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Silverstone Test Session (17-19/4) Photos (Hakkinen, Coulthard, R Schumacher, Montoya,...)
- 8 May News
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finishing on the podium at the Spanish Grand Prix, Jacques Villeneuve
has indicated that the performance from the car and engine is simply not
enough and he wants a lot more to convince him of staying with the team.
BAR had set a target at the
start of the season to finish 3rd in the Constructors' Championship and to
that Villeneuve said "It might not happen, but it's still the minimum
acceptable. There's going to be a lot of angry and sad people if we don't
reach that, because that will mean that this whole project will have
failed this year.
Meanwhile team boss Craig Pollock has admitted that their target of finishing 3rd in the championship might not be achievable given the rise of Williams and said "We had a very, very bad start to the year which was difficult to accept but we think we will do better than that. At the beginning of the year we were thinking of finishing third or better and having seen where the old guys are - Williams, McLaren and Ferrari - it is very difficult to get there. So fourth or better would be more than acceptable"
Following Toyota's announcement to appoint
Gustav Brunner as their Chief Designer (see below),
the Minardi team has threatened to take legal action against Toyota
Gustav Brunner as they claim that they have a contract with Brunner until
the end of 2002. Paul Stoddard said "We
are obviously disappointed at this news, Gustav has been a trusted and
highly regarded member of staff, and for him to act in this way is totally
incomprehensible to us. We are surprised and saddened that a company of
Toyota's standing would seek to employ Mr Brunner, who has an irrevocable
contract with Minardi until January 1, 2003. As such, European Minardi
will be pursuing all of its options in law against both Mr Brunner and
Minardi's Technical Director, Gustav Brunner has accepted an offer to
head the design team at Toyota. He leaves his position as Technical
Director of the Minardi team.
Austrian Formula 1 Grand Prix Schedule:
his recent test at Fiorano, Michael Schumacher has indicated that
he still considers Mika Hakkinen as his main rival in the championship
despite Hakkinen's car failure at the Spanish Grand Prix and said "There
is still a long way to go in the championship and with twelve races
remaining, anything is possible. Mika can get back in the game and as I
have always said, I still regard him as my main rival. We will have to see
what happens in the next two or three races."
Gerhard Berger, the BMW Motorsport Director has indicated that the A-1 ring is a track that should suite the BMW engines and given the significant improvement in their traction control development at the recent test in Valencia he is confident of their chances and said "The A-1 Ring should be quite a good track for us. It is very demanding on engines and requires more full throttle than on any other Grand Prix track, which is positive for us. A well-functioning traction control system will be an advantage here so hopefully after the test in Valencia we should be a step ahead compared to Barcelona. Michelin tested at the A-1 Ring with the development car last year so with all these factors combined we are assuming this should be a positive race for us."
has issued a statement dismissing their test driver Tomas Scheckter
following a court appearance by Scheckter where he pleaded guilty for kerb
crawling. It is claimed that he was arrested in February where he was
charged with "soliciting from a vehicle".
5-May: Ferrari have concluded their 5 day test at Fiorano. Luca Badoer was the only driver present. He concentrated on aerodynamics and electronics testing. He set a best time of 59.819 which is his best time on this track. He covered a total of 105 laps which included the shakedown of the 3 cars heading to Austria.
the final day of testing at Valencia, Ralf Schumacher topped the
timesheets ahead of Eddie Irvine and Juan Pablo Montoya.
Michael Schumacher took
over from Rubens Barrichello and set the fastest time of the day ahead of
Luca Badoer. Fernando Alonso was also present for Minardi and posted the
3rd fastest time.
At Fiorano where Rubens
Barrichello has been testing for the last 2 days, indicated that
Ferrari do not have a problem with their suspension and that the failure
he suffered at the Spanish GP had nothing to do with Michael's failure at
the San Marino GP and said "I can't say that everything always works
100%. Testing work aims to ensure the maximum level of reliability, but we
know that problems can always arise. As for the cause of my retirement in
Barcelona, I can say that it was due to a failure we had never seen
before. It had nothing to do with the failure that Michael suffered in
Imola, or what happened to Luca in the January test at the Circuit de
Catalunya. There is no specific problem with the suspension."
At the Spanish GP, the Williams BMW
team indicated that they only used launch control during the race but not
traction control as it was not ready to be used in race conditions. During
testing at Valencia, the team improved the the system to a degree that
they are hoping to use it at the upcoming Austrian GP. Ralf Schumacher
who has been extensively testing the traction control system said "We
focused mainly on tyre development and traction control, which is
improving very well, and I think we will be able to use it in Austria. We
still have some work to do with Michelin in order to get the best out of
the tyres at the A-1 Ring."
On the 3rd day of testing at Valencia it was David Coulthard
setting the fastest time just ahead of Eddie Irvine and Ralf
On the final day at
Silverstone, Olivier Panis was again fastest ahead of Jarno Trulli
and BAR test driver Patrick Lemarie.
