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|9 - 15 May News|
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15-May: Several rumours have been running around concerning who will go where next year, here is a summary of the possible moves this year and next:
Alexander Wurz: Could be out of Benetton as early as Monaco. Replacements include Brazilian Antonio Pizzonia, Italian Giorgio Pantona and Australian Mark Webber. Benetton have confirmed that their driver line-up will not change at the European Grand Prix, nothing more, nothing less ??
Johnny Herbert: Could be replaced before the end of the season by test driver Luciano Burti. The car has not been performing well with neither Eddie Irvine nor Johnny Herbert making it hard for Jaguar to justify. Herbert's contract runs out at the end of the year and he admits that he might not be back next year.
Jacques Villeneuve: McLaren, Benetton, and Jaguar are the teams that seem to be very interested in signing the French Canadian. Villeneuve has indicated that he will be making his decision sooner rather than later, possibly in time for the Monaco grand Prix. BAR of course are keen to re-sign him but the car has to improve to make him stay. Villeneuve wants a winning car and not a car that could finish 5th or 6th.
Jenson Button: The pressure is on him to perform even better as talks about Juan Pablo Montoya entering Formula 1 in 2001 get more serious. The much improved Williams is appealing ot Montoya as he indicated that he won't drive in Formula 1 unless he has a competitive car.
Juan Pablo Montoya: Currently driving in the American CART Series. Williams have an option on him if he decides to drive in Formula 1 while Toyota are very interested in signing him for 2002.
Mika Hakkinen: Some talk about him retiring at the end of the season has been strongly denied by McLaren.
These are only rumours and nothing has been confirmed regarding any of the above drivers.
14-May: Last year, Johnny Herbert won the European Grand Prix, who will it be this year ? The European Grand Prix Preview is now available ... Race Preview
12-May: Rubens Barrichello continued testing for Ferrari at Mugello where he completed 85 laps with a best time of 1:27.093. He concentrated on mechanical and aerodynamic setup in preparation for the European Grand Prix. There were no problems reported ... Timed Results
Luca Badoer shook down the 3 Ferrari's at Fiorano in preparation for the European Grand Prix, Badoer completed a total of 40 laps in all three cars with a best time of 1:01.803 ... Timed Results
The Prost team has conducted their testing this week at Magny Cours in France. Nick Heidfeld was present for the 3 day testing session. The test session was interrupted by heavy rains preventing the team from covering many laps. During the test session, the Prost suffered from gearbox and engine problems. However, the team was satisfied overall with the progress they made. Nick Heidfeld clocked a best time of 1:19.903 ... Timed Results
Nigel Stepney, Ferrari's chief mechanic who broke his ankle when Schumacher's right rear tyre hit him was helping to train the new Ferrari mechanic who will be taking over the refuelling task for the next few race. Stepney said "We look for every tenth of a second, as you can win or lose a race on a good or bad pit-stop. The guys are under more pressure than ever before".
11-May: On the third and final day of testing at Jerez, Alexander Wurz sets the fastest time of the day followed by Olivier Panis and Ralf Schumacher. Heinz Harald Frentzen, Jacques Villeneuve and Pedro Diniz make the top 6.
Alexander Wurz was 0.25 seconds faster than Olivier Panis who was 0.4 seconds faster than 3rd place man Ralf Schumacher.
For the first time at this test, the whole session was run under dry and sunny conditions allowing all the teams to go through the testing programs they have. There were 12 drivers and 8 teams present today. Pedro Diniz covered the most laps with 89 followed by Olivier Panis with 80 and Jacques Villeneuve with 72.
Jacques Villeneuve tested a modified gearbox and was happy with it, Heinz Harald Frentzen suffered an engine failure late in the session, Johnny Herbert suffered from throttle problems and does not think Jaguar have progressed much, Giorgio Pantano, the Italian testing for Benetton had a spin and damaged his car during the session. Darren Manning, BAR's official test driver had his first 'real' run in the BAR and finished 12th fastest ... Timed Results
At Mugello, Ruben Barrichello carried out a full race simulation including a warm-up lap, and 2 pit stops. There were no reported problems at the end of the test. Rubens Barrichello completed a total of 88 laps with a best time of 1:28.018. The teams tested a new specification engine which will be examined to decide whether to use it at the upcoming European Grand Prix ... Timed Results
11-May: "The Battle of the Pits ?" is the title of the 11th issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2000 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the aftermath of the Spanish Grand Prix - Check it out here !!
10-May: On the second day of testing at Jerez, Ricardo Zonta sets the fastest time of the day followed by Giancarlo Fisichella and Mika Hakkinen. Alexander Wurz, Eddie Irvine and Heinz Harald Frentzen make the top 6.
