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Issue 36 - The Heretic  

Dec 12 - 22 News

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22-Dec: Jarno Trulli hopes that Ferrari can offer him a drive soon to prove that Michael Schumacher is not the best driver and given the chance, he can beat him in a Ferrari. Trulli said "Give me a Ferrari and I will demonstrate that Michael Schumacher is not the best driver. I have always beaten my team-mates, both in qualifying and the races. I was faster than Olivier Panis at the time of Prost and Olivier won at Monte Carlo. I have done better than Heinz-Harald Frentzen who was quicker than Schumacher in the Mercedes sports-prototypes. Given the same car, I’m sure I could do as well as Michael Schumacher, if not beat him.”

“A driver who goes to Ferrari, always has a greater chance of winning - now more than ever. I would personally accept an offer from Ferrari because I think I have demonstrated that I am an Italian driver who is capable of starting from the front row. All I need now is a win, and I feel sure Ferrari would help me to achieve that."

David Coulthard has once again asked for equal treatment at McLaren even though he described them as one of the only teams to give their drivers equal opportunities. David said "I just want an equal chance and then I believe I can do the job. I have beaten Mika in straight races and Michael as well. What I am lacking is consistency and part of that has to come from the team. That is not to be critical of them but a fact." Coulthard added that Adrian Newey only works on Mika's car during practice sessions at race weekends but is available for him at all other times. He also described Ron Dennis' role as 'more central' than in the past.

21-Dec: Heavy rains have forced the Michelin running teams to end the testing session Estoril a day early. Benetton, Jaguar and Williams all decided to pack up a go home after the heavy rain flooded the track.
Jaguar's new test driver Tomas Schekter was due to test the Jaguar R1 while Benetton's test driver Mark Webber was also due to have an extended run in the Benetton B200B

The Prost team has announced that they have secured a multi-year sponsorship and marketing alliance with the Pan-American Sports Network (PSN).
Jacques Kremer, the President of PSN said "We are absolutely delighted to be partnering with Alain Prost and his team and are looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship. The alliance with Prost Grand Prix enables PSN to enhance its in-depth coverage of Formula 1 while strengthening PSN's brand image in one of sports' most important venues.

Alain Prost said "I have been in close contact with Jacques Kremer for several months. It was soon clear to us that an alliance between PSN and Prost Grand Prix is a good match, with a huge potential. Our strategy is to work in total synergy with the objective of developing worldwide, innovative commercial and marketing opportunities and establishing a presence in new markets.'

In November, PSN terminated discussions with Minardi to purchase a majority stake in the team. At that stage they have indicated that they will continue their association with Gaston Mazzacane. It is now expected that Gaston Mazzacane will be joining Prost as their second driver.

The latest in driver and team movements

20-Dec: On the final day of testing at Barcelona, Jarno Trulli sets the fastest time at the track this year with a time of 1:19.594 ahead of Sauber's Nick Heidfeld and Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello. Rubens Barrichello completed the most number of laps with 97 ahead of Jacques Villeneuve with 77 and Kimi Raikkonen with 70.
5 teams were present and 9 drivers set timed laps, all of them regular drivers in 2001 with the exception of Alexander Wurz. The Arrows team concluded testing yesterday.
Jacques Villeneuve and Olivier Panis tested together for the first time since Panis joined the BAR team and despite Panis recording a faster time during the day, Villeneuve was pleased with the work carried out by Panis and the 2 appeared to be working well together.
The teams will take a break during the Christmas and New Year's period and are expected to return to the testing track in mid January. The teams will also announce the launch dates of their 2001 challengers in January.

