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Michael Schumacher's 2001 Ferrari Die Cast
Michael Schumacher 2001 Ferrari
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 Can Formula 1 be made safer ?
 Have Your Say 
Where does Ferrari take it now ? 
The Heretic  

August 28 - September 5 News  
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5-Sep: Formula 1 testing continued at Mugello and Fiorano today and commenced at Magny Cours. A number of teams have also commenced straight line testing at various venues.

At Mugello, Rubens Barrichello continued to top the timesheets ahead of BAR test driver Takuma Sato who was faster than Olivier Panis!
4 teams were present with 6 drivers setting lap times. Rubens Barrichello covered the most number of laps with 80 followed by Olivier Panis with 58 and Takuma Sato with 53. The teams mainly concentrated on development work for 2002 and set-up.
Alex Yoong who will be driving for Minardi from the Italian GP was present as well as Minardi's test driver Andrea Piccini.

There were several red flags during the session with Sato, Panis, Alesi and Yoong running in to mechanical problems. Sato spun off as well.
The session was run under windy and wet conditions in the morning but the track dried out in the afternoon.
The test continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results from Mugello

At Magny Cours, Juan Pablo Montoya set the fastest time on the first day of testing with Jenson Button in the much improved Benetton just a few hundredths of a second behind. Marc Gene in the second Williams was third.
4 teams were present with 5 drivers setting lap times. Marc Gene covered the most number of laps with 74 followed by Tomas Enge (testing for Prost) with 63 and Nick Heidfeld with 47 laps.
The teams mainly concentrated on development work for 2002 and set-up.

Tomas Enge driving the Prost for the first time was impressive setting a time under a second off the pace of Montoya. He is one of the candidates to replace Burti at the Italian GP if the Brazilian doesn't recover in time.
The session was run under overcast but dry conditions.
The test continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results from Magny Cours

At Fiorano, Luca Badoer continued testing for Ferrari today. He concentrated on practice starts as well as mechanical component testing. He completed a total of 54 laps with a best time of 59.933.

Ricardo Zonta started a 3 day straight line test for Jordan at Vairano, Oliver Gavin continues his straight line testing for Benetton at Danielson while Andre Lotterer continues his straight line testing for Jaguar at the Elvington airfield, all in preparation for the upcoming Italian Grand Prix on the 16th of September.

5-Sep: Luciano Burti has been moved out of intensive care but will remain in hospital for a few more days. One of the doctors monitoring Burti's condition said "Now is the moment when Luciano has to stay at rest. We are still doing examinations and following, step by step, his health state evolution, which is getting better and better. We will wait some more days until we can precisely say when he will be able to be discharged and go back to his daily routine."

Meanwhile both Rubens Barrichello and Niki Lauda have been critical of the slow reaction from the marshals after Burti's crash. Barrichello said "The only thing that surprised me was the reaction of the marshals. It's fair to say that Irvine did a lot of the organization work to clear the tyres. It was a horrible accident and I feared the worse." while Lauda said "The marshals in the beginning did very little. Eddie ran in there and had to take over the whole operation, which normally drivers shouldn't do. He was the one who told the medical car to pull Luciano out backwards because they couldn't remove the tyres. It's very important to improve this situation for the marshals."

4-Sep: "Can Formula 1 be made safer ?" - Topic of the week - Have Your Say

4-Sep: Luciano Burti's condition is getting better. He should be out if intensive care tomorrow as further tests revealed that he only suffers from bruising and pain. A statement released by the Prost team read "After the accident he had last Sunday at the Belgian GP, in Spa-Francorchamps, Prost Acer Brazilian driver Luciano Burti spent the last two days under observation at the Saint Tilman University Hospital, in Li�ge.
Luciano still has bruising in his head, but shows good signs of recovery, and further examinations confirmed that he suffers from no other injury nor fracture.
After a good night of sleep, Luciano woke up well this morning and could enjoy a normal breakfast. He will remain under observation for a few days, but as he is making a good and quick recovery, he should be out of intensive cares by tomorrow morning, said the doctors."

Michael Schumacher has indicated that safety should be improved following Burti's crash on Sunday and said "There's no 100 per cent safety in Formula One but we must do everything to reduce the risk as much as possible. Therefore, it is important to draw findings from the analysis of the crash and to translate them into measures."

