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14-Jan: McLaren boss, Ron Dennis has indicated that David Coulthard has a real chance of winning the Drivers' title this year and promised to try their best to provide both Coulthard and Hakkinen with the best and most reliable car and said "David is extremely fired up. He's strong and wants to test as much as possible. I honestly feel that David can win the world championship this year. Reliability problems cost Mika his third title on the trot but we have produced the best car possible this year and we shall be working hard to ensure there are no slip- up."

BAR's co-founder, Adrian Reynard believes that Jacques Villeneuve will be pushed hard by his new teammate Olivier Panis and is confident that this will bring out the best of Villeneuve and said "Jacques loves a challenge, he gets on well with Olivier and I am sure if Olivier can push him, Jacques will respond and go even better. He is the best driver in the world as far as we are concerned. He has also shown tremendous resolve."

13-Jan: Jean Todt has yet to decide if he will be staying at Ferrari beyond the 2001 season or not but he did confirm that he will not be leaving to join another team and said " I have received many offers but after Ferrari there will not be another team. If I stay it is because I feel good and also because Ferrari are happy with me. The team is strong and united and I feel at home in Italy. But I think sooner or later the day will come when Ferrari decides to change. Sooner or later I too will feel jaded, it happens to everyone." 
Todt is also convinced that the 2001 season will be easier on him as the pressure on him to win has gone and said "You have no idea how heavy the weight this sword of Damocles hanging over my head was - having to win at all costs. I am convinced this year it will be easier if only because the Sword of Damocles is no longer there."
Jean Todt refused to comment on the possibility of taking up a senior role with the FIA.

Niki Lauda has described Formula 1 as a 'family sport' that every member of the family can watch and said "You don't see blood any more, so children can watch, grandmother can watch. It has become a family sport."
He also indicated that the lack of action will make the formula boring and people will switch off and called on the FIA to stop interfering in everything and said "What the FIA do is interfere in everything. In the end there will be no more action left. The FIA should not really be so strict because then it gets even more boring.
I think it is very necessary to produce cars which can be passed and to have more action in the races. If the families get bored, because there is nobody passing and there is nothing interesting to watch, they will go away. This is really what the officials have to think about."

12-Jan: Ferrari have confirmed that they will launch their 2001 contender on the 29th of January at Maranello. Ferrari's Racing Director Jean Todt made the announcement at Madonna di Campiglio today. 

Adrian Reynard, BAR's co-founder has indicated that the team's aim is to win a race this season and said "A win this year is our aim and I think that is a realistic one. It's pretty obvious that Formula One is a two-horse race at the moment. You've always got those four cars to beat, which is really difficult, but we will be pushing hard to do that."
When BAR made their debut in 99, their aim was to win the first race of the season. They failed to score any points during 99 season!. 
In the 2000 season, they set a more realistic target by aiming to finish 5th in the Constructor's championship and they successfully achieved that. 

11-Jan: The Sauber team was the third Formula 1 team to shakedown their 2001 contender. The team shookdown the car at Fiorano, Ferrari's home track in Italy. Both Sauber drivers were present and both drove the new C20 with neutral livery for a number of laps. Kimi Raikkonen drove the C19 on Wednesday to get familiar with the Fiorano track. 
Sauber's technical director Willy Rampf commented on the shakedown by saying "Our primary aim with the C20 has been to meet the stringent new regulations, the new weight-bearing requirement for the rollover hoop structure, and the new side intrusion resistance demands, are very tough and have necessitated a new monocoque chassis. We have also focused on the new aerodynamic rules governing the design and placement of the front and rear wings. Weight reduction is also one of our priorities. It is fair to say that the car is a completely new development."
The team will officially launch the new car in Hinwil, Switzerland on the 24th of January. The team will test the car at the upcoming test session in Jerez from the 15th of January.

Michael Schumacher has confirmed that he will be staying at Ferrari for 2 more years and denied the rumours taking about a special clause allowing him to leave if he wins two World Championships. Schumacher said "I really like working for this team. My contract is valid for another two years and there are no special clauses. The contracts of a number of technicians and managers expire at the end of 2001, so I want to see what the future might hold after 2002." 
Speaking to the press at the Ferrari International F1 Press Meeting at Madonna di Campiglio,  Schumacher is convinced that he has not lost any of his motivation or determination after winning three world titles and said "I was born to race and for as long as will get into a racing car, there's no way I will not be motivated."
Schumacher also hinted at no team orders this season and said ""I work really well with Rubens; he's a quick driver and is good at developing the car. The team has no specific strategy and the cars are identical. We both aim to be the fastest."

10-Jan: British American Racing and Jaguar Racing were the first 2 teams to run their 2001 spec cars at Silverstone today. Olivier Panis ran the BAR 003 with neutral livery as the team keeps their livery under wraps until the 26th of January when they officially launch the new car. Luciano Burti ran the Jaguar R2 for the very first time after being launched yesterday. Jos Verstappen ran the Arrows A21 prototype with several new hydraulics components destined for the A22.