Click here for the timed results 

At Estoril, the Michelin running teams were testing for the 3rd day and a damp track allowed them once again to test on wet tyres. Eventually the track dried and the teams switched to dry tyres. Jenson Button set the fastest time of the day ahead of Eddie Irvine and Luciano Burti.
Eddie Irvine covered the most number of laps with 75 ahead of his teammate Luciano Burti with 74 and Marc Gene with 51.
3 teams and 6 drivers were present. Australian Mark Weber made his first appearance with the Benetton team at a major test session after he was announced as an official test driver for the team. He was 2 seconds slower than Jenson Button but he only managed to complete 15 laps.
Testing concludes tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

Luca Badoer continued testing at Fiorano. He concentrated on testing new components and electronics. He covered a total of 44 laps with a best time of 1:00.595. He also practiced a number of starts.

Click here for the timed results 

19-Dec: Nick Heidfeld, Sauber's new recruit surprised everyone by setting the fastest time of the day ahead of Jarno Trulli and Rubens Barrichello. Heidfeld's time was the fastest at the Barcelona track since February.
6 teams were present with 11 drivers setting timed laps. Nick Heidfeld covered the most number of laps with 108 followed by David Coulthard with 98 and Jacques Villeneuve with 96 laps. This was Villeneuve's first test appearance since the Malaysian Grand Prix. Both BAR development drivers improved on the second day of testing although they were still at the end of the timesheets. Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

Under artificially wet conditions, Ralf Schumacher set the fastest time of the day at the Estoril track ahead of teammate Juan Pablo Montoya and Jenson Button.
As the circuit was semi-dry, the teams agreed to dampen the circuit and run a full wet test rather than wait until the track dries by itself.
3 teams and 6 drivers were present with Jenson Button covering the most number of laps with 50 ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya with 45 and Marc Gene with 38.
Ralf Schumacher still recovering from the flu only managed 18 laps and will not participate in the remainder of the session as he was ordered to rest.
This was Montoya's first ever run at the Estoril track in a Formula 1 car. Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

Luca Badoer returned to Fiorano after spending a day at the Barcelona test. He concentrated on electronics and aerodynamic setup. He covered a total of 49 laps with a best time of 1:00.679. He also practiced a number of starts.

Click here for the timed results 

18-Dec: BAR's new driver Olivier Panis has once again surprised everyone by setting the fastest time of the day ahead of McLaren's David Coulthard and Ferrari's test driver Luca Badoer. 
This is the first day of a 3 day test session for the Bridgestone running teams at the Barcelona track. All Bridgestone running teams were present except Minardi.
Panis was just 0.056 seconds faster than Coulthard who was 0.35 seconds faster than Badoer. Panis' time was just over a tenth of a second slower than the fastest time set here by a Michelin running team last week.(Ralf Schumacher - 1:20.497 - 13/12)
There were 13 drivers who set timed laps with Jarno Trulli covering the most number of laps with 88 followed by Luca Badoer with 84 and Olivier Panis with 80.
Antonio Pizzonia ran for the first time in the Orange arrows while Takuma Sato and Mark Haynes started BAR's driver evaluation programme. Sato was 0.8 seconds faster than Haynes.
Testing continues tomorrow at Barcelona.

Click here for the timed results 

At Estoril the Michelin running teams (Benetton, Jaguar and Williams) started familiarising with the circuit under changing conditions. Luciano Burti set the fastest time under dry conditions ahead of his teammate Eddie Irvine and Jenson Button.
Jaguar benefited most from the familiarisation day with both Luciano Burti and Eddie Irvine completing over 20 laps each. Jenson Button covered 14 laps while Marc Gene completed 6 laps. Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

18-Dec: Jordan's chief engineer Tim Holloway is confident of beating BAR in 2001. Holloway believes that Jordan were much quicker than BAR in 2000 despite running 'non-works' engine and had it not been for the reliability problems they had in 2000, they would have beaten BAR. As for 2001, Holloway is confident that with both teams running the same specification engine, Jordan will beat BAR and said "We were much quicker than them (last season), and should have beaten them comfortably. But next season will offer the real comparison. When two teams use the exact same engine it comes down to a pure fight. The winner will be the team who produces the better chassis, the superior drivers and the better strategy. I obviously expect that team to be Jordan."