Meanwhile David Coulthard warned not to attempt and remove danger from Formula 1 and said "Danger is a part of our sport. We can't have a series of low speed corners, because that's not what F1 is about. Corners like Eau Rouge are difficult, they are dangerous, but that's Spa. What we should try and do is make the run-off areas as safe as possible, to minimise the chances of a driver getting hurt because he hits the barrier. I think that's what we should tackle, rather than changing the tracks.
It was a big crash, obviously. It's difficult to tell exactly why it came to happen, although obviously he came together with Eddie. Between the Grand Prix Drivers' Association and Charlie Whiting we've made changes to the run-off there, and it really helped him a lot when he had the accident. But it's a dangerous business. You never like to see what happened to Luciano. That was as big as they come in terms of speed."

Can Formula 1 be made safer ? - Have Your Say 

4-Sep: Formula 1 returns to testing mode this week with teams testing at different venues. Ferrari started their testing at both Mugello and Fiorano. BAR and Jordan are also testing at Mugello with Jordan also conduction aerodynamic tests at Vairano with Ricardo Zonta from tomorrow.
Williams, Prost and Benetton will start a 4-day test session at Magny Cours. Prost will evaluate Czech F3000 driver Tomas Enge as a possible replacement for Luciano Burti at the Italian GP. Benetton will also be conducting high speed tests at Danielson with Oliver Gavin while Jaguar will also be conducting high speed tests at the Elvington airfield in Yorkshire with Andre Lotterer. Arrows will be demonstrating their A22 and the OrangeArrows AX3 three seater F1 car.

At Mugello, Rubens Barrichello set the fastest time of the session ahead of Jean Alesi and Takuma Sato.
3 teams were present with 4 drivers setting lap times. Jean Alesi covered the most number of laps with 53 while both Barrichello and Sato covered 37 laps. The teams mainly concentring on development work and set-up.

Anthony Davidson testing for BAR spun off in the morning bringing an early end to his test.

The test was interrupted by heavy rains in the afternoon. The test continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results from Mugello

At Fiorano, Luca Badoer started testing for Ferrari today. He concentrated on electronics testing completing a total of 75 laps with a best time of 1:00.371.

3-Sep: Luciano Burti is recovering well at hospital from the bruising he suffered as a result of his horrific crash at the Belgian GP on Sunday. A team spokesperson indicated that while he is getting better all the time he is likely to remain in hospital over the weekend and said "He is recovering really fast and woke up normally by himself this morning. He will stay in hospital until the end of the week and possibly over the weekend."
It is not clear at this stage whether he will be able to participate in the Italian GP but several names have been rumoured as likely replacements including former Prost driver Gaston Mazzacane, outgoing Minardi driver Tarso Marques, Australian Mark Webber, Ferrari's test driver Luca Badoer and there is of course Prost's test driver Stephane Sarrazin who actually raced once in Formula 1 in 99 for Minardi as a replacement to Luca Badoer.  

Michael Schumacher who has just won his 8th race of the season has indicated that winning 2 of the 3 remaining races will be very hard as he doesn't believe that Ferrari will be as competitive as the Williams at Monza and Indianapolis and said "We have been competitive everywhere with the exception of high-speed circuits such as Hockenheim and Montreal. But even then we were in the position of getting second position. We have never really had a down side and been non-competitive. We have a very strong car in qualifying which puts us is a strong position for the start of the race. So I think these were the fundamentals and the basics. We have two races which are good for us. This one (Spa) and Suzuka. Monza could be difficult for us, and Indianapolis could be difficult for us. If you look at the level of competition that Williams have shown us. So I'm a little bit skeptical for this."
Nigel Mansell holds the record for the most number of wins in a season at 9 (out of 16 races)

