Michael Schumacher argues that the 'extra boost' he will receive from competing in front of his adoring fans in this weekend's German Grand Prix at the N?rburgring will provide him with 'extra motivation' to demonstrate his famed 'fighting spirit' - as Mercedes Grand Prix team-mate Nico Rosberg eyes 'another step forward' on home turf.

Not only is Mercedes the only German team in the paddock - or partly, anyway - but it also has the only all-German driver line-up, too, and as such is even more eager than usual to turn its thus far troubled F1 2011 campaign around with a strong performance at the N?rburgring.

To-date this season, there has been no finish higher than fourth for Mercedes - for Schumacher in Canada - and the team is only three points clear of Lotus Renault GP in the tight battle over the same spot in the constructors' standings. Just as 1992 F1 World Champion Nigel Mansell used to say that racing on home turf gave him as much as an extra second a lap in terms of performance, however, so 'Schumi' hopes to gain a lift from some of the fervent support he will doubtless receive this weekend.

"With two home races in a row, we are fortunate to be given an extra boost as we head to the N?rburgring for the German Grand Prix, just two weeks after Silverstone," enthused the man who has triumphed around the Eifel Mountains circuit on no fewer than five previous occasions. "This season has been a difficult one for performance predictions so far, however I can predict one thing for sure - the extra boost we receive 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 Eight and Nine), and obviously I would like to believe that this is not only making me proud - but also even faster!"

"Coming to the N?rburgring for the German Grand Prix always feels very special to me," added Rosberg, who took the chequered flag an excellent fourth there with Williams two years ago. "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 N?rburgring 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 will see a good performance from both me and our car."

Having initially trailed Renault in the F1 2011 constructors' chase, Mercedes has now vaulted ahead by consistently outscoring its closest rival over the past few races. Team principal Ross Brawn knows that maintaining that recent progress will be pivotal to sending the partisan supporters home happy this weekend.

"As the Mercedes works team, we are looking forward to a special occasion," the Englishman confessed. "Our car showed positive signs of improvement with the new upgrade package and exhaust system at 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, giving our drivers the opportunity to show what they can do in front of their own supporters."

"The story of the Silver Arrows began 77 years ago at the N?rburgring in 1934, and this year's German Grand Prix will mark the first time that the modern Silver Arrows will be racing at this historic circuit," added a proud Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President Norbert Haug. "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.

"F1 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. The circuit itself presents a complete challenge - there are three corners below 100km/h as well as three over 250km/h, 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, too - even in late July - so we need to remain adaptable and ready to seize every opportunity. Our race performance at Silverstone showed signs of an upward trend, and we hope the practice sessions [at the N?rburgring] will allow us to extract further performance from our new aerodynamic package. We will certainly be giving everything in order to get the best possible result on home turf."

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment