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Will Hakkinen continue his run  
Issue 22 - The Heretic  
24 - 31 July News 

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31-July: Should blocking tactics at the start be declared illegal ? is the topic of the week - Have Your Say

31-July: Luca Badoer was in action for Ferrari at the Fiorano track today. He completed a total of 66 laps on the regular track and 12 on the short track with a best time of 1:02.171 concentrating on aerodynamics and new component testing. He also tested the F399 which will be used at the Marlboro Masters event at Zandvoort. Luca Badoer and Rubens Barrichello will be both testing at Fiorano tomorrow.

31-July: Jean Alesi and Pedro Diniz had a high speed crash during the race forcing both of them to retire. Jean Alesi was worse off as his car hit the tyre barriers and went into several spins before coming to a stop. One of the wheels of his car bounced on top of the car narrowly missing Alesi's head. Jean Alesi said "On lap 29, as I was struggling at the back, I was overtaking Pedro Diniz before a chicane and he suddenly changed line. It has been probably one of the worse accidents in my life."
Pedro Diniz on the other hand said "when I started braking for the chicane he (Alesi) must have put two wheels on the grass and ran into me. Suddenly it started raining wheels. That is all I know."
Pedro Diniz has been involved in 3 crashes so far this season, in Canada he received a reprimand for running Pedro de la Rosa off the track, in Austria when he ran into Fisichella on the first lap and here in Germany.

At the start of the warmup lap for the German GP, Jenson Button stalled his car and was forced to start from last place (he qualified 16th originally). He finished 4th after benefiting from others retiring, the safety car and the rain. He said "I am very happy, thinking how my race started, with my engine not firing-up. The team made an excellent job calling me in at the right time to switch to wet tyres. It was very difficult to drive at that moment, because at the back of the circuit it was dry, yet in the pit lane it was raining." Jenson Button has once again demonstrated his maturity as a driver and he didn't give up or lose motivation despite starting from last position.

Despite the fact that Heinz Harald Frentzen retired 6 laps from the end with an electrical problem, he described the race as great one. Frentzen started from 17th position on the grid and managed to move up to 3rd towards the end of the race but his race ended when his battery failed and his car stopped. He said "'The car was running really well and I was having a great time passing people. I just hope the spectators enjoyed it as much as I did! Okay, it was very disappointing when the car suddenly stopped but we were able to show that we are running really competitively."

30-July: For the second race in a row both Michael Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella crashed out of the race on the first corner. At Austria they had separate incidents but here they touched and both went off. Video replay shows Giancarlo Fisichella hitting the back of Schumacher's car however it was Schumacher who moved in front of Fisichella after David Coulthard moved across in front of Michael Schumacher.

Michael Schumacher was quick to deny that David Coulthard had anything to do with his crash and put the blame on Fisichella when he said "Listen, I am out of the race not because of David. I am out of the race for Fisichella, that is what you can say about it. I was turning into the corner from the outside line to get a nice exit for the long straight to get a run at Coulthard and then I was bumped off from the back."

Giancarlo Fisichella acknowledged that he bumped into Michael but is questioning the rules when he said "I was on my line and then suddenly Michael's car was right in front of my front wheel so I went into the back of it. I think we should really decide in the rules about whether a driver should stick to his line or not because it is just a waste of a race and it could have been a good one."

The crazy man who walked on the track during the race forcing the safety car to go out on the track to allow the marshals to remove him certainly influenced the outcome of the race. This man who used to be a worker at the Mercedes factory at Le Mans walked on the track in protest for being sacked by Mercedes. It appears that he did in fact cause the most damage to McLaren Mercedes as they were first and second before the incident and ended second and third in the end. The irony is that he was removed by the police before the start of the race while walking close to the track but was released!. It seems unlikely that the  Hockenheim organisers will get away with this without a reprimand.

30-July: At the winners press conference, Rubens Barrichello described himself as lucky to win this race particularly after starting from 18th position but indicated that their strategy worked and the decision to stay on dry tyres towards the end was a gamble that paid off. He added that the conditions were very tricky on the last few laps but he made it and he couldn't believe his eyes.
When asked about his chances for the championship now that he is only 10 points behind Michael Schumacher, he said that he would rather talk about this win and celebrate.