2-Sep: At the post Race press conference for the Belgian Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher indicated that while he was delighted with his 52nd win, Giancarlo Fisichella made it a lot easier and said "I don't think the Benetton is normally a car to run up front, so it was a bit of an unusual situation, even though they had good speed, obviously. But I guess David could have gone faster. Once he was past he went faster, so that was the extra bonus I had to disappear to quickly.
I was lucky getting the start and having Fisico between me and the rest for the later part of the race"
He didn't think his starts in both instances were good and said "When you said I made an amazing start, I don't think that's true. I think the guy next to me (Giancarlo) made an amazing start. I don't know which position he came from but he almost overtook me, so I would say we made an average start and I was able to just defend my position thanks to whatever problem Williams had I didn't have to fight against them, because you saw the first start and they just pulled away and I had no chance. I think even on the start (the second time), if Ralf had started from second position he would have just beaten me into the first corner. But we didn't find out and I had a clear race from that moment on and I'm obviously delighted."
Michael indicated that he almost lost it at one stage and said "I once lost concentration going wide in turn 15, I was just playing with too many buttons at the same time and I ran wide. I didn't expect a problem but then when I was sitting on the kerb I lost control of the steering for a while and I was a bit scared going into the wall, but luckily I got out of it. It didn't need much to do that. When you are on the limit, that's what can happen." 
Commenting on Burti's accident, Michael said "You know, at this kind of speed, that naturally happens. You have these tyres as a cushion. I don't know whether the tyre caused any problems to Luciano except getting him out which took maybe a little bit longer, but that's something we need to analyse but honestly, I think the drivers, the FIA and everybody have done a good job there because remember, one or two years ago, we had a big kink in the barrier there where the barrier come back and if it had still been there, he would have had a really big one, that would have been massive, because this was still sideways and apparently the way it came back, he would have had a frontal impact at this speed. On the other hand, you still learn that you have to improve. Saying that, the way it happened is a bit unusual but you will never find total safety unfortunately."
As for the next race at Monza, Michael believes it is Williams territory and said "We still want to do well which is maybe going to be a little bit more difficult for us, looking at the characteristics of the circuit. From Hockenheim, we know Williams is very competitive there, so we have to work very hard and have to find out what we can do against this strong package of what they have, but we will certainly try, as we have tried here but anyway we have good reasons to celebrate down there."
On winning his 52nd race he said "It doesn't have the first priority but it does mean something to me, to have this number on my count. Actually I'm very delighted about this but I will be much more delighted sitting one day in the sofa, retired, and I have a cigar and beer in hand and think about it."

David Coulthard was pleased to finish in second place given his poor qualifying position and said "I'm quite happy with the result but it doesn't look quite as good as it sounds because obviously a lot of cars dropped out. I think three cars went out before the start proper but I still had a little bit of fun. Spa is a track where if you have a bad qualifying you can overtake, because of the fast corner through Eau Rouge and if one person has a small lift there it gives you momentum and I was able to overtake both Jenson and Giancarlo - although they were both going at quite a pace. They must have taken a big step forward since the start of the season, that's a pity! Second place in these circumstances, absolutely the best I could hope for so I'm pretty happy considering the way my weekend started and the way qualifying went and again the guys have given me a reliable car."
He described the way he finally managed to pass Fisichella and said "I knew that my opportunity might come at the pit stop and I thought I lost it when I caught one of the Minardis in Blanchimont, and I said to the team on the radio, "I think it's going to be close." Obviously he came out in front of me. Then thankfully with the backmarker at La Source, it just upset his rhythm a little bit and I got the run through Eau Rouge and I was able to outbrake him." 

Giancarlo Fisichella described the reason for the improvement in their pace and said "Obviously we had the new aerodynamics package here and the car was much more competitive, easier to drive, easier to get a good set-up, even much more grip normally. Even during the race there was a very good balance, especially after a few laps because at the beginning there was a lot of understeer but then there was a good balance. We just missed a few kph on the straight compared to people but maybe in Monza there is one more step and we are very optimistic for the next one."
Fisichella was very happy with finishing third and said "We did a very good job. I did two amazing starts, especially the second one from sixth position to second, and I'm happy. It's a great day, and I'd like to say thank you to the team."
Giancarlo admitted that he was disappointed to be leaving Benetton at the end of the season and said "After four years it's not easy to leave, I have a very good feeling with the guys, the engineers, and I'm a little bit disappointed. Even because the Benetton team is starting to be quick. But the problem was just one year contract, and with Jordan was three years so I had to think about my future. I hope it's the right choice and we'll see next year."

