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25 April - 2 May News
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2-May: David Coulthard, his fianc�e and his personal trainer have all miraculously escaped from a plane crashed that killed both pilots. The Lear jet carrying David was on its way to Niece in France when it developed engine trouble and requested emergency landing at Lyon. Unfortunately the pilots could not manage to keep the aircraft on line which then nose dived. The front of the aircraft was completely damaged although the rear was almost intact. David Coulthard, fianc�e Heidi Wichlinski and personal trainer Andy Matthews where unhurt without any burns or scratches. All three were taken to the hospital for a precautionary check but were later released. David Coulthard indicated his deepest sympathies to the families of the pilots. McLaren have indicated that David is expected to take part in the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend.
Jacques Villeneuve is expected to be fit to start at the Spanish Grand Prix, a BAR spokesman has confirmed. Despite the fact that he pulled out of the last day of testing last week, BAR is confident that he will race at Spain. Villeneuve was suffering severe back pain at the San Marino Grand Prix as well but pain killers and adrenaline kept him going. BAR indicated that if Jacques Villeneuve does pull out which is highly unlikely, Darren Manning will be his replacement.
Toyota are rumored to be looking at signing Jaun Pablo Montoya for the 2002 season. Montoya made headlines when he won the CART series last year in his debut year. He has a close relationship with the Williams team who are thought to have an option to sign him for next year.
Jaguar has had a bad start both on and off the track. On the track both cars retired at the first 2 events of the season and didn't shape at the following 2. Off the track, Paul Stewart stepped down due to illness. As a result, Jaguar will be announcing a major restructure at Barcelona this weekend and Jaguar are hoping that this restructure will make a big impact on their performance on the track. We certainly hope so.
30-Apr: The Spanish Grand Prix preview is now available ... Full Preview
29-Apr: Benetton have denied the rumors concerning the replacement of Alexander Wurz with 19-year old Brazilian star Antonio Pizzonia who currently competes in the British Formula 3 championship. Wurz have not performed very well so far this season only managing to outqualify and outrace his teammate Giancarlo Fisichella once this year at the San Marino GP. Benetton denied any talks with the Brazilian.
BAR is suing Mika Salo over a breach of contract. Mika Salo took over the driving duties from Ricardo Zonta after being injured at Interlagos. Mika Salo also took over the driving duties from Michael Schumacher at Ferrari after being injured at Silverstone. It appears that (contractually with BAR) Salo was not allowed to drive for another time within a set period of time but Salo still went on and drove for Ferrari. Furthermore, there are rumors that Mika Salo passed on some BAR secrets onto Ferrari. BAR are claiming $200,000 in damages.
There has been talk recently that Peugeot are pulling out of Formula 1 at the end of the season. Now there is talk about Peugeot buying Prost in line with the current trend of major car manufacturers entering Formula 1. Jaguar has purchased Stewart and Renault has purchased Benetton, McLaren is partly owned by DaimlerChrysler, BMW is interested in Williams and Honda in BAR). Peugeot have confirmed that they are looking at all the possible options including pulling out, continuing as engine suppliers, selling the Formula 1 division or buying a team.
Mika Hakkinen has yet to win a race this season out of 4 attempts. In fact, apart from his win in Japan at the end of last season, Mika Hakkinen has not won a race since Hungary and that makes it 1 win from 9 races. He must be worried, but we all know that Hakkinen performs best when he is under pressure so will he bounce back at Spain this coming Sunday ?
28-Apr: On the fourth and final day of testing at the Barcelona track, it was Michael Schumacher again who set the fastest time of the day ahead of his brother Ralf Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. Mika Hakkinen, Mika Salo and Alexander Wurz make the top 6.
The session started on a wet track after heavy rain overnight and several teams tested wet weather setup. The track started to dry out later in the morning. The session was interrupted several times as a few teams suffered some problems. The Jordan team tested new gearbox electronics with Frentzen successfully however Trulli suffered some mechanical problems. Jacques Villeneuve did not take part in the test as he was suffering from severe back pain.
