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Testing Roundup 4/2/01

Will the new regulations make
a difference - Have Your Say
Testing is totally inconclusive!
Issue 1 - The Heretic

February 6 - 11 2001News 

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11-Feb: Jacques Villeneuve appears to have found the setup he was looking for on the BAR as he sets the fastest at Kyalami. He was three tenths of a second faster than Juan Pablo Montoya who for the first time manages to better his team-mate Ralf Schumacher in the 2001 Williams.
Jacques Villeneuve covered the most number of laps with 89 followed by Juan Pablo Montoya with 61 and Ralf Schumacher with 53.
Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

At Estoril it was a Prost day with both regular drivers Gaston Mazzacane and Jean Alesi topping the timesheets as well as test driver Pedro de la Rosa. Jenson Button was the only other driver testing at Estoril for Benetton.
Surprisingly it was Gaston Mazzacane who set the fastest time of the day ahead 0.2 seconds ahead of Jean Alesi while Pedro de la Rosa was third under a second slower than Alesi in his first ever test for the Prost team. Jenson Button suffered mechanical problems as he tests the new B201 for the first time. He was almost a second off the pace.

Click here for the timed results 

11-Feb: Following two days of testing on a damp track, Rubens Barrichello has finally managed to test the F2001 in the dry. He successfully completed 63 laps with no technical problems. He set a best time of 1:25.739.
Barrichello said following the test "I am pleased with the work we have done today. I finally managed to run continuously on a dry circuit, thus increasing my confidence with the new car. Tomorrow, I will be at Fiorano for a test with the F1-2000 and then on Tuesday, I will return to Mugello to continue development work with the F2001." 

Click here for the timed results

At Valencia, Mika Hakkinen continues to set the pace setting a time below the 1:14 mark. McLaren test driver Alexander Wurz was second with Jos Verstappen third over 1.5 seconds off the pace.
3 teams were present with 6 drivers setting lap times. Alexander Wurz covered the most number of laps with 77 in the hybrid McLaren MP 4/15K followed by Mika Hakkinen with 57 laps in the McLaren MP 4/16 and Luciano Burti with 54 laps in the Jaguar R2.
Enrique Bernoldi had his first test in the Arrows A22, he completed 25 laps and managed to set a time three tenths slower than his team-mate Jos Verstappen in the A21.
Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

11-Feb: is pleased to announce 6 'n' Pole. An exciting new competition that challenges your powers of prediction. Take the challenge. 

10-Feb: Jean Alesi continues the impressive form that the new Prost AP04 is showing. Once again he set the fastest time ahead of Jenson Button in the B200 and team-mate Gaston Mazzacane. Giancarlo Fisichella was 4th in the new Benetton B201 just under a second off the pace..
Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

The times continue to drop at Kyalami as Ralf Schumacher set the fastest time ahead of team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya. Jacques Villeneuve was third in the sole BAR.
Jacques Villeneuve covered the most number of laps with 85 followed by Juan Pablo Montoya with 65 and Ralf Schumacher with 60.
Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

10-Feb: A mainly wet track has forced Ferrari to delay their intended long run in the F2001 with Rubens Barrichello driving. Instead, Barrichello concentrated on setup. He completed a total of 25 laps with a best time of 1:31.665.
Barrichello will continue testing tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results

McLaren have setup camp at Valencia arriving 2 days prior to the launch of their car on the 7th of February and remaining at the track until the 14th. Today, Jaguar have started testing here as well as Arrows who left Estoril due to bad weather. 
Mika Hakkinen set the fastest time of the day in the MP 4/16 (2001) ahead of Alexander Wurz in the MP 4/15K (hybrid). Luciano Burti was third while Enrique Bernoldi and Jos Verstappen were 4th and 5th both running a few laps as they prepare their cars for tomorrow.
3 teams were present with 5 drivers setting lap times. Luciano Burti covered the most number of laps with 55 followed by Alexander Wurz with 52 and Mika Hakkinen with 36.
Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

9-Feb: Rubens Barrichello got his first taste of the F2001 today. It was a rainy day at Mugello so Barrichello tested wet and intermediate tyres. He covered a total of 44 laps with a best time of 1:32.656.
Barrichello said "I am pleased to have tried the new car for the first time, the first impressions are good. The car seems very stable in the fast corners and handles well in the wet. Compared with last year's car it might seem a little bit harder to drive because of the changes to the technical regulations. Tomorrow we plan to do a long run if the weather is good enough."
Testing continues tomorrow.

Olivier Panis was fastest on the second day of testing at Kyalami ahead of Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya. Panis set a time that is the fastest since testing at this track resumed in February 99.
Olivier Panis also covered a massive 107 laps which was more than what both Williams cars managed to do. Ralf Schumacher's day was disrupted by a routine engine change as he did 61 laps while Juan Pablo Montoya went off the circuit in the afternoon damaging the front wing of his car. He covered 42 laps.
Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

Bad weather has forced the cancellation of testing at Estoril on day 3. Low cloud and rain prevented the safety helicopter from flying resulting in the cancellation of the test for today. The Arrows team have decided to move to Valencia due to the continuing bad weather conditions at Estoril. They will start testing on Sunday joining McLaren with Jaguar joining in as well. 

Click here for the timed results 

9-Feb: The European Minardi F1 team shookdown their 2001 contender at the Vairano track in Italy. The team also presented the European Minardi F3000 as well as the 2 seater European Minardi F1. While newly signed Spaniard Fernando Alonso drove the F1 car, Dutchman Christian Albers drove the F3000 and team owner Paul Stoddart himself drove the 2 seater. 
Stoddard said that the team is working round the clock to ensure that the 2 Minardi cars will be ready in time for Melbourne and added "Today�s programme just served to remind us all of the business we�re in, which is motor racing. Like all top sports, it requires high levels of expertise and a lot of hard work to achieve success, but it also requires passion and dedication. I sensed all of those elements were here today, and that makes me optimistic for the future. "
The team also announced that Andrea Piccini will be their F1 test driver as well as one of their F3000 drivers. This will be Piccini's third F3000 season and will be hoping to move to Formula 1 in the future. Piccini said "I am very pleased to be driving for European Minardi F3000. The team finished third in the championship last year in only its first full year of competition and that indicates to me it is a strong, well-run organization capable of preparing winning cars. It is also very important for my career that I start preparing for Formula One, so the opportunity to become an official test driver for the European Minardi F1 team is very exciting. "
Piccini finished 20th overall last year in F3000 driving for the Kid Jensen Racing team.

The Jaguar team did not set quick times in the recent tests with the new R2 but Bobby Rahal is not concerned. He indicated that they haven't gone for lap times and are mainly concentrating on reliability and hopes to pick up points by just being there at the end.  Rahal added "The first thing as I say is to have the reliability, and really make sure the thing is going to run and finish the race. All the speed in the world doesn�t matter if you�re not out there at the end. You can never feel 100 per cent confident, but I feel fairly comfortable with where we are on the reliability standpoint." As for where Michelin stands against Bridgestone, Rahal believes that they will be very close and said "I just get a sneaking feeling that we�re going to be closer than everybody is trying to make out. I have no illusion that there are going to be good days and bad days. Our race is with Williams and Benetton, and if it�s a good tyre on a given weekend that means we�re up front.�

Following the launch of McLaren's 2001 contender, the MP 4/16, David Coulthard has indicated that he is more focused than ever to win the championship this year. He has even decided to put his personal plans on hold in the hope of remaining fully focused on the job and said "To do the job properly doesn't allow a great deal of time for other things so my main focus this year is to get the maximum out of myself driving the car and working with the team, and that means that planning weddings and other social events are on the back burner. With each year I gain confidence and a renewed focus. For me, it's only about winning. What makes me happy is that I've won a Grand Prix and I know I've performed at a high level. That's the only thing that motivates me to get out of bed in the morning. I really feel positive about the year ahead and I'm reaching a good point in my life as I approach my 30th birthday in March. I do feel confident about this season. Ourselves and Ferrari should have the edge over the others. But even with that I know I have still got to beat Michael and Mika to have any chance of the championship. But I proved I could do that last year but I just need to do it on a consistent basis this season."

8-Feb: Michael Schumacher concluded his testing at Mugello setting a time of 1:24.660 covering only 35 laps after his car suffered an oil leak forcing an engine change. At the end of the session he was happy with the way things were and also hinted that he may extend his contract beyond 2002 after Ferrari confirmed that Todt, Brawn, Martinelli and Byrne will remain until the end of 2004. Schumacher said "At the moment I am reasonably happy with the way the development of the car is progressing. Even today, despite the odd hiccup, we have accumulated further information on its handling. The fact Jean Todt and the engineers have extended their contract? It is an important decision for the whole team, because it guarantees stability for several years and that is fundamental if we are to start a new era. It might have an influence over a possible lengthening of my own contract with the Scuderia, but it is too early to talk about that."
Rubens Barrichello gets to test the F2001 at Mugello tomorrow for the first time as he takes over from Michael.

Click here for the timed results 

For the third year in a row, Williams and BAR have moved to South Africa for a 6 day test session. With 40 degree temperatures, it is the ideal location to test ahead of the Australian GP. On the first day of testing Ralf Schumacher was fastest ahead of Montoya and Panis. All driver were running 2001 specification cars. Juan Pablo Montoya managed cover the most number of laps with 47 followed by Ralf Schumacher with 40 and Olivier Panis with 29.
Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

Jean Alesi has broken the lap record at the Estoril circuit since testing resumed at the track in 2000. He slashed over a second off the fastest lap in 2000 set by Jenson Button in the Williams. Enrique Bernoldi was second while Benetton's test driver Mark Webber was third. Both Bernoldi and Webber were testing 2000 specification cars.
3 teams were present with 5 drivers setting lap times. Enrique Bernoldi covered a total of 84 laps followed by Mark Webber with 40 and Giancarlo Fisichella with 34. Jos Verstappen did the least number of laps in the 2001 Arrows as his car had a hydraulics problem.
Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

The McLaren team continues to test privately at Valencia with no test times available while the Jordan team has concluded a 2 test session at Silverstone on the 7th and 8th. Ricardo Zonta tested both EJ11 cars however on both days the testing was limited to a few laps mainly due to the bad weather conditions. No time were available from the test. The Jordan team move to Valencia starting Monday (12/2)

7-Feb: Michael Schumacher continued testing the F2001 at the Mugello track. He covered a total of 56 laps with a best time of 1:24.579 which is slightly faster than yesterday's time. The team concentrated on the car development.
Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

Ferrari have confirmed that Director of the Gestione Sportiva Jean Todt will remain with the team until the end of 2004. The team also confirmed that Technical Director Ross Brawn, Director of the Engine department Paolo Martinelli and Chief Designer Rory Byrne will remain at Ferrari until the end of 2004

Following the launch of the new car, David Coulthard drove the car at the Valencia circuit however due to a clutch problem his running was limited to just 10 laps. During the launch, Ron Dennis indicated that the car had run 500 kilometres in the last 2 days prior to the launch trouble free.

On the first day of testing at Estoril, Arrows driver Enrique Bernoldi set the fastest time of the day ahead of Jean Alesi, Jos Verstappen and Giancarlo Fisichella.
Track conditions were not ideal with intermittent rain falling on the track throughout the day.
3 teams were present with 4 drivers setting lap times. Giancarlo Fisichella covered the most number of laps with 67 in the new B201 followed by both Bernoldi and Alesi with 63 laps each. 
All drivers present drove 2001 specification cars except for Bernoldi who was over a second and a half faster than anyone else.
Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

7-Feb: The McLaren Mercedes team has become the latest to launch their 2001 contender. The MP4/16 powered by an all new Mercedes engine was unveiled at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia. The team had finished work on the car early and brought it to the track on Sunday. David Coulthard covered over 100 laps on Monday and Tuesday without any problems.
Team boss, Ron Dennis said at the launch "We finished the car early and brought it here on Sunday night. We have done 500 kilometres since Monday morning, absolutely without problems. The car is reasonably competitive and it has not stopped so far. We have put a huge effort into this year's car. Even Norbert Haug (Mercedes Sports Director) has become more aerodynamic, having removed his moustach."
Technical Director, Adrian Newey described the changes made to the car as a result of the new regulations as 'pretty huge' and said "
The overall knock-on effect of the package of regulation changes through the car is pretty huge. It has really meant that next year's car will have very little to do with this year's. Superficially, it looks similar, but it is be quite a different car."
Mika Hakkinen indicated that he is more determined than ever to regain the title he lost last year and said "Even at the end of December, I still felt the bitterness of losing the title but nothing has changed in our battle on the track. If you win the championship, you don't get any quicker. You can only drive at your limit. I believe 100% in the work of Adrian Newey, and that works both ways. The relationship is so strong between us."
David Coulthard who had the chance of driving the car over the last 2 days said "
That is the best first run I've had in F1. The basic pace is there. I saw the lap times and I thought: 'Wow, if we're doing that already, we're in good shape. The new car has more downforce than we thought, so it felt relatively good. Even on harder tyres, we have taken a step forward."
McLaren will continue testing the MP4/16 at Valencia with Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard.