2-Sep: What the teams and drivers said following the Race at Spa ... Report

2-Sep: Belgian Grand Prix - Race: Michael Schumacher wins his 52nd Grand Prix breaking the all time record number of wins ahead of Coulthard and Fisichella. Hakkinen, Barrichello and Alesi make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes 
Race was stopped on lap 6. Irvine and Burti touch sending Burti into the wall. Irvine is OK. Burti has survived the accident but has suffered a concussion. Full report soon.

2-Sep: Belgian Grand Prix - Warm-up: Michael Schumacher sets the fastest time ahead of Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Raikkonen. Ralf Schumacher, Eddie Irvine and Heinz Harald Frentzen make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes

2-Sep: The Minardi team announced that their engine supplier for next year will be Asiatech. The deal is for one year with an option for 2003. Asiatech will soon deliver a prototype to Minardi to be fitted to the 2002 Minardi.
Minardi's boss Paul Stoddart said "European Minardi F1 is delighted to welcome Asiatech as its official engine partner. Before arriving at this decision, we studied all aspects of the company�s new AT02 engine in detail and believe it represents a significant step forward for us. The partnership with Asiatech is an exciting development for European Minardi and one that we believe will result in much-improved performance from the team in the near future."
Asiatech's President, John Gano said "Asiatech is announcing today that we will supply engines to European Minardi in 2002, with a possibility of extending for 2003. We look forward to a very positive and productive 2002 season working together with European Minardi to place both companies in a stronger and more competitive position in the F1 hierarchy."

Asiatech engines are based on the Peugeot 'works' engines that the Prost team used during the 2000 season. When Peugeot pulled out, they sold their engine unit to Asiatech who modified the engine and supplied the Arrows team this season. Arrows were not happy with the engines and will be using Cosworth engines in 2002 which will be the same specification as those supplied to Jaguar.

Click here for the latest on the 2002 Line-up

1-Sep: At the post Qualifying press conference for the Belgian Grand Prix, Juan Pablo Montoya described how he was on pole despite only having two runs and said "We did the first run on wets, but we knew it was going to get drier and drier, so we did a decent lap to get us on to the grid and then we had to really play completely on slick tyres and it really worked well. The team did absolutely brilliantly, and I think everybody did a fantastic job."
He was very happy with his final lap and said "It's brilliant. I thought it was going to be close, so I gave it a really big 'go' the second lap and looking at the time difference it's brilliant." 
As for the yellow flags he said "You're really out of the corner in the middle of the straight. It wasn't a big thing. You lifted a little bit."
And for the race tomorrow, Montoya prefers a dry race and said "No definitely dry. I think the car is working really well on dry. Yesterday was a big struggle with the set-up but I had a good think overnight and it really paid off."

Ralf Schumacher was asked if he was frustrated during the session and said "I can't really remember. No, we were discussing what to do and it wasn't an easy decision to take, actually. At a certain point, we still had that problem with the intermediate tyre and we had to go on slicks quite early while some Bridgestone runners still stayed on intermediates. At the end of the day, it didn't work too bad. It's always under these conditions that you need to have a bit confidence that the car's doing well and you need to have good luck. Then you're there."
He conceded that Montoya was better today and said "Under these circumstances you need to be out at the right time, you need to find the spaces to give 100% and, well, he (Montoya) was simply better today than I was."

Michael Schumacher indicated that he was not disappointed to be 3rd and described himself as the Bridgestone Pole man and said "Put it this way, I'm the Bridgestone pole position man today. If you look at the gap to the next Bridgestone guy it's quite big. We timed it right for your situation. It looked that way already this morning when these guys went on dry tyres in slightly damp conditions they got good grip. You know these tyres have an advantage in one area and then a disadvantage in another area. A race is going to be a long way and it should be alright for us."
He added that going on Bridgestone dry tyres was a real gamble and said "It was very tight for us to use the dry tyres. Honestly I was lucky, within the lap I went out on dry tyres and the lap actually I started it did dry up enough just to use the dry tyres and go faster, because when I went out I was almost sure from our point of view we couldn't improve. But then in the last lap it just dried out again just a little bit extra, which helped us."