Mika Hakkinen described his brilliant start from fourth to first as a record for his career but it was something that he was hoping for as it would have been difficult if he stayed in 4th place. When asked about why the McLaren team called him first into the pits when the safety car was out rather than David Coulthard, he didn't know why and said that in the end it worked out in his favour.
Regarding the decision to go for wet tyres towards the end of the race, he said that it was better to finish in 2nd place rather than spin off as the car was not easy to drive in the wet and overall he is extremely happy with the result.

David Coulthard was asked if his move across in front of Michael Schumacher at the start was intentional, he denied that and explained his move by saying that he had a lot of wheelspin at the start and he wanted to protect his position by taking the inside line into the first corner only to find out that Hakkinen managed to get past him. As for the reason he didn't pit before Mika Hakkinen when the safety car was out, he indicated that there was some confusion as he was supposed to be going into the pits before the safety car came out but then Hakkinen went in and so he had to wait for an additional lap. He added that he was unfortunate as if he did pit earlier he would have been tied with Michael Schumacher and further away from Mika but overall he is pleased that he gained some more points and is closer to the championship leader.

30-July: German Grand Prix - Race: Rubens Barrichello wins his first ever Formula 1 race starting from 18th on the grid. Mika Hakkinen finished second ahead of David Coutlhard. Jenson Button, Mika Salo and Pedro de la Rosa make the top 6 ... Full Report   ... Timed Results

30-July: German Grand Prix - Warmup:

David Coulthard sets the fastest time of this session 0.162 seconds faster than his teammate Mika Hakkinen. Pedro de la Rosa came a surprise third over half a second behind Coulthard and Michael Schumacher is 4th. Heinz Harald Frentzen and Pedro Diniz make the top 6.

Unlike qualifying, the times set during this session cannot be used for comparison as each team and driver would be testing with different fuel loads depending on their race strategy.

Mika Salo did the most laps with 14 while Jos Verstappen who collided with Jacques Villeneuve on the installation lap only managed 5 and Jenson Button struggling in the Williams only did 7 laps and clocked the slowest time. All other drivers did between 10 and 13 laps.

It is worth noting that Pedro Diniz in 6th was only 0.002 seconds faster than both Giancarlo Fisichella and Jacques Villeneuve who set exactly the same time to the one thousandths of a second!!

The Williams and Jaguar teams appear to be struggling here with Ralf Schumacher in 16th and Jenson Button in 22nd while Irvine and Herbert are 17th and 18th!.

The session started with all drivers going out on their installation lap but Jacques Villeneuve and Jos Verstappen didn't make it back to the pits as they collide going into the first chicane!

Johnny Herbert was the first to out again, he set a time of 1:50.202 followed by his teammate Eddie Irvine.

10 minutes into the session and it is Jarno Trulli ahead of Pedro Diniz and Eddie Irvine. Marc Gene, Ralf Schumacher and Johnny Herbert make the top 6.

David Coulthard and Michael Schumacher get on the track and set 1st and 2nd. Moments later Coulthard spins and crashes into the tyre wall. He runs back to the pits to get into the spare.

15 minutes into the session and it is David Coulthard ahead of Michael Schumacher and Heinz Harald Frentzen. Pedro de la Rosa, Giancarlo Fisichella and Rubens Barrichello make the top 6.

Mika Hakkinen moves into second while Villeneuve sets the 10th fastest in the spare car, a lap later he moves to 6th. Jos Verstappen is the only driver not to set a time.

20 minutes into the session and it is David Coulthard ahead of Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher. Giancarlo Fisichella, Heinz Harald Frentzen and Jacques Villeneuve make the top 6.

In the last 10 minutes all the drivers go out on their final laps, Frentzen improves to 3rd only to be taken away by Michael Schumacher who then lost it to Pedro de la Rosa!. Nick Heidfeld loses part the car's engine cover on the track causing a puncture for Pedro de la Rosa on his final lap, he manages to stop the car without spinning!

Final Order: David Coulthard ahead of Mika Hakkinen and Pedro de la Rosa. Michael Schumacher, Heinz Harald Frentzen and Pedro Diniz make the top 6.