17-Dec: At the Barcelona test session last week, Juan Pablo Montoya had a chance to meet some fans and talk about his experience so far in Formula 1. He said "For me, the biggest difference between the two has to be the braking. I must admit that my neck is a little sore because the brakes of a Formula One car are so much more responsive. It was great to meet some of the fans and see how enthusiastic they are about myself and the team."

Following the granting of a superlicense to Kimi Raikkonen, several Formula 1 drivers and managers questioned the decision as Raikkonen never raced in F3 or F3000 and has only raced 23 times in his career. Gerhard Berger didn't question the decision and was not surprised by it as he had a similar experience when he raced in Formula 1. Berger said "I don’t actually know the guy or how ready he is, but when I went to F1 I had done about 40 races and half of them were in an AlfaSud. So I had done about 25 races in F3, then went to a car with about 1000 bhp and with qualifying tyres, and nobody was surprised. It was normal and I think Kimi will show us whether he has the potential."

16-Dec: The BAR Honda team have announced that British driver Mark Hynes and Japanese driver Takumo Sato will take part in the BAR Honda driver development program. The program is designed to find new young talent. Both drivers will participate in the upcoming test at Barcelona on the 18th and 19th of December and will be tested on speed, technical feedback and fitness.
The Japanese driver Takumo Sato did a test for Jordan at Jerez earlier this month where he managed to set quicker times than both Eddie Irvine and Marc Gene (Both Irvine and Gene were running on Michelin tyres though).

15-Dec: Rubens Barrichello sets the fastest time on the final day of testing at Valencia ahead of Heinz Harald Frentzen and Pedro de la Rosa. The McLaren team didn't participate in the tests today.
Ricardo Zonta completed the most number of laps with 77 ahead of Frentzen with 64 and de la Rosa with 65.
3 teams were present and 4 drivers managed to set timed laps.

The Bridgestone running teams now move to Barcelona from the 18th of December.

Click here for the timed results 

Luca Badoer has concluded testing for Ferrari at Fiorano this week. He completed a total of 67 laps concentrating on electronics. His best time was 1:00.804. Badoer also practiced several starts. Next week he will test at Barcelona on the 18th and then returns back to Fiorano to continue testing.

Click here for the timed results 

15-Dec: The Benetton team have announced that Giancarlo Fisichella will miss next week's testing at Estoril to undergo knee surgery on the 18th of December.
An X-ray examination earlier this week found that Fisichella has a tibial micro fracture in his right knee which requires arthroscopy intervention.

The exact cause of this injury is not clear although it may be linked to the high speed accidents Fisichella had at the Valencia and Monza tests as well as the crash he had at Spa during the warmup session for the Belgian GP.

It is expected that Fisichella will be fit to attend the team's pre-season training camp starting on the 2nd on January.

14-Dec: David Coulthard was once again the fastest man at Valencia ahead of Rubens Barrichello and Heinz Harald Frentzen. Coulthard bettered his time of yesterday with a time on 1:14.690. He also covered the most number of laps with 101 ahead of Jos Verstappen with 92 and Rubens Barrichello with 85. Testing concludes at Valencia tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

The Benetton team set the pace on the final day of testing at Barcelona with Jenson Button setting the fastest time just ahead of test driver Fernando Alonso. Juan Pablo Montoya was third.
Jean Alesi in the Prost covered the most number of laps with 87 followed by Montoya with 83 and Burti with 71.
4 teams were present with 8 drivers setting lap times. There were several test drivers present with Fernanado Alonso with Benetton, Andre Lotterer with Jaguar and Oriol Servia with Prost. The next testing session for the Michelin running team will be at Estoril from the 19th till the 21st of December.

Click here for the timed results 

Luca Badoer continued testing for Ferrari at Fiorano. He concentrated on suspension and aerodynamic setup. He covered a total of 49 laps with a best time of 1:01.139. He also practiced a number of starts.