1-Sep: The FIA stewards have decided to allow the 4 non-qualifiers to race tomorrow as the session was run in changeable conditions. Jos Verstappen and Enrique Bernoldi of the Arrows team and Fernando Alonso and Tarso Marques of the Minardi team all failed to set times that fall within 107% of the time set by pole-setter Juan Pablo Montoya. However given that the time set by Montoya was achieved at the end of the session while the track was drying quickly the FIA stewards considered the situation as an exceptional circumstance.

The FIA stewards also investigated a possible yellow flag infringement by Juan Pablo Montoya and later cleared him. The McLaren team appealed the decision as a number of drivers improved their times despite the yellow flags being waved but the appeal was reject. Ron Dennis indicated that he wanted a clarification regarding the rules under these circumstances and said "We appealed to try and understand why the regulation is being interpreted in a specific way that it hasn't been interpreted before. The regulations say that if you go through a yellow flag and set a fastest time in that sector, you lose your fastest lap."
Montoya did indicate that he lifted off when he passed Nick Heidfeld's car but as the track was drying quickly, the times for that sector improved.

1-Sep: What the teams and drivers said following Qualifying at Spa ... Report

1 Sep: Belgian Grand Prix - Qualifying: Juan Pablo Montoya grabs his second pole position of the season ahead of Ralf Schumacher and Michael Schumacher. An amazing Frentzen in the Prost was 4th ahead of Rubens Barrichello and Jacques Villeneuve! ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes.

1 Sep: Belgian Grand Prix - Saturday Practice: Juan Pablo Montoya sets the fastest time of the session ahead of team-mate Ralf Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen. Coulthard, Barrichello and Fisichella make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes.
Only 1 practice session today due to the fog delays in the morning. 

31-Aug: At the Friday press conference for the Belgian Grand Prix, Olivier Panis indicated that he expect a powerful engine and a better chassis from BAR next year and said "The package that we have is still OK, there's nothing really wrong, but I think we need to improve aerodynamically and we are waiting for the new engine for next year. Honda will making a completely new engine and I feel it will be a really good improvement. If we work together really well, that will be a good step but everybody is improving. We know where we are now but we need to close the gap to the best, and that's not easy. I think we need we need to work aerodynamically for the low speed circuits, particularly for the low speed high downforce."

Jos Verstappen admitted that Arrows are not doing much about the rest of the season and are concentrating on next year and said "I think all the circuits we go to will be very hard. We're missing out a lot at the moment and I think the team knows that, and we are concentrating a lot for next year. Next year's car has already spent a long time in the wind tunnel and there's not much we can do for this year."

Pedro de la Rosa describes being hit from behind by Michael Schumacher and said "I was coming out of the pits, looking in my mirrors, and I could see a Ferrari was coming so I kept right over to the right hand side and I looked again in my mirrors. Michael was behind me, he hadn't overtaken me. I looked again, I just kept to my right, before turning into Eau Rouge because I wanted to let him by and at the very last moment, I felt someone hit me up the back. Obviously it was Michael. There's very little I can say, I couldn't disappear from there, I was letting him have the whole road to chose wherever he wanted, but he preferred to hit me. There's no one to blame really, because there was a lot of spray. I must say I couldn't judge where Michael was properly when I looked in the mirrors. There was one point where I saw him and then there was another point where I didn't and I think the same applies to him, so it's a racing incident but just a typical wet weather accident."

Eddie Jordan has indicated that both Fisichella and Trulli are two very special guys but he chose Fisichella because of continuity and said "I think any team boss is not really happy about employing a driver for a short term whilst the owner of that contract then becomes as they will do: Renault own this contract. With one year left on his contract to come to us, owned by Renault, an opportunity then became possible when Giancarlo's option hadn't been taken up and we took up the option and it was a three year deal so it made a lot more sense to Jordan. 
These are two very special guys, I have to be honest with you and I don't want to be seen to be favouring one against the other, not in any way. If you had the choice, you could easily have both of these in the same team. Jarno Trulli is an outstanding young driver, as indeed is Giancarlo Fisichella. The longevity and continuity is a key thing and continuity unveiled itself with Giancarlo which then put the position that that was more favourable to the team."