The weather conditions were cold and mainly damp. In the afternoon, the teams managed to run on dry tyres and set relatively quick times with Olivier Panis setting the fastest time ahead of Eddie Irvine. Olivier Panis also covered the most laps with 37 followed by Jos Verstappen with 32.
This shakedown was in preparation for the upcoming 3 day test at Valencia starting on the 15th of January.

Click here for the timed results 

On the final day of testing at Jerez, Giancarlo Fisichella finished the day fastest ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher.
The session started in wet conditions with both Williams and Benetton carrying out wet weather testing but as the circuit dried in the afternoon, the teams managed to test on dry tyres. 
Marc Gene completed the most number of laps with 63 as the Williams team attempted a long run with the new BMW engine while Benetton continue to have problems with the new Renault engine with Jenson Button completing just 3 installation laps before his test came to a halt suffering from an engine failure.

Click here for the timed results 

10-Jan: The Prost team have confirmed their driver lineup for the 2001 season with Argentine Gaston Mazzacane joining the team to drive alongside Jean Alesi. It was widely specualted that Gaston Mazzacane would be the second driver after PSN announced a partnership with Prost. PSN sponsored Gaston Mazzacane in his first season of Formula 1 with Minardi last season. 
Prost team owner Alain Prost said of the announcement "Gaston has shown a lot of determination and motivation, and we are happy that he joins the team at a time we consider is a new start for Prost Grand Prix. He is in top physical condition and eager to prove himself. He will be a good match for Jean from whom he can learn a lot. I am confident that with the good technical package we have put in place, next season Gaston Mazzacane will be able to show everyone his real potential. "

BMW are making their intentions clear and that is to close the gap to the top 2 teams this season. Following a spectacular debut last year when they managed to finish third in the constructors' championship, BMW want to build on that success and try to reduce the gap to the top 2 teams. BMW have been testing a new engine which will be used in the 2001 car and BMW's Motorsport Director Gerhard Berger described the engine as a gem and said "We wanted to make a quantum leap forward with the new engine. My feeling is that we achieved that. I would call it a gem."

10-Jan: British American Racing have confirmed that Japanese driver Takuma Sato will be one of the team's test drivers in 2001. He joins Darren Manning, Patrick Lemaire and Anthony Davidson who was announce late last year. Takuma Sato particpated in a driver development program alongside Mark Haynes. Sato continually set better times than Haynes during the 2 day test session in Barcelona in December (story).

9-Jan: Ralf Schumacher was the fastest man on the track today 0.9 seconds faster then Giancarlo Fisichella in 2nd place. Marc Gene was third with Juan Pablo Montoya in 4th. Ralf has improved his time from yesterday by almost half a second.
Only Williams and Benetton were present with 3 drivers from Williams and only one from Benetton.
The session was dry in the morning and teams continued their tyre evaluation testing while in the afternoon, the teams switched to wet tyre testing as rain fell in the afternoon.
Testing concludes tomorrow with Jenson Button returning to the track hoping to be able to test the new Renault engine.

Click here for the timed results 

The Jaguar team was the first team to launch their 2001 contender. After Jaguar's disappointing results of the 2000 season, they have decided to launch the car at Jaguar's design and engineering centre at Whitley without any of the fanfare of last season.

Jaguar Racing CEO and team principal Bobby Rahal has indicated that the teams aim for this year is to achieve respectability and said: "We have experienced a challenging first year in the sport but implemented changes that we feel are necessary to deliver our objectives. Our aim this year is to achieve respectability. People ask me to define what this means in terms of results, but it's too early to say. Maybe I'll tell you at the end of the season. We will also continue to put in place the building blocks that we believe will deliver success in the long term. We are unswerving in our ultimate goal which remains to challenge for World Championship honours." 

Eddie Irvine is confident that they will improve on their results of the 2000 season and said "To be honest, last season looked a lot worse than it was, our qualifying performances weren�t so bad and we had a few problems early on that stopped us scoring points. We've sorted those problems now and moved on. Of course, you can never say how competitive you�re going to be; the goal posts are always moving and we'll have to wait until Melbourne to see where we really are."

Luciano Burti will be driving in his first full season in Formula 1. Burti drove for Jaguar last year at Austria when Irvine pulled out due to abdominal pain. Burti was the team's test driver in 2000 and has set his goal at scoring some points in his first season and said �I know what it takes to race and I know how to qualify, there are going to be a lot of challenges, but I�m pretty confident for the season ahead. I already know six or seven of the circuits, but it will be tough. It�s too early to say what my expectations are for next year. We won�t know how good or bad the car is until Melbourne, but I�ll be happy if I can score some points this year."

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