Ricardo Zonta was almost 1 second faster than the rest of the field which could indicate that he was running a lighter car with fresh tyres when he set the fastest time. The day started wet but became dry in the afternoon allowing the teams to run dry weather setup.
There were a total of 16 drivers present from 8 teams with BAR and Benetton having 3 drivers each. BAR had Ricardo Zonta who did 30 laps, Patrick Lemarie (development driver) did 38 laps and Darren Manning (test driver). Manning couldn't set a timed lap due to an oil leak. Benetton had Giancarlo Fisichella who only did 7 laps due to an engine change, Alexander Wurz did 13 laps and Italian Giorgio Pantano did 18 laps. Pantano is being evaluated for a testing role with the team.
Several drivers encountered problems including Ricardo Zonta, Ralf Schumacher and Pedro Diniz who all add engine failures. Mika Hakkinen evaluated the intermediate tyres for Bridgestone ... Timed Results
Luca Badoer continued testing at Fiorano today where he continued testing new Mechanical parts as well as different aerodynamic solutions. Ferrari also carried out refuelling trials for a number of mechanics to take over from Nigel Stepney who is suffering from a broken ankle. Luca Badoer completed a total of 127 laps. Rubens Barrichello will resume testing for Ferrari at Mugello.
It was revealed today by the McLaren team that David Coulthard did in fact race with a bruised right chest wall and 3 cracked ribs. Professor Sid Watkins, the FIA chief medical doctor is confident that this will not affect Coulthard's performance at next week's European Grand Prix. Ron Dennis is also confident that Coulthard will race there too. David Coulthard is not taking part in this week's testing at Jerez in order to recover from his injuries.
It appears that the low pressure tyre problem that Michael Schumacher encountered during the Spanish Grand Prix was not due to a puncture but due to air escaping from the rim. Bridgestone are still investigating why this problem occurred.
9-May: On the first day of testing at Jerez, Mika Hakkinen sets the fastest time of the day followed by Pedro Diniz and Giancarlo Fisichella. Alexander Wurz, Jarno Trulli and Olivier Panis make the top 6.
Mika Hakkinen didn't really have much of a competition with his team-mate David Coulthard taking a rest this week and Ferrari testing at Fiorano. He was more than 1.5 seconds faster than 2nd place Pedro Diniz in the Sauber.
10 driver and 8 teams were present today with McLaren and Benetton running 2 cars. The day started with heavy rains which prevented any testing in the morning but the track dried out in the afternoon allowing for dry tyre testing. Olivier Panis was hit with electronic problems, Luciano Burti, the Jaguar test driver was hit with engine troubles and only managed 7 laps while Jenson Button only shook down the Williams in preparation for tomorrow ... Timed Results
At Fiorano, Luca Badoer was testing the F1-2000. He completed almost 120 laps with a best time of 1:01.675. The test concentrated on testing new mechanical components. Luca Badoer had an incident when he spun and ended up in the gravel trap but with no damage to the car. Testing continues tomorrow ... Timed Results
Benetton's managing director, Flavio Briatore has confirmed that the driver line-up of Giancarlo Fisichella and Alexander Wurz will participate at the European Grand Prix. There have been rumours recently suggesting that Brazilian driver Antonio Pizzonia will take over from Alexander Wurz as soon as the European Grand Prix. The Benetton statement only confirms the line-up for the European Grand Prix which raises the question over how much longer will Alexander Wurz stay at Benetton ?
9-May: Testing for several Formula 1 teams is due to start today at Jerez for a 3 day test session. McLaren, Williams, Benetton, Jordan, BAR, Sauber, Arrows and Jaguar are expected to be there, stay tuned for the latest results.
After driving his most emotional race, David Coulthard returns to Britain to undergo physiotherapy to recuperate from his injuries following his plane crash last week. He will not take participate in the testing scheduled at Jerez this week.
Coulthard was quoted saying "This has been the most traumatic few weeks of my life, an incredible few weeks; topsy turvy and difficult to get into perspective." He also added that he now wants to concentrate on the championship and to get the best out of himself and the car.
It is also worth noting that David Coulthard did not participate in the champagne spraying celebrations following the race in respect to the families of the 2 dead pilots who were killed in the plane crash.
Nigel Stepney, the chief Ferrari mechanic who was injured on Sunday has suffered a broken ankle in contrast to earlier reports indicating that he only has a twisted ankle. He will be out of action for 4 weeks.
Ferrari have always been one of the best teams when it comes to the speed of which pit stops are carried out. With Nigel Stepney out, it will be hard for them to maintain that pace.