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2001 Season Review 
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Michael Schumacher's 2001 Ferrari Die Cast
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6 - 31 December News  
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30-Dec: The Heretic reviews the 2001 Season - Issue 33

29-Dec: It was reported earlier this month that Ferrari may opt for using their 2001 car for the first 3 races of the 2002 season due to the limited amount of testing available until the 1st race in Melbourne. Michael Schumacher recently indicated that the 2002 Ferrari will have a brand new engine and chassis and hopes to use it in Australia for the first race of the season. He added that they are more prepared for the upcoming season that they were this time last year.

28-Dec: With the uncertainty continuing to surround the Prost team, Heinz Harald Frentzen is looking more likely to sign for another team in 2002. The Arrows team is the most likely candidate. Rumours have it that he has already signed for Arrows, a claim that he denies but indicated that a decision will be made soon. It is expected that Frentzen will take Verstappen's seat with Verstappen going to Minardi.

25-Dec: Seasons greetings from to all our readers. Wishing you a happy, peaceful, prosperous and exciting year ahead. 
Thank you for making your source for Formula 1 news.

24-Dec: The rumours of Jacques Villeneuve leaving BAR continue. At the team launch on the 18th of this month, Villeneuve was clearly unhappy with the news that his close friend Craig Pollock was told to go. Even though he indicated that he will be driving for BAR next season as contractually he has to, he did indicate that if it was physically possible to walk away he would. It appears now that a Villeneuve - Button swap is a possibility. Villeneuve is unhappy with BAR and Renault's boss Flavio Briatore had serious negotiations with Villeneuve a number of times in the last couple of years. Briatore is also not too happy with Button's performance in 2001 and Button will return to Williams at the end of 2002 anyway. The sticking point though is whether Villeneuve can get out of his contract at this stage and would Renault be willing to pay Villeneuve similar to what he is getting paid at BAR. 
Even if another competitive drive is not available and the car is not competitive, Villeneuve may elect to walk away. BAR's test driver Darren Manning has hinted at that possibility when he said "Jacques still has a year to run on his contract, but if he decides to leave now I'd have enough time to get ready for the start of the season. I like a challenge and feel I have what it takes. All I need is the chance to prove myself. I would love to be given the chance to race with BAR and I think I could be just as good as Jenson Button or Kimi Raikkonen."

21-Dec: The Australian Grand Prix remains provisional in the 2002 calendar even though it is the first race of the season. This is due to the Coroner's investigation into the death of race marshal Graham Beveridge at the 2001 event. A two week hearing has been completed and while the Coroner's recommendations won't be released until the middle of January, he has indicated that the safety measures recommended would be possible to implement before the event starts on the 28th of February.
Race organisers have already indicated that the fences would be made higher and the race marshals would be placed in safe locations around the track. 
Beveridge was killed when a wheel flying from Jacques Villeneuve car went through an opening in the fence and struck him.

Alain Prost has admitted that his chances of making it to Melbourne are getting slimmer by the day. He indicated that the September 11 attack have caused Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal to call off the deal to buy a stake in the team. He added that there are still a number of investors interested but they are taking a cautious approach and said "There is a real problem today, especially when you know that advertising budgets have been cut by 40 per cent. Our situation is not very different from that of other teams, except that we are really in need of immediate funding and the timing is very unfavourable. We are dealing with people who are taking a very long time and being very cautious."
He has called for television rights to be distributed more evenly across the teams so that smaller teams have a better chance of survival and said "The revenues from television rights should be distributed differently to give a better chance to teams like ours. The sponsors keep hearing from the media that only the large car makers will make it, so naturally they do not come to us."

