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| Schumacher MUST
Issue 26 - The Heretic
August 14 -23 News
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23-Aug: The Jordan team have had good luck in the past at Spa. In 1994 Rubens Barrichello grabbed the teams first ever pole position and in 1998, Jordan won their first race with Damon Hill. Both the pole and the win were under wet conditions however last year Frentzen qualified 3rd and finished 3rd only behind the 2 McLarens. Eddie Jordan is hoping that this good form will continue this times and said "Spa always seems to bring out the best in us and I hope that we will be able to look back at this forth-coming race with fond recollections."
Frank Williams describes the Spa track as superior saying "A superior race-track and one which racing fans, whether they are drivers or spectators, adore. We all hope and pray that it doesnt eventually become emasculated which is the fate that has befallen a number of other great race tracks."
While most drivers consider the Spa circuit as their favourite, Eddie Irvine is not a big fan of Spa although he does have a lot of respect for Eau Rouge and says "I don't see the thrill of driving fast round fast corners. You have enough downforce to keep your foot planted on the throttle and you don't get to play with the car very much. Having said that we do all have a lot of respect for Eau Rouge. There is no corner like it anywhere else in the world."
In 1985, Ayrton Senna won his 2nd ever Grand Prix at Spa in a Lotus
Renault. From 1988 to 1991 he dominated Spa winning from pole every time. Since then no
one has won from pole.
Both Michael Schumacher and Luca Badoer shook
down the Ferrari's heading to Belgium with Michael Schumacher completing 5 laps in his
spare car with a best time of 1:03.213 and Luca Badoer completing 12 laps in Schumacher's
and Barrichello's race cars with a best time of 1:04.651.
19-Aug: Michael Schumacher tested for Ferrari at both Fiorano and Mugello testing new components and a new engine. Schumacher indicated that they need to do more work if they are to catch McLaren and said "We could easily be a lot more competitive at Spa, it is up to us to work better and find the solutions, but if it stays like this it is clear we have no chance."
Mika Salo has been linked with the Toyota team who will enter Formula 1 in 2002. The deal would see Mika Salo test Toyota's F1 car in 2001 and drive for them in 2002. Toyota have already signed Allan McNish as their test and development driver however they are looking for an experienced Formula 1 driver to help them with their evaluations of their new Formula 1 car which they expect to start testing in the Spring of 2001.
Ricardo Zonta may be taking up the vacant seat at Sauber if Salo moves to Toyota. There are also talk about Zonta swapping with Panis for a McLaren test role (Zonta is under loan to BAR from McLaren) and their is also the possibility of a test role with Jordan given that he is currently driving a Honda 'works' engine and Jordan will be doing the same next year. Zonta said "We are looking at several different possibilities for next year, but the easiest one is to do the same thing as Olivier Panis did last year, a job with McLaren as test-driver, for Olivier it proved to be the right choice and it kick-started his Formula One career again. There are privileged relations between us and Mercedes, so who knows, but we are also in serious talks with Jordan for a similar role."
Benetton completed their test at the Danielson testing strip. They spent 5 days concentrating on aerodynamics and setup for the Belgian Grand Prix. Australian Mark Webber was on duty from Monday to Thursday and Alexander Wurz took over on Friday to practice starts.
18-Aug: Both Ferrari drivers were present at the Mugello circuit as well as two BAR drivers. Rubens Barrichello set the fastest time of 1:25.770 over a second faster than Michael Schumacher. Each driver had a different program concentrating on race and qualifying setup for the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix. Rubens Barrichello did the most number of laps with 95. Michael Schumacher did 73 while Ricardo Zonta completed 37 and Patrick Lemarie did 23 as the BAR team concluded their testing after the morning session.
18-Aug: "Michael in trouble" is the title of the 25th issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2000 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the aftermath of the Hungarian Grand Prix - Check it out here !!
17-Aug: Rubens Barrichello continued Ferrari's testing today at Mugello. He set the fastest time of the day over a second faster than BAR's Jacques Villeneuve who tests on this track for the first time. Sauber's Pedro Diniz was third. Barrichello completed an endurance test to check out the new engine. He completed a total of 98 laps and a best time of 1:27.227. The new engine will be checked to see if it will be used at the Belgian Grand Prix.