Click here for the timed Results 

29-July: McLaren's boss Ron Dennis claims that Ferrari attempted to influence the decision made by the stewards regarding the inquiry into the missing seal on Hakkinen's car at the Austrian Grand Prix. He said "It was a blatant attempt to lobby the race stewards, the three stewards ruled the letter was inadmissible but by then they had already read it."

Teams are not allowed to participate in an inquiry by the stewards but can participate in a protest or appeal. Ferrari were hoping that the stewards would exclude both Hakkinen and Coulthard from the results as well as the team. The stewards however decided to take the 10 points away from McLaren only. Ferrari are said to be embarrassed that the letter has been made public.

Accusing Ferrari of doing anything in order to win, Ron Dennis said "Winning is important but far more important than winning is how you win, some people are prepared to go to any lengths to win. But for us to go to those lengths would totally destroy the value of the win itself."

Rubens Barrichello described qualifying day for Germany as his worst for the year. His car stopped on the track with an electrical problem on his first lap out and had to abandon it. In the pits, he had to wait for Michael's race car to be repaired after the accident Schumacher had in the second practice as Michael was qualifying in the spare. With time running out, Barrichello had to go out and put in a few laps that enables him to qualify. He only managed 18th but is confident that he will be able to make up the places he lost as his car is competitive.

With Ralf Schumacher qualifying in 14th and Jenson Button in 16th, Patrick Head acknowledges that they have not made the right choices about when to get out on the circuit but is hoping to have a better result tomorrow. He said "There was an element of chance in it (qualifying) but an element that needed decisiveness and we really got the wrong end of that. Anyway we have to do everything to make sure the car is reliable tomorrow and try to have a reliable run in the race."

The Jordan team had mixed fortunes in qualifying with Jarno Trulli managing 6th when he set a time in relatively dry conditions and clear traffic while Heinz Harald Frentzen only managed 17th after he was penalised for crossing a chicane and passing slower cars illegally. His best (and only fast) time was disallowed and had to go back out in the wet and try to qualify. Frentzen is still optimistic for the race and said "Things just didn't work out, with or without the time which was disallowed, it would have been very difficult. I just didn't find a proper slot when the track was at its best and free of traffic. I'm disappointed, of course, but at least I know the car is working well in all conditions. I'm looking forward to a good race."'

29-July: At the post qualifying press conference for the German Grand Prix, David Coulthard believes that he went out at exactly the right time (even though they wanted to get out earlier) enabling him to clock a time that is over a second faster than anyone else. He added that the first and third sectors were dry while the second sector was damp when he put in his time. As for the race tomorrow, he is hoping to make a good start and be leading after the first corner.

Michael Schumacher indicated that he was lucky to move into 2nd position from 4th given the wet track conditions and was not expecting to be at the top 3 press conference however he added that the car has been competitive all weekend and is confident for tomorrow.

Giancarlo Fisichella also indicated that he was lucky to be in third place especially after losing his race car after spinning on his first run and then finding out that the ratios were wrong on the spare car. While he didn't expect 3rd place he was confident for a top 8 place on the grid. He hopes to finish on the podium tomorrow or at least in the points.

29-July: German Grand Prix - Qualifying: David Coulthard grabs pole ahead of Michael Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella. Mika Hakkinen, Pedro de la Rosa and Jarno Trulli make the top 6 ... Full Report ... Timed Results

29-July: German Grand Prix - 2nd Saturday Practice: Mika Hakkinen fastest ahead of Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard. Rubens Barrichello, Heinz Harald Frentzen and Giancarlo Fisichella make the top 6 ... Full Report ... Timed Results

29-July: German Grand Prix - 1st Saturday Practice: Mika Hakkinen fastest ahead of Pedro de la Rosa and David Coulthard. Heinz Harald Frentzen, Mika Salo and Jarno Trulli make the top 6 ... Full Report ... Timed Results

28-July: Heavy torrential rains following the second Friday practice session has forced the cancellation of the Friday press conference. The loud noise caused by the heavy rain falling on the media center was the reason. Changing weather conditions are expected on Saturday and Sunday.