20-Dec: Following the announcement at the BAR 2002 car launch that Honda extended their partnership with BAR for 3 more years, the Jordan team issued a statement re-affirming that Honda intends to continue supplying the team with 'works' engines. The statement read "Jordan Grand Prix has just completed the first year of a three-year contract with Honda. At a meeting of the two companies last Friday, both parties re-affirmed their commitment to this agreement. An option exists for the supply to be extended for 2004 and 2005 and this will be discussed at the appropriate time.
Eddie Jordan, Chief Executive of Jordan Grand Prix said: �Today�s announcement and our own contract confirms Honda�s total commitment to Formula 1 for the long term which is good for the sport and for both Jordan and BAR. Honda has an unrivalled record in Formula 1, and from 2002 will be putting even more resources into the programme. Much is made of the rivalry between Jordan and BAR; it is a challenge which I think we both enjoy and it is certainly a great motivator for all of us. I feel confident that Jordan will soon deliver Honda its first victory of this engagement on Formula 1.'"

McLaren have denied rumours that they are planning to start the 2002 season with the 2001 car. A spokesperson for the team indicated that they have every intention of starting the season with the 2002 car. Recent reports indicated that the new McLaren has a design flaw that may prevent them for having it ready in time for Melbourne. The team spokesperson pointed out that for the last 2 years McLaren have started preparing for the new season with a hybrid car that contains new and old components.
There have been earlier reports that Ferrari may also start the season with the 2001 car due to the limited amount of testing available during the off-season.

Niki Lauda has indicated that he wants to test drive the new Jaguar R3 with the intention of getting a better understanding of how it works and said "I want to understand the car better, to see how it works. My goal is not to go faster than Eddie Irvine or Pedro de la Rosa. I'm only interested in the technical details."
Jaguar are scheduled to launch the R3 on the 4th of January.

19-Dec: Jacques Villeneuve has indicated that he won't be driven by emotions following the departure of Craig Pollock from BAR. Villeneuve added that as a professional he has a contract to race for the team and he intends to do just that and said "I have a contract with the team and I intend to be at the first race. It would be stupid to make any decision at an emotional time. If I could physically walk out I would, but I have a contract. Last year I worked really hard and made a lot of changes. We will see how these changes are coming along this year."
Villeneuve vowed to race as hard as ever next year and not to let anyone in the team down and said "I will race as hard next year as I have always done. I am a racer and the motivation is still there. Craig was a big part of me staying with this team, he made me believe they could be competitive. But there are also a lot of other people who I have worked hard with for a long time here and I will not drop them."
Villeneuve admits that it will be hard for him to find a drive with a top team given the results he has achieved in the last 3 years but is hoping that the BAR 004 will be a winner and said "If you don't want to be somewhere then there are other teams you can try and go to. Of course, after a few years of bad results, then it gets more and more difficult to find a welcoming house. But there's still some good things to do with this team so we'll have to wait and see in January if the car is capable of doing it or not. We shall have to wait and see how things gel as to whether we have a winning car."
He refuses to get excited about the new car though and hopes to be pleasantly surprised when he drives it in January and said "We will know in January what is possible with the car. Every other year we were hyper-positive even before Christmas and then we started testing and we were a little bit less positive. And then at the start of the season we ended up being disappointed so, this time, I want to wait until I sit in the car and be happily surprised."

18-Dec: At the launch of the 2002 contender BAR, Jacques Villeneuve has indicated that the news of Craig Pollock leaving the team would be difficult  to digest and said "I only found out recently. I haven't had time to think about it or react to the news. It's probably better this way, not too much time to think and get happy or angry. It's been tough for three years, it's been very tough and there have been changes before and every change is unsettling. This one is definitely the most difficult for me to digest. Only time will tell if its for the best or worse."
Newly appointed Team Principal David Richards has indicated that Pollock will remain with the team as a shareholder and board member. Pollock will also take over Jacques Villeneuve's management. 
Richards also emphasised the importance of Villeneuve to the BAR team but it remains to be seen whether Villeneuve will stick with BAR or pursue other interests with Pollock.

18-Dec: British American Racing became the second Formula 1 team to launch their 2002 contender. BAR after the surprise announcement that team Principal Craig Pollock was stepping down, today the team announced that David Richards (Chairman of Prodrive and ex Benetton Team Principal) takes over. In addition they announced an extension to their partnership with Honda for 3 more years squashing the rumours that Honda were planning to end their partnership with BAR at the end of this season.

The BAR 004 is designed by Malcolm Oastler running a completely new Honda engine, the RA002E which is said to have a lower centre of gravity, more power and smaller and lighter than it's predecessor.
Mr Ogawa, Honda�s Head of Racing Technology Development
, said: "We would like to thank Craig Pollock for all his support and effort over the past two years. 
The 2002 BAR - BAR 004

We also wish David Richards every success in his new position. For 2002 we introduce a brand new engine � the RA002E � and on the chassis side we are strengthening our commitment with our new long-term agreement with B.A.R."
Team Principal Designate David Richards
said: "With today�s announcements B.A.R can move forward with a secure future based on strong partnerships. For my part I will be carefully assessing the situation over the next month before making any necessary changes."

BAR also announced that they have signed French Formula 3 Champion Japanese Ryo Fukuda as their test driver in addition to their 2001 test drivers Anthony Davidson, Darren Manning and Patrick Lemarie.

2002 Lucky Strike BAR Honda Page

17-Dec: The newest team in Formula 1 was the first to launch their 2002 contender in Cologne. The Panasonic Toyota Racing TF102 will be driven next year by Mika Salo and Allan McNish. The target for the team in 2002 is to do a reasonable job. 

Tsutomu Tomita, Chairman of Toyota Motorsport and Managing Director of Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan, said: "We are extremely pleased to make Toyota's first ever race car debut today. Though we have only just climbed over one of many hurdles we will face during our F1 challenge, we want to share the joy and excitement of the completion of the car with all of our partners and Toyota members.  The 2002 Toyota F1 - TF102

We are committed to challenging in F1 with determination. Through our endeavour, we wish to convey the excitement of Formula 1 races to the fans around the globe."

Toyota Motorsport President Ove Andersson said "I think our main target for next year will be to learn, and to try to gain respect within the F1 paddock. We want to be a team that at the end of next year everybody will say, 'They came, and we think they did a reasonable job.' That's my target for the first year."
Chief Designer Gustav Brunner said "The car we tested in 2001 was designed to be a test car and nothing more. It served that purpose very well. The 2002 race car is a more conventional but state-of-the-art car. Even though our design and build time was very short we still managed to meet our deadlines and create the new car in time."

Since the launch of its test car in March 2001, the team has visited 11 of the current F1 venues worldwide, in addition to Toyota's home testing base at Paul Ricard in France. In the eight-month period to November 2001, the test cars had clocked up 20,967 kilometres or over 3,000 laps.

The team will initially test the new car at the Paul Ricard Circuit and then move to Barcelona where they will test for the first time with other Formula 1 teams.

Toyota have yet to announce their official test driver for 2002.

2002 Panasonic Toyota Racing Page

17-Dec: In a surprise announcement on the eve of their 2002 car launch, British American Racing and Craig Pollock have parted ways. A statement issued by BAR read "Craig Pollock today announced that he is stepping down as Managing Director and Team Principal of British American Racing. Craig has decided to pursue other interests.
The Team intends to announce the identity of Craig's successor at the new car launch on Tuesday 18 December.
Kenneth Clarke, B.A.R Chairman, commented: "We are all grateful to Craig for his contribution to the Team since its inception. He has been pivotal in enabling B.A.R to become one of the most successful start-up teams in recent Formula One history."
Craig Pollock commented: "I am extremely proud of what has been achieved at British American Racing. I believe the foundations have been laid for great success. All the staff have been fantastic to work with and I wish the Team every success for the future. For my part I think the time is now right to explore new opportunities."