There were 4 teams and 6 drivers present with Rubens
Barrichello doing the most number of laps at 98 followed by Pedro Diniz and Jacques
Luca Badoer completed testing at Fiorano with a simulated wet test. He covered 57 laps in the wet and 16 laps in the dry. He also practiced a number of practice starts. He set a best time of 1:04.887. Luca Badoer will shakedown the cars heading for Spa on Monday.
Olivier Panis continues his stunning pace recording the fastest time this year at Silverstone on the final day of testing. Mika Hakkinen was a second behind and Ralf Schumacher who was 3rd fastest was 2.5 seconds behind.
There were 5 teams and 7 drivers testing today. Olivier Panis and Jarno Trulli completed the most number of laps with 67 while Eddie Irvine did the least with 29 laps.
17-Aug: Jenson Button has signed a 2 year contract with the Benetton Formula 1 team from 2001 to drive alongside Giancarlo Fisichella. He has been temporarily released from the Williams team at the end of the 2000 season for 2 years. Williams retains the right to Jenson's services in 2003. Jenson Button made his debut in Formula 1 this year and has scored 8 championship points which is an excellent achievement given his limited experience.
Jenson was delighted to join Benetton and put an end to months of speculation. He said "I am really happy to have signed with Benetton and Renault for the next two years. They are not only a team with a world championship-winning history, but there is also a strong future with Renault. I want to start winning races and its great to know I will be with a team that can help me do that."
He thanked the Williams team for giving him the chance to compete in Formula 1 and said "I am very thankful to the BMW WilliamsF1 team for having given me the great opportunity of stepping into Formula One. I hope to be able to continue gaining valuable experience in F1 in order to reclaim my seat within the BMW WilliamsF1 Team in 2003."
Benetton's Managing Director was also delighted with the deal and said "Jenson has done an incredible job for his first year in Formula 1. He has shown natural talent and intelligence, which are two important characteristics for a driver and I think his partnership with Benetton and Renault will be very beneficial to both sides."
Frank Williams praised Jenson Button and predicted that he will be a great racing driver when he said "Jenson has astonished the BMW WilliamsF1 Team with his immediate grasp of Formula One and with the calmness of his approach to driving an F1 car even under the greatest of pressures in a qualifying situation. There is no doubt in my mind that Jenson will go on to be a truly great racing driver."
The BMW WilliamsF1 team have confirmed that they will be announcing their driver lineup for the 2001 season at the US Grand Prix in Indianapolis. It is widely expected that Juan Pablo Montoya will be driving alongside Ralf Schumacher.
After weeks of speculation. Olivier
Panis returns to racing in Formula 1 following a year of testing at McLaren. He
has signed a 2 year deal with British American Racing and will drive along side Jacques
Villeneuve from 2001. Ricardo Zonta will drive for the team for the remaining 5 races.
He also thanked Ricardo Zonta for his efforts, "I want to thank Ricardo Zonta for his continuing efforts. There are still five races left this season and he can be assured of our support in his efforts to achieve the best possible results. He is undoubtedly a talented young man and will always have a special place within the team as one of our original drivers. We certainly wish him well for the future."
Ricardo Zonta is rumoured to be in talks with Sauber. A McLaren test role is also possible.
On the first day of testing for Ferrari at Mugello, Michael Schumacher
completed a total of 69 laps with a best time of 1:27.337 over 2 seconds faster Mika Salo
who second fastest. He tested a new engine which is said to be more powerful and carried
out setup tests in preparation for the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix. Michael Schumacher
commented on the current situation and said "We are working very hard in all areas:
aerodynamics, engine and chassis. Obviously we cannot be happy at having lost a 24 point
advantage, but we are only 2 points down and there is still every chance of winning the
championship. We know how important that would be for Ferrari and all its fans, after a
gap of twenty one years. We are doing our utmost, but we are all human and we all have our
limits. I am German and even if this is an aspect I am criticised for sometimes, I
consider it a strong point because I never give up."
Sauber continued testing at the Mugello track with Mika Salo and Enrique Bernoldi while BAR started their first ever test at the track with Patrick Lemarie and Darren Manning. Both teams are concentrating on aerodynamic setup for the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix. Pedro Diniz and Enrique Bernoldi will continue the testing for Sauber tomorrow while Jacques Villeneuve and Ricardo Zonta take over for BAR.
