Ralf talks down Nurburgring chances

Canadian Grand Prix winner Ralf Schumacher has predicted a tougher time for his Williams-BMW squad at this weekend's European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring

Ralf talks down Nurburgring chances

The German's victory in Canada, his second of the season, has closed the gap in the championship to third placed Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) to just two points. Although the Eifel circuit is near to his hometown of Kerpen, Schumacher thinks it will be a tougher to score another win there.

"This is my home race and there is always a great atmosphere, which makes it very special," said Schumacher. "It would be nice to have a similar success at home to Canada, but the Nurburgring will be more difficult for us than Montreal, so my realistic target is to collect as many points as possible. The circuit has very high safety standards but, typical to many modern circuits, it lacks character and there are no big challenges, except the chicane if it is wet."

Sam Michael, Williams-BMW's chief operations engineer, says the high-downforce Nurburgring poses a completely different challenge to Montreal's low-downforce Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

"We are going to Nurburgring with confidence but we are also realistic because it is a very different circuit to Montreal," he said. "Nurburgring is usually quite cold and that presents a significant challenge to Michelin and the team in selecting the best tyre compounds. Having not tested here either makes the tyre selection even harder, especially if it rains.

"We will have a setup close to maximum downforce, while also paying particular attention to slow and medium speed corners. There is only one high speed corner so it doesn't dominate the lap. The chicane at the end of the lap is an important consideration for suspension setup and also highlights an overtaking opportunity that has been used in the past. I am sure we will see some interesting strategies on Sunday, because most of the passing at this circuit is done in the pits."

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