European Minardi F1 have announced their first driver for the 2001 season. As expected, Spaniard Fernando Alonso will be the team's first driver. Alonso finished 4th in last year's F3000 series and won at Spa. European Minardi F1 boss Paul Stoddart said "We've had our eye on Fernando for some time, and we are delighted to have signed him. Any driver who can come into the ultra-competitive world of Formula 3000 and, in only his second season of single seater racing, win at a circuit like Spa, is clearly a bit special. He is going to be a great addition to the team, and I know he will help us hit some of the ambitious targets we are setting for European Minardi F1."

Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA are in dispute over Ecclestone payment of TV rights to the FIA. Bernie Ecclestone accused Max Mosley and the FIA of trying to extort money from him and said "Max likes to argue more than I do. These reports are anything but true. Max has been trying to do some extortion. He wants the money to be paid immediately, but he has no right to do that."
However, the FIA have released a statement by President Max Mosley demanding that Ecclestone pay immediately. The statement read "There is no question of extorting money from Mr. Ecclestone. We are just trying to get his family trust to keep to their undertaking to agree a contract and make an initial payment of $60 million. This should all have been done last July. We have now informed them that if they don�t complete immediately, the next FIA General Assembly (on 22 March) may decide to make other arrangements. This seems to me entirely reasonable."

6-Feb: Michael Schumacher continued testing today at the Mugello circuit today driving the F2001. Following a troubled day yesterday, Schumacher managed to complete 74 laps on the circuit setting a best time of 1:24.657. This time is over half a second slower than the best time set by Schumacher last year but Schumacher commented that they concentrating on setup rather than speed and said "Today, we tried different set-ups in order to gather data on how the car reacts. We were not trying to set quick times. Our main aim was data acquisition. Yesterday we had some problems with the fuel feed system, which have now been resolved, these things happen at this point in the season."
Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

After being replaced by Enrique Bernoldi at the Arrows team, Pedro de la Rosa has joined the Prost team as a reserve and test driver. Alain Prost was delighted with the announcement and said "I am delighted to welcome Pedro to our team at the eve of a very promising season. I am confident that his experience in Formula One, as well as the talent he has already shown in the past, will be an important support to Jean and Gaston, and will contribute to the achievement of the team�s ambitions.

6-Feb: Benetton have launched their 2001 challenger, the B201 at St. Mark's Square in Venice. The car was presented to the media in spectacular fashion from behind a wall of water, then the wall of water descended showing the new Benetton B201.
The President of Renault Sport, Patrick Faure explained the teams approach and said "2001 will be above all a year of adjustment and transition. It is a year in which we will strengthen and develop the team and will test new solutions, particularly the RS21 engine, which represents a great technological leap forward in terms of compactness, weight & efficiency. Technological research and innovation are the very essence of Formula 1. In order to win, new creative solutions are needed new engines and new aerodynamics but also new creative partners"
Benetton's Managing Director, Flavio Briatore added "Winning the championship in 2001 is not our goal. Our goal is to put the right people with the right tools and put a development programme in place to lay the foundations for our future challenge. We have carried out a significant recruitment programme that began in 2000 and will bear fruit throughout 2001, to get the people necessary to make a championship-winning team. A key advantage for the team is that we have Renault Sport UK in Enstone and Renault Sport France in Viry, where the teams work closely together to fully homologate the car. We also have the might of Renault offering all the technical support we need."
Benetton regular drivers, Giancarlo Fisichella and Jenson Button were present as well as test driver Mark Webber.

The Chairman of Jaguar, Wolfgang Reitzle announced today that Niki Lauda will head the Premier Performance Division which groups Jaguar Racing, Cosworth Racing and Pi Electronics. Neil Ressler, the Chairman of Jaguar Racing is retiring due to personal reasons.
Lauda will start immediately and has signed a contract that runs until 2003.

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