News briefs from the Nurburgring

(GMM) Red Bull's technical director Geoff Willis has left the team, just three weeks after the RB5 he jointly penned with Adrian Newey recorded a dominant one-two victory at Silverstone. The Briton joined the Milton Keynes-based squad almost two years ago to the day, having left Honda in 2006. The reasons for his departure are not yet known.

A new leisure centre at the Nurburgring was inaugurated on Thursday, with the centerpiece one of the world's fastest rollercoaster’s that at one point speeds alongside the pit straight. However, the project has also been controversial, as a scandal relating to the financing resulted in the resignation of a politician earlier this week.

For a PR event, world champion Lewis Hamilton drove a 75-year-old Mercedes W25 formula one car around the original Nurburgring 'Nordschleife' on Thursday. Only brave souls dare mention Adolf Hitler at present without rapidly condemning Bernie Ecclestone's Times interview, but it might be noted that the W25 was commissioned with the support of the notorious German chancellor.

It's summer in Germany, but Thursday at the Nurburgring was particularly cool before a late afternoon downpour. Temperatures are forecast to drop yet further while the chance of rain increases on Friday, and more of the same cool and cloudy weather is expected throughout the weekend.

While Renault and BMW have dropped their KERS systems, Ferrari is persisting with the controversial energy-recovery technology at the Nurburgring and beyond. "If you take it away we would lose three tenths of a second," said Felipe Massa. McLaren took KERS off its cars at Silverstone due to the lack of braking zones, but Heikki Kovalainen confirmed that both MP4-24s will again feature the systems in Germany.

Kovalainen also revealed that while teammate Hamilton's McLaren will feature an aerodynamic upgrade at the Nurburgring, his own Mercedes-powered car remains in its Silverstone configuration. He backed the decision, insisting there was only time to manufacturer a single set of the new bodywork, some of which is yet to arrive at the circuit from England.

Leave a Reply