Valencia, Preview – Ross: “Achieving zero-defect reliability is our highest priority”

Formula One returns to Europe next weekend with the second race of the season to be held in Spain with the European Grand Prix hosted by Valencia. The 5.419 km Valencia Street Circuit winds around the city’s Juan Carlos I Marina.

Five ‘normal’ race overtakes in 2011 represented the year’s second lowest total; DRS enabled 22 further passes. DRS can be used for 59.7% of a qualifying lap - the third highest proportion after Montreal and Monza. At 252 metres, the pit lane length under speed control is even shorter than that in Monaco (301 metres).

“The calendar returns to Europe next weekend with our visit to the Valencia Street Circuit in Spain” said Ross ahead of the Grand Prix weekend. “The performance of our car and our tyre management were generally good in Canada, however our competitiveness was compromised by reliability problems and mistakes.

This is a disappointment that is deeply felt by everyone in our team, and we have been working hard to ensure we understand the reasons and deal with them. Achieving zero-defect reliability is our highest priority. The opportunities available if we can give both drivers a reliable car and a clean weekend are clear.”

Norbert reminds that “the European Grand Prix will be the third consecutive race on a temporary circuit after Monaco and Canada. Seven corners are taken below 100 kph but straight line speeds are similar to Canada, and the cars brake from over 285 kph to under 100 kph on five different occasions around the lap. The weather is usually hot and sunny, which is naturally reflected in high track temperatures.

Nico's race and his lap times in Canada, where track temperatures exceeded 40 degrees, showed that our car can cope well with such extreme conditions when running the appropriate set-up. Our priority for the next race is to achieve the same standard of reliability for Michael's car that we have seen so far this year with Nico's, who has completed all racing laps so far this season. Since his win at the Chinese Grand Prix on 15 April, no other driver has scored more points than Nico. The target is to continue that trend.”

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