Ron Dennis admitted that McLaren were not good enough this season and said "The reality is that as was patently obvious, there were many times this year where we didn't do a very competent job. We had competitive cars and often had the opportunity to win and then suffered unreliability. Most of the time I think we had the right race strategy and had the perfect strategy apart from two occasions when we had the wrong strategy, but I don't think that's bad, a bad average. Overall, we just weren't good enough, and I think that that's the same for everybody who hasn't won. There's always reasons why you're not competitive, or that you're unable to finish races. The most important thing is to systematically analyse the reasons why and take the correct preventative steps to avoid it happening again. But Formula One is just that, it is the pinnacle of motor sport, it's extremely difficult to succeed in, it's extremely difficult to win a race and it's even more difficult to win a World Championship. At the end of the day, the best team this year won and the objective for any team, other than Ferrari, is to try and be even better or better than the competitive, which of course will include them when we start the season next year."
Dennis described the importance of second place by saying "Unimportant really. There are some financial consequences of being not second in the Constructors' championship but in the overall scheme of the finances of Formula one, they are relatively small. I don't think we are driving the team on the basis of finishing second in either championships. We're driving it, as always with a view to winning each and every race and if we are successful in winning some of the remaining races then probably we should achieve enough points to stay ahead of our very good friends at Williams. But if we don't then we will lose that place but after first there's nothing really."
As for the lack of excitement given that the championship has been decided, Ron said "I remember in 1988 when we won nearly every single race it was still exciting championship because the two drivers in the same team were racing for the championship. If it did go down to the last one or two races of each year I think you'd really have reason to think is this really being manipulated. The fact that it's not this year is an indication of Williams and our selves, and others, failing to get the job done. That's motor racing, and if you want a show go and watch NASCAR, IRL, CART... there's a show. If you want pure motor racing watch a Formula One race."

Patrick Head is not looking at positions in the championship but hopes to reach a stage that will compete for the championship next year and said "I don't think we're really looking at positions at all, we're just looking at it as four races and wanting to do the best we can in each race. One of the things our racing has been characterised by this year and last year was a quite big variation between the circuits we go well at and the circuits we don't go well at. Obviously, as with a number of teams, we want to get ourselves into a position to be able to be competitive next year, to be able to compete in the championship, and to do that, you've got to be competitive at every race, so it's not really interesting to talk about races that we're good at and races that we're not good at. We're trying to make sure that we do a good job at each race and what comes out of it at the end comes out of it. We just look at it one race at a time."

All three team bosses appeared to agree to the compromise allowing Toyota to test until the 15th of November. Toyota as considering this compromise.

31-Aug: What the teams and drivers said following Friday practice at Spa ... Report

31-Aug: Belgian Grand Prix - 2nd Friday Practice: Michael Schumacher remains fastest ahead of Jarno Trulli and Rubens Barrichello. Fisichella, Hakkinen and Raikkonen make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes 

31-Aug: Belgian Grand Prix - 1st Friday Practice: Michael Schumacher dominates the session ahead of Jarno Trulli and Rubens Barrichello. Hakkinen, R Schumacher and Alesi make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes

30-Aug: At the Thursday press conference for the Belgian GP, Niki Lauda echoed earlier comments by Bobby Rahal on the differing management styles between the two and said "Well Bobby was a different managing style. I have my 'Austrian' one if you want to say so, and I've done a lot of changes, certainly. But basically it's not so difficult a decision Bobby took in a way because it was in accordance with all of us. Basically he had two businesses: one in the United States and one here. But Formula One, our performance isn't really what it should be. It needs a lot of work, so he decided his priority is in the United States, so he had a very peaceful departure. Nevertheless we will continue with my 'Austrian' way of doing my work."
As for the challenges he his facing with his new role, Lauda said "First you have to learn in life all the time, this is my principle. You should never say you know everything. So this is basically what I have tried to say. So the issue really is to go into all the details because before I was in charge of the whole group, now I'm in charge of the racing team as well as being in charge of the group. So I have to quickly get my hands on the details of the racing team now and make it work."

