Michael Schumacher is reasonably optimistic of his chances in Monaco
and believes the F2002 will be suited to the track. He said "The
Monaco Grand Prix is a challenge. Racing between the guard rails at high
speed is tiring, but at the same time, extremely motivating because it is
so narrow. I really like driving here. There are so many blind corners
which make it unique and I am looking forward to racing here again.
I think the F2002 will also go well in Monaco. The car intrinsically has a
lot of aerodynamic downforce, which is a very important factor at this
track. Also from the mechanical point of view we are well prepared and
Bridgestone are bringing a tyre well suited to the characteristics of this
track. I am reasonably optimistic about our level of
Ralf Schumacher admits that the Monaco track may
not suit their car but remains hopeful to be close the Ferraris and said
"I once remember someone said that racing an F1 car around
Monaco is just like flying a helicopter in your bedroom. You could not
describe this race in a better way.
This circuit might not suit the WilliamsF1 BMW FW24 as much as the Ferrari
F2002, but after the positive test in Valencia, I hope that we can come a
bit closer to the red cars. As long as we will still have a mathematical
chance for the World Championship, we won't let go of this target and this
approach counts just as much for the Monaco Grand Prix."
Team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya hopes to give Williams something to
smile after crashing out early from the race last year and said "I
canít say I really enjoyed my debut in Monaco last year, and overall it
was a difficult weekend for me. I thought initially that it would be a lot
more fun than it was, and in fact it was extremely hard work.
The circuit itself is very slow with a only couple of quick corners, and
of course it's completely different from the tracks we usually race at.
It's a very fancy weekend and a glamorous event, but maybe it's a bit too
classy and I am not really that kind of person. Whatever happens, I hope
this time around will provide the BMW WilliamsF1 Team with better memories
Eddie Irvine has an impressive record at Monaco
having finished (in the points) every time since the '97 season. Eddie is
hoping to continue his good form here and said "The race is full
of action and no more so than at the top of the hill through Casino Square,
making it my favourite corner. Climbing up the field here can be very tricky
and you rely on the attrition of others to help you out. I qualified fifth
last year and gave Jaguar its first ever podium in Formula One. Being on the
podium alongside two Ferraris is what Jaguar is all about and while the
chances of repeating it this year are much tougher, you canít help going
into this weekend with slightly more optimism than other races. There are so
many variables that ultimately dictate the finishing order and unless you fall
off completely, you can never rule anything out at Monaco."
Renault are hoping to erase their disappointment
of Austria by achieving their best result here. Technical Director Mike
Gascoyne said "The track will definitely suit our car. We
have always known that it is good in terms of mechanical grip and this
will be one of the most competitive races so far.
We expected to be slightly less competitive in Austria but overall the
weekend was disappointing. We did not get the best out of the car and
chassis combination on the first two days, even though we proved our race
pace was competitive. This time we are looking towards the top six in
Last year it was our strongest race in the first half of the season. We
have a number of aerodynamic developments on the car that will represent a
reasonable step forward in overall performance and will improve our
competitiveness even further."
21-May: The Quali-flyer's predictions for the 'Real Race' in
Monaco ... Report
Thursday Practice Session 1
Thursday Practice Session 2
Saturday Practice Session 1
Saturday Practice Session 2 Qualifying Session
Warm-up Session Race
11 AM Monaco
Time / 9 AM GMT
1 PM Monaco Time / 11 AM GMT
9 AM Monaco Time / 7 AM GMT
10:15 AM Monaco Time / 8:15 AM GMT 1 PM Monaco Time / 11 AM GMT 9:30 AM Monaco Time / 7:30 AM GMT 2 PM Monaco Time / 12 PM GMT
Rubens Barrichello has indicated his surprise at the reaction from the
crowds following the race in Austria and said "I was surprised at the
reaction of the crowd and of the people in the media centre after the Austrian
Grand Prix. It was a team decision by Ferrari. Of course, I would have
preferred not to have been given the radio message to move over, but it was a
calm discussion between me and the pit-wall. I feel I won the race anyway and
we have seen this situation in the past from Ferrari and from other
Rubens believes he is on a high and that he is capable of repeating his
performance at Monaco and said "I am still tackling the season with an
open mind, concentrating on my racing. I am going through a very good period
in my life in general and I will be doing my best to win in Monaco. I know
that I am driving well enough to win races. Austria was an amazing weekend and
everyone could see how well it was going for me on Friday and Saturday. What
happened in Austria is the past and I can go to Monaco with my head up,
looking to have a seriously good weekend."
Rubens also believes that the Ferrari F2002 has closed the gap to Williams BMW
in terms of power and said "The car is very well suited to any track we
race on. It is a superb package, which gives me as a driver a lot of
confidence. Last year, we felt the BMW-Williams had a slight power advantage
over us, but this season I am not sure if that is still the case."
Williams and Renault held a private test for Michelin on the final
day of testing at Valencia. The track was artificially wet and both teams
tested different wet and intermediate tyre compounds for Michelin. Renault's
test driver Fernando Alonso set the fastest time ahead of Williams' test
driver Marc Gene with Jenson Button setting the 3rd fastest time ahead of Ralf
Marc Gene covered the most number of laps with 100 followed by Ralf Schumacher
with 80 laps.
At Mugello, Ferrari concluded their
test by conducting a full race simulation. The test was completed successfully
with Luca Badoer driving. He completed a total of 79 laps with a best
time of 1:23.379
17-May: The 4th day of testing at Valencia saw Marc Gene in the Williams
top the timesheets followed by Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso both driving
3 teams were present with 5 drivers setting lap times. Fernando Alonso covered
the most number of laps with 60 followed by Olivier Panis with 56.
Olivier Panis caused the session to be stopped twice as a result of
Weather conditions were sunny with air temperatures reaching 26 degrees.
BAR concluded their test while Williams and Renault conclude their test
tomorrow with an artificial wet test.
On the final day of testing at Paul
Heinz Harald Frentzen topped the timesheets ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and
4 teams were present today with 6 drivers setting lap times. David Coulthard
covered a massive 111 laps followed by Brazilian Cristiano da Matta test
driving for Toyota with 97 laps.
Once again running today was on a shorter configuration of the circuit with more corners
da Matta said following his first Formula 1 drive "I am very impressed
with this experience. I did 97 laps but I am not really tired. The car was
much lighter to drive than in CART but more demanding on the neck due to much
higher G-forces. The high speed corners were particularly impressive and I
didn't expect such high grip levels from the grooved tyres."
Weather was sunny with air temperature reaching 25 degrees.
At Mugello, Luca Badoer
started testing for Ferrari at the track. Driving the F2002 he concentrated on
set-up work as well as testing mechanical components. He completed 45 laps with a fastest time of
Weather was sunny with air temperature reaching 27 degrees.
Testing continues tomorrow.
At Fiorano, Rubens Barrichello concluded
testing for Ferrari conducting an artificial wet track test as well as a
shakedown for the cars to be used at the Monaco GP. He completed 73 laps with a fastest time of
Weather was sunny with air temperature reaching 30 degrees.