent strategies, flawless pit-stops and weather changes, Luca Badoer was making a fantastic comeback, so he deserved the podium. Unfortunately just few laps before the end, a gearbox issue caused an oil leak, forcing him to stop his car trackside. It was one of those races in which we went from hero to zero. It would have been a great result and maybe we would have changed the history of the Minardi Team.

In its 600th GP the Williams almost scored its first points, finishing 11th and 12th. To be honest, I hoped they finished in the top 10 to make that day even more special for them. I want to congratulate Frank on his efforts to develop his team. I wish him to become again one of the F.1 Championship main protagonists.