It is not clear how this will affect BAR's star driver Jacques Villeneuve who in the past indicated that he would leave if Pollock leaves. 
Pollock and Villeneuve were both participants at the Grand Prix 24hr de Tremblant Ski marathon over the weekend.

16-Dec: Mercedes Motorsport boss Norbert Haug believes that we could have a 4-way fight for the title in 2002 and indicated that as we've seen the Williams team challenge in '01, we could see a fourth team challenging for the title. While he didn't state who he thinks this 4th team would be he indicated that Toyota will surprise a few people as they have massive financial resources.
As for the title favourites, he believes that it is Michael Schumacher and Ferrari.

14-Dec: The World Motor Sport Council has confirmed the British and San Marino GP's. The British GP appeared in doubt but it appears that the organisers have convinced the FIA to give them another chance. The FIA statement read "Following detailed undertakings given by the representatives of MSA (the British National Sporting Authority) and Octagon Motorsports (the Promoter of the British Grand Prix), and after examining the conclusions of the 2001 British Grand Prix traffic inquiry, the World Motor Sport Council decided to confirm the British Grand Prix in the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship."
The FIA President in recommending the inclusion of the British Grand Prix on the 2002 Formula One Calendar, said he had received assurances from the local authorities and the two chiefs of the police regarding the planning applications and traffic management.
He had also received a very clear commitment from the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Sports Minister Richard Caborn to the increasing importance of the British Grand Prix to the country both as an International sport and as an example of British technology at its best.
Max Mosley, President of the FIA, said: "After the broken promises of recent years from the organisers of the British Grand Prix, the FIA has now received binding commitments from them that the chaos experienced by Motor Sport fans in recent years will be properly addressed in time for next year's Grand Prix.
The FIA World Motor Sport Council was particularly reassured by the direct intervention of the Prime Minister and his Sports Minister.
The FIA Formula One World Championship is the biggest annual global sporting event, and it is essential that in the United Kingdom, as in any other country, the highest standards for spectators are provided; I feel that for the first time the FIA has received the comprehensive commitments necessary to deliver for the fans."

The Australian GP remains provisional subject to the Coroner�s inquiry into the fatal accident during the 2001 Australian Grand Prix.

13-Dec: Heinz Harald Frentzen has indicated that he had further discussion with the Arrows team but nothing has been finalised yet regarding a drive for next season.
Frentzen still hopes to be driving for Prost but as the team is currently in receivership they might not be able to afford him. If Arrows do offer Frentzen a drive, he will most likely replace Verstappen and partner Bernoldi due to Red Bull's sponsorship of Bernoldi.  

Following Jac Nasser's departure from Ford, there have been speculations regarding the future of the Jaguar Formula 1 team, however Ford's Marketing Chief Judith McMahon has indicated that Jaguar Racing will continue to receive full backing from Ford and said "We are absolutely certain there will be no change in future strategy. This was made absolutely clear that Ford will continue to give Jaguar complete support."

12-Dec: Renault have announced the 4 drivers who will be appointed to their Renault Driver Development Programme. An expert panel selected the 4 drivers following a 2-day test at Estoril.
The 4 selected were: Eric Salignon from France, Robert Kubica from Poland, Fabio Carbone from Brazil and Carlo Van Dam from Holland.
The four drivers will compete in different categories with Salignon and Kubica in the Formula Renault Eurocup. Carbone will race in F3 and Van Dam in Go Kart Super A. 

Bruno Michel, the Programme Manager indicated that the selection was difficult due to the high skill of the participants and said "All the candidates who attended the test were extremely talented and motivated. It was therefore a difficult choice for us, based not only on driving skills, but also maturity, adaptability and the ability to realise their potential."