15 drivers and 9 teams were present at the test today with both Minardi and Arrows concluding their testing yesterday ... Timed Results
In other news, the Jordan team has confirmed that they will be using Bridgestone tyres for the next season after signing a new long term contract with the tyre giant. Two existing teams (Jaguar and Williams) so far have announced that they will switch camp to Michelin. Toyota who is likely to enter in 2002 will also use Michelin.
27-Apr: On the third day of testing at Barcelona, Michael Schumacher continued to dominate setting the fastest time more than 0.6 seconds faster than teammate Rubens Barrichello. Heinz Harald Frentzen, Pedro de la Rosa, David Coulthard and Johnny Herbert make the top 6.
Pedro de la Rosa did the most laps covering a massive 118 laps followed by David Coulthard who covered 112 laps. The Ferrari pair also covered almost 100 laps each.
Several drivers had minor incidents including Mika Salo and Johnny Herbert both spinning, Giancarlo Fisichella spun and his car suffered some damage. Both Mclaren's (Panis and Coulthard) suffered mechanical problems stopping on the track but it was Luciano Burti (Jaguar test driver) who spun his car and damaged his car bad enough for him not to return to the track for the rest of the day ... Timed Results
19 drivers and all 11 teams were present today, Mika Hakkinen (McLaren), Pedro Diniz (Sauber), Gaston Mazzacane (Minardi), Jos Verstappen (Arrows) and Ralf Schumacher (Wiilliams) were not present. Testing continues tomorrow although a few teams have concluded their testing today including Arrows.
In other news, Benetton have officially announced that Mike Gascoyne the technical director at Jordan will be joining Benetton in 2001. Benetton is now owned by Renault and will run as Renault in 2002.
26-Apr: On the second day of testing at Barcelona, it was Michael Schumacher who set the fastest time ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella and Olivier Panis. Rubens Barrichello, Giancarlo Fisichella and David Coulthard make the top 6.
Most teams were working on their setup for the Spanish Grand Prix next week at the circuit however Olivier Panis tested the new 5 grooved tyres with last year's McLaren which the FIA could be introducing next year. The fastest time Panis set though was on the current 4 grooved tyres. Patrick Lemarie was testing development components for BAR.
Due to a mainly trouble free session, most of the drivers completed a lot of laps with Verstappen topping the list completing 111 laps, David Coulthard completing 105 laps and Michael Schumacher completing 85 laps. Testing continues tomorrow ... Timed Results
18 drivers and all 11 teams were present today, only Jacques Villeneuve (BAR), Mika Hakkinen (McLaren), Mika Salo (Sauber), Marc Gene (Minardi), Pedro de la Rosa (Arrows) and Ralf Schumacher (Wiilliams) were not present.
In other news, rumors continue regarding Jacques Villeneuve's future with BAR. After retiring with only 4 laps remaining at Silverstone, he threw his steering wheel into the ground with frustration of not scoring a point. The latest rumor is that he has been offered a massive $20 Million to drive for Jaguar next year alongside Eddie Irvine. Villeneuve has been linked to McLaren and Benetton already ?
Mike Gascoyne, Jordan's technical director has been rumored to be leaving Jordan and joining Renault in 2001.
25-Apr: "That was ridiculous !" is the title of the 9th issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2000 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the aftermath of the British Grand Prix - Check it out here !!
25-Apr: Under sunny and warm conditions that are ideal for testing, Jos Verstappen sets the fastest time during the first day of testing just 0.3 seconds ahead of Olivier Panis in the McLaren. Pedro Diniz in the Sauber was third.
Luciano Burti was the fastest of the Jaguar's in 4th place ahead of Benetton's Giancarlo Fisichella and Eddie Irvine.
5 teams were present today Arrows (1 car), McLaren (1 car), Sauber (1 car), Benetton (2 cars) and Prost (1 car). Several teams will join the testing tomorrow.
During the morning session, Luciano Burti had a spin and so did Jos Verstappen who got his car stuck in the gravel trap losing a lot of time to recover and fix the car, he did recover in the afternoon covering more than 60 laps. Pedro Diniz however managed to cover 80 laps despite blowing an engine during the morning session.Nick Heidfeld, Olivier Panis and Alexander Wurz all suffered failures on the track and had to be towed back to the pits.
Giancarlo Fisichella had a bizarre incident when he hit a cat on the track ... Timed Results