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Testing Roundup 16/2    

Will the new regulations make  
a difference - Have Your Say  
The 2001 Season Preview  
Issue 2 - The Heretic  

February 16 - 20 News   

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20-Feb: Ferrari have concluded their testing at Mugello earlier than originally scheduled. Michael Schumacher covered 41 laps with a best time of 1:24.157. The test was cut short following a problem with the gearbox.
Luca Badoer will now shakedown the F2001 cars before shipping to Australia.
Michael Schumacher returns to Fiorano for more testing on the F1-2000.

Click here for the timed results

At Silverstone, 4 teams were present for the final test before departing to Australia. Heinz Harald Frentzen set the fastest time and was almost 2 seconds ahead of Jos Verstappen. His time was the fastest so far this year.
Frentzen also covered the most number of laps with 24 ahead of Eddie Irvine with 20 and Jos Verstappen with 14. Jenson Button testing the second B201 covered just 9 laps and was more than 7 seconds slower than Frentzen.
Track time was limited due to thick fog in the morning and several car failures in the afternoon interrupting the session.
Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results

Following Jaguar's confirmation that Pedro de la Rosa had in fact signed with them as a test driver, the Prost team issued a statement indicating their intention to exercise their rights against Pedro. The statement said "We learn, with a strong disapproval, the finalisation of a test driver�s agreement between Pedro de La Rosa and Jaguar. We regret this signature, made in spite of our formal warnings to the different parties involved. We have an agreement giving us exclusive rights on the test driver's services of Mr Pedro de la Rosa. This is public knowledge. Mr de la Rosa himself declared it on several occasions, and even began the execution of this agreement on the test track. We intend to exercise our rights against him as well as against his representatives and agents and if necessary against our competitor. For us it is mainly a question of having the interests of our Team respected, both on principle and for professional ethics and because of the prejudice suffered by our company which wrongly preferred, some weeks ago, Mr de la Rosa to other candidates."

20-Feb: Jaguar Racing have confirmed earlier reports that ex Arrows driver Pedro de la Rosa has joined the team as their test driver. Pedro de la Rosa has signed a one year testing contract with the possibility of a driver seat the following year. Jaguar CEO Bobby Rahal said "Pedro demonstrated in 2000 that he was a quick and able driver, and his input to the team will be invaluable as we develop the Jaguar R2 F1 car over the course of the coming season. By signing Pedro, we are sending out a signal of our intent to develop Jaguar Racing into a championship-winning team of the future." 
Pedro de la Rosa lost his seat at Arrows to Enrique Bernoldi at the end of last month (story). He then joined the Prost team (story) on the 6th of February and test drove their AP04 at Estoril before suddenly joining the Jaguar team.

Click here of the 2001 Line-up & Launch Dates  

20-Feb: Formula 1 teams are working around the clock preparing their cars for the first race of the season in Melbourne, Australia on the 4th of March.
Ferrari will continue testing the F2001 at Mugello with Michael Schumacher driving until Wednesday. Luca Badoer will then shakedown the cars at Fiorano on Saturday.
Both McLaren and Williams will start a test session at Barcelona on Wednesday. McLaren will test their 2nd chassis while Williams will test the modifications carried out following the Kyalami test.
Arrows, BAR, Benetton, Jaguar and Jordan will start a test session today at Silverstone to shakedown their cars before shipping to Australia. BAR will also be conducting straight line testing at Santa Pod.
The Sauber team have completed their final shakedown at Mugello on Sunday while the Prost team will shakedown their cars at Lurcy Levis on Wednesday.
Minardi are expected to shakedown their cars on Wednesday and also announce their second driver.

19-Feb: Just one day after Nick Heidfeld set a new lap record at Mugello beating the 97' time, Rubens Barrichello in the second Ferrari F2001 chassis managed to beat that time by over a second.
Barrichello covered a total of 43 laps in the morning before handing over to Michael Schumacher who completed 19 laps.
This was Barrichello's last day of testing before the Australian GP and indicated that while he was not surprised by his lap time he was happy with the work done so far.
Michael Schumacher continues testing for the next 2 days.