Willy Rampf explained the reasons behind the competitiveness of the Sauber compared to last season and said "The C20 is a completely new design compared to the C19. I think the only part that we carried over from the C19 were the wheelnuts - the rest is redesigned. Due to the regulations for this year, we had to redefine the aerodynamic package. The target was to have an aerodynamically very efficient car which is what we have now. Also, with the weight reduction programme, as we redesigned each part, we also had to reduce the weight for each part. We have more ballast than we have ever had before.
We had a very tight programme for the development this year. The target is to have a new development for each event, each race, whether a new aero package, a control system like the differential control. Up to now, we are really on schedule; we have new components, new improvements for each race."
Rampf also indicated that the team are well into the design of the 2002 cars and said "Yes, we have started with the new car. We have done a lot of wind tunnel testing now. We have started long term items like the gearbox whose design we have started. The next is now the monocoque; we are basically in the middle of the concept design of the monocoque."

Rubens Barrichello believes that the season has started for him as so far he was there to help Michael and said "For me the season has just started. I think it's a great fight that we're still going to have and I saw a lot of people with the number one cap for Michael saying 'Rubens! Rubens!' It's just starting for me. 
I think the next best is second, so I'm giving my best. I have four races to win the race. It's not very common for you to see the whole team working for two drivers and for you to have Michael who is someone who can help you, because most of the time he is flat out doing his job and most of the time you're there to help him. So now we have four races and that isn't very common so I have to take the best out of that situation and try to win and basically if I finish second, I will be happier than if I finish third."

David Coulthard indicated that while he said that his motivation isn't to finish second, he will do his best to win the remaining races and said "I don't think I said I wasn't interested. I think I said my motivation isn't to finish second. My motivation obviously is to win so when I look at these last four races, it is about trying to be in a position to get ten points out of those individual races and as I said about the championship, it's the result of the job you do in your individual races during the course of the year. If I do the second best job this year, then I finish second. If I don't, then I won't, but it doesn't change the motivation which is to win."
Coulthard also described the Belgian GP as an exciting event and said "I've been thinking about coming here this week, just visualising the track and the enjoyment you get here. There are some quite unique challenges on this track, everyone talks about Eau Rouge because it's a very visually impressive corner for the drivers and the spectators - which actually only adds up to a very small part of the lap time but nonetheless it's a focal point. I think it's an interesting, long lap. The weather side, that other unknown factor, is something that just adds another dimension to the race weekend. We've all stood here in the rain five minutes before the start of the Grand Prix when it's been dry the whole weekend before that so it's quite an exciting race."

Ralf Schumacher indicated that while he never thought that he will be a contender for 2nd this season he will try his best and said "I always felt the driver championship is the most important in Formula One. I think the season has lost some interest, that's quite obvious. We all think - not particularly Michael - but we would have liked to have it open until the end, there's definitely more interest. But for us since we try to finish second - or Rubens desperately tries to finish second! - I'm sure it is interesting for us.
I didn't expect to be in this position, to be fair. Now I am we will try to win it. That's all I can say."
Ralf believes the Eau Rouge is dangerous and said "I've never made a big deal out of it because I thought that Eau Rouge was dangerous but because of the run off. We've had big accidents there before and it's barely hurt people but we get told that it's too difficult to change the run off there. In my opinion it's not enough for a corner like that."
As for the race, Ralf believes he has a good chance unless it is a wet race and said "Power circuit, it's great I think it's always helping us but then we don't find high race track temperature and that's not going to help us. Rain is forecast for Sunday so that's another additional problem as well we have so ... it could work out in our favour if the weather is changeable but if it is raining it's going to be very difficult."

29-Aug: Ayrton Senna has won a record 5 times at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit and this year Michael Schumacher in his 10th appearance has a chance of equalling that record. Jim Clark was the only other driver to have also won 4 times while Juan Manuel Fangio and Damon Hill managed to win 3 times. In addition to Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard are the only current drivers to win here with a win each.
Interestingly, even though Michael Schumacher won 4 times he never started from Pole. In fact he only started once from the front row and that was back in 94.  Juan Manuel Fangio and Ayrton Senna share the most number of Poles with 4 while Graham Hill, Alain Prost and Mika Hakkinen started from Pole 3 times each. Hakkinen actually started from Pole the last 3 years in a row. In addition to Hakkinen, Jacques Villeneuve started from Pole twice while Rubens Barrichello started from Pole once.