Norbert Haug has echoed the comments made earlier by Ron Dennis regarding team orders at McLaren. Haug indicated that Hakkinen and Coulthard will be allowed to fight for the world championship without any interference from the team. He added "In the long run we will win more races and championships that way. No-one wants to be part of a team around a car that is told it is racing just to finish second."

Jenson Button has indicated that he is 100% confident about his future and said that if Montoya takes his place at Williams he would move to a team that is considered one of the best. He still hopes to stay at Williams when he said "the situation is unchanged and I have not signed anything for anyone. I could still be a Williams driver next season."
BAR, Benetton and Jaguar are the most likely options for Button who is on a long term contract with Williams and will be loaned to whichever team he goes to.

Benetton (Renault) are the latest to switch to Michelin tyres for 2001. They have now joined Williams and Jaguar with Toyota joining in 2002. It is thought that BAR and Prost will also switch to Michelin.

The latest in driver and team movements.

28-July: German Grand Prix - 2nd Friday Practice: Michael Schumacher remains fastest just 0.043 seconds ahead of Heinz Harald Frentzen. Mika Hakkinen remains 3rd. Rubens Barrichello, David Coulthard, and Jarno Trulli make the top 6. Of the top 6, only Frentzen and Trulli have improved this session which was affected by rain ... Full Report ... Timed Results

28-July: German Grand Prix - 1st Friday Practice: Michael Schumacher sets the fastest time of the session over half a second faster than Mika Hakkinen. Rubens Barrichello is 3rd followed by David Coulthard, Heinz Harald Frentzen and Ricardo Zonta ... Full Report ... Timed Results

28-July: "Will Hakkinen continue his run ?" is the title of the 22nd issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2000 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the upcoming German Grand Prix - Check it out here !!

28-July: Following Michael Schumacher's statement at the Thursday press conference that his driving tactics are allowed by the FIA, Eddie Irvine has branded him as 'arrogant' and that he should quit his role as the driver's figurehead.
While Michael Schumacher said at the press conference that only 2 drivers (Coulthard and Villeneuve) opposed his moves, Eddie Irvine added his voice to those opposing Schumacher.
Responding to Schumacher's remarks that he doesn't take Irvine's comments seriously,   Irvine said "He should take me seriously, Michael is just arrogant and a bully. I am not saying things just to wind him up. This is a safety issue and Michael should take it seriously; if not he should resign as head of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association."
"Magny-Cours was not so bad, but what he did at Imola was totally out of order. Michael will just carry on until something happens and there is an accident. But I believe what goes around, comes around. At the end of the day Michael will pay somewhere down the line."
Irvine returns to racing after missing the Austrian Grand Prix due to abdominal pain. He returns with a new blonde look!

Expect more fireworks ...

27-July: At the Thursday press conference for the German Grand Prix, David Coulthard feels that he is slightly better prepared for Germany after testing the car in a low downforce configuration at Silverstone last week and without getting carried away, he is as confident as he can be and feels that he has a good chance of winning. When asked about how sure he can judge the feedback given by their test driver Olivier Panis, he said that Olivier Panis has a lot of racing experience and compared to a young driver who has not driven in a race, his input benefits the team a great deal. Coulthard also hinted that they might not have Panis as a test driver next year when he said "But he is a race driver and I understand that he wants to go racing again. That clearly leaves us with the problem of having to find someone next year who is as good as he is". When asked to confirm that Panis will be leaving, he did not confirm.

When comparing Coulthard's disqualification in Brazil and Hakkinen's retaining of points in Germany, Coulthard indicated that he does not think about it too much as he cannot change what happened in Brazil and does not know the full facts about Austria.

Mika Hakkinen was disappointed that McLaren lost their points and indicated that it has affected him enormously but retaining his points was the positive outcome to this tough situation. Hakkinen added that he has taken some more time off and described himself as fit, relaxed and rested and feels even stronger than in Austria.

Michael Schumacher was hoping to get rid of the bad luck that has hit him 3 of the last 4 races, he didn't think that things are slipping away yet and when asked about who he considers as his main rival, while pointing at Mika Hakkinen, he says"He is whichever of the two who is the faster and scores more points".