Rubens Barrichello continued
testing at Fiorano setting the fastest time ahead of Luca Badoer.
Both drivers concentrating on electronics as well as set-up and brakes for
Just as the Heretic claimed in the Spanish GP review (Schumacher
had a problem), Ross Brawn has admitted that while Michael
Schumacher had a tyre vibration problem, he was told to slow down due to
fears of a suspension failure. Brawn said "Until we get the car out
we are not sure. There was a vibration on the tyres which was getting
worse and worse and we considered a new set of tyres.
Director André de Cortanze has left the Toyota Formula 1 team. In a
statement issued by the team, they announced that they have reached a
mutual agreement with Cortanze that he leaves the company with immediate
effect. The statement added: The Directors of TMG have formed a Technical
Project Management Team to drive forward the next stage of the Formula 1
project. TMG President Ove Andersson will chair the project team, which
consists of key departmental managers and engineers.
Mika Hakkinen set the fastest time at Valencia on the second day of
testing ahead of team-mate David Coulthard and Ralf Schumacher.
At Silverstone, Oliver
Panis set the fastest time ahead of Jos Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen.
At Fiorano, Rubens Barrichello managed to set the fastest time he has ever managed on the track with a time of 59.560 as he covered 68 laps. (Michael Schumacher holds the lap record of 58.890). Luca Badoer was also present and set a best time of 1:00.032 as he covered 65 laps. Both drivers were testing electronics. Barrichello also carried out some tyre evaluation.
Testing continues at all venues tomorrow.
2-May: "Schumacher had a problem" is the title of the 12th issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2001 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the aftermath of the Spanish Grand Prix - Issue 12
In his post race column, Heinz Harald Frentzen described the
moment when his car failed to launch at the start of the Spanish Grand
Prix and wrote "If you want to experience more excitement in you life
then try taking an armchair into the middle of the fast lane of you
nearest motorway and sit down facing away from the traffic. It's a great
way to tint you hair grey! That will give you an idea of how I felt when
the lights went out for the start of the Spanish Grand Prix and I was
sitting there with my car in neutral a lot of lights flashing on the dash
panel and desperately trying to get my car's new launch control to launch."
Rubens Barrichello was very disappointed to retire as he believes that he could have won the race but has admitted that although he didn't have any problems with his car before his retirement he couldn't keep up with Michael and Mika and said "It is especially hard to deal with a retirement like the one I suffered in Barcelona, because the one thing we know about Ferrari's F1 cars is that they are usually very reliable. I could easily control my position and given that Hakkinen retired and Michael had some problems, I think I had a good chance of winning the race. As to why I could not match their pace, when they were running properly, I am not sure. The balance of the car was fine, but I just could not keep up"
The McLaren team decided to join the Michelin runners at Valencia rather
than risk another wet session at Silverstone. Well it was actually dry at
Silverstone and very wet at Valencia.
At Silverstone, Ricardo
Zonta set the fastest time of the day ahead of Olivier Panis and Kimi
At Fiorano, Luca
Badoer started a 5 day test session for Ferrari. He completed 90 laps
with a best time of 1:00.391. The team concentrated on electronic testing.
Testing continues at all venues tomorrow.
1-May: Mika Hakkinen has indicated that despite his loss at the Spanish Grand Prix and the gap between himself and Michael growing to 24 points, he will not give up the title chase until it is not mathematically possible. Only then will he consider changing his targets and said "Of course I'm worried about it, it's absolutely natural, but I'm not losing my belief that I can still win it. I just have to count the points all the time and when I don't have a mathematical possibility to win any more this year then we have to change to different targets for this year. Until that moment I have to push and fight as hard as I can."
With strong rumours that Ferrari are
interested in offering Jenson Button a drive in 2003, Frank Williams has indicated
that he is in no rush to release Button and said "Jenson is on our
books for 2003 and we would not consider any offers now. If someone wants
to approach us we would have to say - please be patient. We don't have to
make a decision for a long time and I will not be rushed into making one
Minardi boss Paul Stoddart has indicated that the team is actively looking for a replacement to their current Ford engine which is believed to be a '98 spec engine. He is hoping to make an announcement on a deal within a month and said "I can say we are talking to a number of engine manufacturers who are currently on the Grand Prix grid. I hope to make an announcement in the next couple of races."
The Ferrari team has confirmed that Michael Schumacher's car had a
problem with the tyre balance and it was found that the tyres were not
properly balanced on the rims particularly at the rear and hence the
reason for Michael to slow down. Rubens Barrichello's car suffered a
problem with the right rear suspension which caused it to drop onto the
bump stops. This caused Barrichello to go off the track and eventually
The rest of the Bridgestone runners are expected to start a 3 day test session at Silverstone today while all the Michelin running teams (except Minardi) will start a 4 day test session at Valencia from today.