Click here for the timed results 

13-Dec: The Bridgestone runners are testing this week at Valencia and David Coulthard was fastest on the first day ahead of McLaren's new test driver Alexander Wurz. Rubens Barrichello was third while Jos Verstappen went quicker than both Zonta and Frentzen in the Jordan. David Coulthard's time is the fastest time this year, 0.9 seconds faster than the previous best time set by Frentzen.

Coulthard also covered the most number of laps with 99 followed by Barrichello with 89 and Wurz with 72.

4 Bridgestone running teams were present and 6 drivers set lap times. BAR, Sauber and Minardi were not present. Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

At Barcelona, it was Ralf Schumacher who was the fastest of the Michelin runners ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella and Eddie Irvine. Montoya, Button and Gene make the top 6. Ralf Schumacher went 0.4 seconds faster than Fisichella's time yesterday but was forced to stop testing due to the flu. Ralf will skip the final day of testing hoping to get ready for the last testing session of the year at Estoril between the 19th and 21st of December.

Jean Alesi covered the most number of laps with 86 ahead of Eddie Irvine  with 85 and Jenson Button with 77. 4 Michelin running teams were present and 10 drivers set lap times with Fernando Alonso testing for Benetton and Enrique Bernoldi testing for Prost. Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

Luca Badoer continued his solo testing for Ferrari at Fiorano covering 43 laps with a best time of 1:01.257. He concentrated on electronic testing and will continue testing tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

12-Dec: This week the Michelin runners are testing at Barcelona while the Bridgestone runners head to Valencia. On the first day of testing for the Michelin runners, it was Giancarlo Fisichella who set the pace with a best time of 1:20.875 which is faster than the pole time set at Barcelona in 2000. Ralf Schumacher was second over half a second behind with Eddie Irvine in third. Jenson Button, Luciano Burti and Juan Pablo Montoya make the top 6.
Ralf Schumacher completed the most number of laps with 78 followed by his teammate Juan Pablo Montoya with 65 and Giancarlo Fisichella with 56 laps.

All 4 Michelin running teams where present with 8 drivers setting lap times. It was the first testing session for Prost this winter with Jean Alesi running last almost 3 seconds off the pace. Prost are still running the Peugeot engine as the Ferrari engine is not ready yet.

Juan Pablo Montoya was quick to comment on his slow times compared to Ralf and said "From comparing myself with Ralf, it seems that I’m losing a little time through the faster corners, but I’m in no rush to take everything flat! As was the case last week in Jerez, I shall continue applying myself in a steady and step-by-step manner."

Click here for the timed results 

Luca Badoer resumed testing for Ferrari at Fiorano this week, he completed a total of 73 laps with a best time of 1:00.367. Badoer concentrated on electronics testing and will continue testing tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

12-Dec: Murray Walker has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2001 season after 5 decades of covering the sport. Murray said "My love for the sport and my privileged place in it is undiminished. I don't actually want to stop but I've always said I will do so when I'm still ahead with the viewers, rather than wait until there's a general belief that I'm past it. I have a purely gut feeling that now is the time to wind down. I am already immensely looking forward to the start of the new season, which will obviously be gigantically emotional and important for me. It will give me the opportunity to thank all the people within the Formula 1 world who have supported me all these years."

Martin Brundle who covers the races with Murray Walker said "Murray has had a spectacular career and is a superb professional and a special broadcaster. It is a privilege to work with him, and my respect and admiration for him will continue to grow in 2001."

ITV have indicated that James Allen who replaced Murray Walker at the French GP in 2000 has a strong chance of succeeding Walker. ITV have also added the Murray Walker decided to allow his successor to commentate on some races next year.

It has been reported in the Finnish media that the wife of Mika Hakkinen, Erja has given birth to a baby boy and both mother and child are fine.
Mika Hakkinen is said to be delighted with this pleasant surprise as he has indicated in the past his wish that the baby arrives early before Christmas.
Mika is expected to resume testing in the new year.

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