McLaren leads Ferrari in the number of Wins 8 to 7. Lotus is third with 5 wins and Williams with 3. McLaren also have the most number of Poles with 8 followed by Ferrari with 7.

In the past 6 years the race ran under wet (or semi-wet) weather conditions 4 times, the most memorable was in '98 when at the start Irvine and Coulthard touched at La Source forcing Coulthard into a spin and because of the spray most of the cars behind couldn't see in front of them and there was mayhem. Luckily no one was badly injured. The weather forecast is for showers all weekend!

29-Aug: Niki Lauda has confirmed that Bobby Rahal did indeed offer Eddie Irvine to Eddie Jordan as a replacement for Heinz Harald Frentzen but he stopped it and said "Bobby did make an approach to Jordan Grand Prix about Eddie Irvine. Bobby defended the issue by saying it was nothing more than joke, but unfortunately jokes like this with existing drivers do not work very well. I stepped in and ended whatever discussion was taking place at the time."
Lauda also confirmed that he will retain the current line-up for 2002 and said "Both drivers will line up for Jaguar Racing next season and nothing will change that I can assure you."
As for the reason Rahal was dismissed, he said "Bobby realised the big operational differences between his CART business in America and his commitments to Jaguar Racing. At the end of the day, Bobby and I agreed that it was impossible for him to manage both businesses simultaneously. We concluded that his priorities were in the United States and that�s what he has gone back to concentrate on."

29-Aug: "Where does Ferrari take it now?" is the title of the 27th issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2001 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the aftermath of the Hungarian Grand Prix and the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix - Issue 27

28-Aug: Who will take 2nd ? - Have Your Say - Topic of the Week Returns!

28-Aug: Outgoing Jaguar Racing boss Bobby Rahal has indicated his disappointment to be leaving Formula 1 before seeing the R3 race next year but is satisfied with what he has in the US and said "I enjoyed so much of my time over there and the biggest disappointment will be not being around to see the new R3 chassis. I believe Steve Nichols and Mark Handford have designed a very good car. I'm looking forward to re-focusing on Team Rahal and Kenny as he tries to win the CART championship. I've got a great thing here and it's refreshing to come back to CART because the ability to compete is so easy compared to F-1 and all the politics.�
Rahal put the reason to leaving Jaguar down to differing management styles between himself and Lauda and said "Niki and I clearly had very different management styles and you can't have one guy doing one thing and the other going another direction. This was surprising, certainly, but I guess people do what they have to do."
He described the Jaguar team as a dysfunctional organisation when he first joined them and said "There is no getting away from the fact that I inherited what was a dysfunctional organization in which people were more concerned about how they were viewed personally than about how the team was viewed." Rahal added that the team needed 2 main things for it to work, an R&D department and a wind-tunnel. None of which the team had.

Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw is pushing for radical changes in the way qualifying is run in Formula 1. He is calling for CART and Super Bike style qualifying where each driver gets only one run on a clear track. He said "It's all too predictable and there is so much emphasis on qualifying, the race is almost over by Saturday afternoon. Hungary was a classic example. If a driver wasn't on the front two rows there was little chance of winning. If qualifying was done in a slightly different way, extra sparkle could be added.
Under my scheme the cars would come out at intervals. They would do their installation lap, their flying one and the slowing-down lap. The action would be non-stop. And the fastest cars would still have an advantage because everyone reckons the track becomes quicker towards the end of a qualifying session. But there would always be the chance someone like Schumacher might get it all wrong and finish well down the field."

28-Aug: "It's Williams Time" The Belgian Grand Prix Preview is now available ... Race Preview

Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix Schedule:

Session Time (Local / GMT) - Current local time
Friday Practice Session 1
Friday Practice Session 2
Saturday Practice Session 1
Saturday Practice Session 2
Qualifying Session
Warm-up Session
11 AM Spa Time / 9 AM GMT
1 PM Spa Time / 11 AM GMT
9 AM Spa Time / 7 AM GMT
10:15 AM Spa Time / 8:15 AM GMT 
1 PM Spa Time / 11 AM GMT
9:30 AM Spa Time / 7:30 AM GMT 
2 PM Spa Time / 12 PM GMT
Go to the Belgian GP Page

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