When Ralf Schumacher was asked how important this race is for him and for BMW, he indicated that it is just 1 of 17 races, it is nice to be in front of the German crowd but it doesn't change anything. He added that they have not yet tested the BMW engine on such long straights so it is not clear how well they will perform. He was not very happy with the results in the last few races but he does not feel any special pressure.

Heinz Harald Frentzen was asked about what Jordan were celebrating about given their lack of results on the track, he indicated that they were celebrating his signing with Jordan for 2 more years and added that one of the factors was certainly the 'works' Honda engine which Jordan will use from next year.

Michael Schumacher was then asked about the recent allegations regarding his blocking tactics. He said that the 'one-move' rule is considered by the FIA Safety delegate Charlie Whiting as a safe move and agreed to by the racing drivers. He added that the drivers are racing very hard and it is not like drinking coffee in a happy family situation. He indicated that the some of the drivers opposing his tactics at the start (David Coulthard and Jacques Villeneuve) have in the past done the same but perhaps not at the start of the race. He clarified that what he did at the start of the Imola and Magny-Cours races was declared OK during the meeting of the drivers and Charlie Whiting. He added that only Jacques Villeneuve and David Coulthard have a different opinion to all the others including Charlie Whiting and if he is doing anything that is not allowed, the Stewards would tell him and he would drive accordingly. He finished by saying "But in all the years I have been involved in F1, that has been the case. Did you write something similar after Senna held off Mansell at Monaco in 1992? No! You all reported it as great racing! Didn't you?"
David Coulthard was then asked to reply to these comments and said that while there is a potential to have an accident anytime during the race, there was a situation that needed clarification and Charlie gave his opinion on what he felt was the line. Now the drivers know where that line is and they can go racing.

26-July: Just 2 days after Jacques Villeneuve announced his 3 year deal with BAR, the driver lineup for next year is starting to get clearer. 2 other drivers have announced their intentions for next season and beyond. Heinz Harald Frentzen confirmed that he will be staying at Jordan for the next 2 years. Frentzen was strongly rumoured to join Jaguar but the 'works' Honda engine deal made it easier for him to stay. He said "I can now say that I will be driving for Jordan for the next two years, and for Honda who will supply us with a new works engine from 2001."

Johnny Herbert has announced that he will be quitting Formula 1 at the end of the year and move to the American CART series. Herbert has yet to sign a contract but is confident that he will sign one within a month. With Franchitti testing for Jaguar last week and Herbert announcing a move to CART, it is expected that Herbert and Franchitti will swap seats.

The next major milestone is the second Williams seat with Juan Pablo Montoya still the favourite and Jenson Button to move to another team ? .... Stay Tuned

Following Peugeot's decision to pull out of Formula 1 and sell the Formula 1 division to Asia Motor Technologies, the Orange Arrows team have announced an exclusive 2 year engine deal with AMT starting from 2001. AMT will be developing the current Peugeot V10 using the same experts and facilities in France but with an increased budget.
Arrows team owner Tom Walkinshaw was delighted with the new deal and said: "We are obviously very happy with the new engine deal with AMT, which should enable us to improve the team greatly and for the first time with full factory support from an engine partner."
AMT have earlier indicated that they are supplying engines only and not buying into the Arrows team.

The latest in driver and team movements.

German Formula 1 Grand Prix schedule:

Friday Practice Session 1
Friday Practice Session 2
Saturday Practice Session 1
Saturday Practice Session 2
Qualifying Session
Warmup Session
Race
11 AM Hockenheim Time / 9 AM GMT
1 PM Hockenheim Time / 11 AM GMT
9 AM Hockenheim Time / 7 AM GMT
10:15 AM Hockenheim Time / 8:15 AM GMT
1 PM Hockenheim Time / 11 AM GMT
9:30 AM Hockenheim Time / 7:30 AM GMT
2 PM Hockenheim Time / 12 PM GMT

25-July: Mika Hakkinen has retained the 10 points as a result of winning the Austrian Grand Prix but the McLaren team was fined and stripped of the 10 points.
The decision was made by the race stewards at a meeting in London today after Mika Hakkinen's car was found to have one of the two seals on the electronic box missing after the race. The technical delegate was satisfied that no tampering had occurred with the software in the box however, the team did not comply with the technical regulations. In a statement issued by the FIA, the stewards decision was to penalise the manufacturer and not the driver.
"The technical delegate reported that there was an absence of a seal from the ECU and that he was satisfied that the absence of this one seal from the ECU could not have resulted in the team or their supplier being able to alter the configuration of the unit in order to run unapproved software."