11-Dec: Sergio Rinland, the former Sauber designer who is credited for the impressive 2001 Sauber believes that Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen could be the next Senna and said "I saw it in his eyes, I looked in his eyes and I thought 'I've seen this look before' and I know where I saw that look before and it gave me goosebumps when I remembered that look. It was Senna."
Rinland believes that in a few years the fight for the championship will be between Raikkonen, Montoya, Alonso and possibly Ralf Schumacher.
Rinland who is now the Chief Designer at Arrows is hoping for major improvements over last year and has set his target to beat Jaguar as the two teams will be using identical engines supplied by Cosworth.

9-Dec: Ralf Schumacher has indicated the he will be trying all what he can to try and win more races in 2002 and that includes wearing glasses but concedes that his brother Michael is the Title favourite. Ralf will be trying to race with glasses next season as he feels better with them and said "My eyesight really is still fine but I tried driving with glasses last week and it seems to be much better. It just allows me to see things a little better and in Formula One that is essential. The thing now is to try them in testing and get used to them for the season.
Hopefully the glasses can help me close the gap on Michael a little bit so I can win more races but Michael is definitely favourite for the title again."

8-Dec: The Minardi team will have the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur as their title sponsors in 2002 with the team's name to become KL Minardi AsiaTech.
The Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad
said of the announcement "This is the next stage in our strategy to promote Malaysia to the world, with Kuala Lumpur as the gateway and using motorsport as a primary vehicle. We have enjoyed marked success in building the awareness and image of our country through various racing-related programs since 1995. Now we are turning to motorsport again to assist in direct development of inward investment by creating a platform for Malysian companies, destinations and events to reach potential customers around the world.�
Paul Stoddard
said "We will work on a four-year program to share equal opportunities for kids of tomorrow to see their talents in F1. Perhaps now they don�t have a chance but we will have a program to see that they are given a chance.�
Stoddart also confirmed that Alex Yoong will drive for the team next year and said "As the first Malaysian F1 driver to make his debut in F1 with our team in the last three races of the 2001 F1 World Championship, Alex Yoong will have a full season with the team next year."
Minardi will unveil their new image in Kuala Lumpur next month with the new livery expected to be unveiled in early February

7-Dec: The FIA have reverted to the 'more common' numbering system for 2002 after a number of teams requested that numbers are given based on the team's finishing position from the previous season. 
The first list by the FIA had all the cars with the same numbers as last year (except for Toyota who are new entrants). This system was used until a few years ago where the teams have set numbers except for the Champions who take the numbers 1 and 2.
The modified provisional list becomes:

Number Driver Team Make
1 M Schumacher Scuderia Marlboro Ferrari Ferrari
2 R Barrichello Scuderia Marlboro Ferrari Ferrari
3 D Coulthard West McLaren Mercedes McLaren Mercedes
4 K Raikkonen West McLaren Mercedes McLaren Mercedes
5 R Schumacher BMW Williams F1 Team Williams BMW
6 JP Montoya BMW Williams F1 Team Williams BMW
7 Nick Heidfeld Sauber Petronas Sauber Petronas
8 Felipe Massa Sauber Petronas Sauber Petronas
9 Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan Honda Jordan Honda
10 Takuma Sato Jordan Honda Jordan Honda
11 Jacques Villeneuve Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR Honda
12 Olivier Panis Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR Honda
14 Jarno Trulli Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault
15 Jenson Button Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault
16 Eddie Irvine Jaguar Racing Jaguar Cosworth
17 Pedro de la Rosa Jaguar Racing Jaguar Cosworth
18 TBA TBA Prost TBA Prost TBA
19 TBA TBA Prost TBA Prost TBA
20 TBA Orange Arrows Arrows Cosworth
21 TBA Orange Arrows Arrows Cosworth
22 TBA TBA Minardi Asiatech Minardi Asiatech
23 TBA TBA Minardi Asiatech Minardi Asiatech
24 Mika Salo Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota
25 Allan McNish Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota

TBA: To be announced.
Drivers can be nominated/changed up until 4 PM on the 28th of February 2002

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