Luca Badoer covered 107 laps at the Fiorano track on the second day of testing for Ferrari. He set a best time of 1:01.620 concentrating on development work for the F1-2000. He also completed a number of practice starts. Badoer will continue testing at Fiorano tomorrow.
Olivier Panis and Mika Hakkinen were fastest at Silverstone on the second day of testing. Panis was just under 2 seconds faster than third place Jenson Button.
There were 5 teams and 8 drivers testing today. Jenson
Button covered the most number of laps with 80 followed by Mika Hakkinen with 52.
While no deal has been announced yet, it is reported that the Williams
team have released Jenson Button for 2 years in a step that is believed
to pave the way for Juan Pablo Montoya to move into Formula 1 in 2001.
Benetton are expected to announce the signing of Button as soon as Williams announce the
signing of Montoya.
It has been reported in the Australian press that Australian Mark Webber has signed a test deal with the Benetton Formula 1 team. A Benetton spokeswoman said "It's not true, he's currently testing with us at Danielson until Thursday. Then he is testing for us in Estoril, but he has not signed anything with us."
Luca Montezemolo has indicated that Ferrari needs to improve in starting but also
in the race. He described Mika's start in Hungary as incredible when he said
"Michael's start was good, if not 100 per cent, but Hakkinen's was incredible,
McLaren clearly have a very good electronic starting system and we must look at what we
can do to improve ours."
Ron Dennis indicated that the team has
fought hard to make a come back and while they could have a slight advantage, the team
cannot afford any mistakes as it can easily turn around again. He added "Things at
the moment are going well for us. We have a great car, good engines, a good team and good
drivers, which gives us a small advantage but it will be quickly taken away if we don't
get it absolutely right."
15-Aug: Olivier Panis (McLaren test driver) was the fastest man on the track on the first day of testing at Silverstone following the Hungarian Grand Prix. Heinz Harald Frentzen was second and Jos Verstappen was third. Panis' time was over 3 seconds faster than Frentzen as he set the fastest time at Silverstone this year.
There were 5 teams and 6 drivers testing today. Bruno
Junqueira (Williams test driver) covered the most number of laps with 62 followed by
Olivier Panis with 55.
Tomas Scheckter (son of former Ferrari World Champion Jody Scheckter) for the first time drove a Formula 1 car. He covered 40 laps and finished over 1.5 seconds slower than regular test driver Luciano Burti. Jaguar's Technical Director Gary Anderson was happy with Scheckter's first run and said "He's doing well for his first run in an F1 car, he seems quite good with the technical information and it's a good chance for us to get someone else's impression of the car and to see what his feedback is like."
Scheckter wants the seat that Johnny Herbert is leaving next year when he said "I would love a race contract with the Jaguar team, but I need to prove to them that I am quick, then hopefully they can take up their option on me for next year. It's up to them really, but that's what this testing is for."
Michael Schumacher covered a massive 115 laps at the Fiorano track on the first day of testing for Ferrari after then Hungarian Grand Prix. He set a best time of 1:02.248 concentrating on new component development and setup. Schumacher also completed 8 practice starts. Luca Badoer continues testing at Fiorano while Michael Schumacher join Mika Salo at Mugello tomorrow.
Mika Salo started Sauber's 3 day test session at Mugello. Salo covered a total of 72 laps with a best time of 1:31.72. Salo concentrated on testing new aerodynamic components as well as some suspension parts in preparation for the Belgian Grand Prix. Mika Salo continues testing tomorrow.
Juan Pablo Montoya drives with the Williams team alongside Ralf Schumacher replacing Jenson Button.
Jenson Button drives with the Benetton team alongside Giancarlo Fisichella replacing Alexander Wurz.
Olivier Panis leaves his test role at McLaren to join the BAR team alongside Jacques Villeneuve.
The Benetton team will start a five day test session on Monday at Danielson where Mark Webber and Alexander Wurz will be on duty. It will be Mark's first test for the Benetton team.
Williams, Jaguar and number of other teams will be testing at Silverstone for 3 days starting from Tuesday. Bruno Junqueria, Jenson Button and Ralf Schumacher will be present for the Williams team while Tomas Scheckter (son of former Ferrari World Champion Jody Scheckter), Luciano Burti, Johnny Herbert and Eddie Irvine will be testing for Jaguar.
Ferrari will be testing in Italy. Stay tuned for the latest testing results.