"As it is the duty of the team to ensure that their car complies with the conditions of eligibility and safety throughout practice and the race, the stewards of the meeting impose a fine of $50,000 on the team, and because of the exceptional circumstances of this case only deduct the points awarded to car number one in the constructors' championship."

McLaren have the right to appeal but have decided not to. McLaren's International Managing Director Martin Witmarsh said "Whilst the loss of the constructor's championship points is very disappointing, we believe that with our current performance we will - by the end of the season - render the loss academic."

This decision has put Ferrari back at the top of the Constructor's championship 4 points ahead of McLaren while the Driver's championship has not changed with Michael Schumacher leading David Coulthard by 6 points and Mika Hakkinen by 8.

Peugeot have finally confirmed that they are pulling out of Formula 1 at the end of the year and concentrate on their saloon car projects. They have also confirmed that the Formula 1 engine division will be sold to Asia Motor Technologies (AMT) who will be supplying the Arrows team from next year.
AMT have announced a two year engine deal with the Arrows team and indicated that they are not buying into the Arrows team but only supplying engines.
The decision leaves the Prost team with no engine supplier for next year and is most likely to use either customer Ferrari engines or work out a deal with Renault to get Supertec engines!

Peugeot entered the Formula 1 arena in 1994 supplying the McLaren team. A year later, McLaren went to Mercedes and they switched to Jordan until 1997. They have been supplying the Prost team since. During their 7 years in Formula 1, they have yet to win a race or secure pole position but they did manage 5 2nd place finishes. Their most successful year was their first year in 94 with McLaren scoring 42 points and finishing 4th in the constructor's championship.

The latest in driver and team movements.

24-July: Following weeks of speculation, Jacques Villeneuve appears to have made the right decision by staying with the BAR team as they appear to be making significant progress in the last few races. BAR are currently 5th in the Constructor's Championship and Villeneuve is 7th in the Driver's Championship.
The deal is estimated to be around 25 million for a 3 year term and is said to include performance clauses allowing Villeneuve to get out of the contract if the car does not perform.
Jacques Villeneuve commented by saying "It was a difficult decision, but I am happy to stay with the team after two years of hard work. It is rewarding to see progress. I would like to continue with the team and to continue with that progress."

Meanwhile Managing Director Craig Pollock said "We are absolutely delighted with Jacques' decision and the fact he has registered a significant vote of confidence in British American Racing. Jacques has been an integral part of the team since its formation two years ago, and his commitment to stay indicates that he shares our belief that this is an organisation with which he can win races, and ultimately the World Championship, in the future."

BAR have not announced their second driver adding to speculation that Ricardo Zonta will not be driving for the team next year. Several drivers are tipped to be possible replacements including Jenson Button, Darren Manning, and Olivier Panis.

Now that Villeneuve has made his decision, several other driver announcements will follow soon.

The latest in driver and team movements.

Luca Badoer shook down the 3 Ferrari's to be used at Hockenheim. He completed 8 laps on the regular circuit and 13 on the short circuit in all 3 cars. He clocked a best time of 1:08.095 which is fairly slow however, all the cars were in the Hockenheim configuration.

24-July: Should McLaren introduce team orders ? is the topic of the week - Have Your Say

24-July: Ron Dennis has indicated that McLaren will not introduce team orders even if that means that Hakkinen and Coulthard could split the points handing the championship to Michael Schumacher. Dennis believes that this approach is better and that despite all the team orders that Ferrari have applied, they haven't won the driver's championship in 20 years.

It is strongly rumoured that Jordan's Technical Director Mike Gascoyne has left the Jordan team already. When Gascoyne announced his move to Benetton - Renault next year, the Jordan team indicated he will stay at Jordan until the end of his contract term. It is believed that Honda does not want Gascoyne involved in the development of next year's car which will run 'works' Honda engines.
Gascoyne was not seen at the Austrian GP and a Jordan spokesman denied that Gascoyne has left and indicated that he was on holidays!.

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