Click here for the timed results

19-Feb: Dale Earnhardt was tragically killed in a multi-car collision at the Daytona 500 on the final lap on Sunday. 49 year old Earnhardt is considered to be the greatest NASCAR driver ever having won the NASCAR cup 7 times and having the most number of career wins. 
NASCAR chairman of the board Bill France said "NASCAR has lost its greatest driver and I personally have lost a great friend."
Earnhardt is survived by his wife Teresa, his daughters Kelly King and Taylor and his sons Kerry and Dale Jr.
We would like to offer our condolences to Earnhardt's family. May he rest in peace.
For more information visit

In an amazing turn of events, Pedro de la Rosa who lost his driver seat at Arrows and was recently announced as a test driver for Prost and took part in their test session at Estoril has reportedly left the Prost team and signed for Jaguar as a test driver!. Earlier reports indicated that he was to replace Eddie Irvine however that was strongly denied by Jaguar however it appears that de la Rosa has been guaranteed a driver seat at the team for 2002.
Eddie Irvine has recently made some negative comments on the Jaguar R2 describing it as slow but Bobby Rahal came out in defence of Irvine and said "You shouldn't judge people until you get to work with them, and I've formed my own impression of Eddie. We scheduled some tyre testing with his team-mate Luciano Burti, and Eddie was on the phone telling me that he ought to do it, that he wanted to be there. That is not the sign of somebody who is going through the motions. I've been very pleased with his commitment, his interest and everything about him. I think he knows what I'm trying to do here, and I believe he wants to participate in that and contribute to it."
Jaguar have yet to make an official announcement regarding Pedro de la Rosa.

18-Feb: Nick Heidfeld continued the work Kimi Raikkonen started yesterday as the Sauber team make their final preparations for the season opener in Melbourne. Nick Heidfeld managed to set a stunning time that was over 0.4 seconds faster than the time set yesterday by Michael Schumacher. His time was also faster than the record set here in 97' on slick tyres. Sauber use a 2000 specification Ferrari engine.
Nick Heidfeld completed a total of 77 laps with a best time of 1:23.364.
Rubens Barrichello was also at the track as he took over from Michael Schumacher. He covered 84 laps with a best time of 1:24.079
Rubens Barrichello continues tomorrow with Michael Schumacher returning to track as well.

Click here for the timed results

17-Feb: Michael Schumacher continued testing at the Mugello track with the second F2001. Following his installation lap, he ran into engine problems. Three hours later he resumed testing and covered a total of 45 laps.
Schumacher managed to set a best time of 1:23.780 which is the fastest time set at the Mugello track on grooved tyres ever. This time is only 0.37 seconds slower than the record set on slick tyres.
Rubens Barrichello takes over the testing duties tomorrow (Sunday).
Kimi Raikkonen was also at the track conducting a final test for Sauber. Raikkonen covered 40 laps with a best time of 1:24.218.

Click here for the timed results

17-Feb: The 2001 Season Preview by the Heretic is now available, check it out here

17-Feb: At a meeting earlier this week between the Formula 1 teams and the FIA. The Formula 1 teams have voted unanimously in favour of the recommendations submitted by the Technical Working Group to improve safety in the sport. These recommendations include the removal of all the restrictions on the electronic control of engines and transmissions (Traction Control), a device that alerts the driver of a car ahead when visibility is poor and an automatic speed limiter for use in emergencies.
The final step is for the World Motor Sport Council to fax vote on these recommendations by the 1st of March. If approved, traction control will be allowed from the 2001 Spanish Grand Prix.
Not all the drivers agree with the re-introduction of traction control. Eddie Irvine strongly disagrees and said "I like Formula One, it is my passion but traction control is not Formula One, it takes too much away. The fans want to hear the engine roar, that's what they come for, not to hear the sound of misfires as you come out of a corner."

McLaren's Managing Director, Martin Whitmarsh has indicated his disappointment with the reliability of the MP 4/16 and is hoping that his team will be able to fix these problems in time for the Australian Grand Prix on the 4th of March. Whitmarsh said "It's early days yet for the new car, but we were disappointed that we experienced a few reliability issues which we intend to address before the first race in Australia. Overall, however, we were not disappointed by the car's competitiveness."
McLaren have failed to finish either car in Australia in the last 2 years.

16-Feb: Michael Schumacher returned to the track at Mugello where he started testing the second F2001. He completed a total of 70 laps and set a best time of 1:24.184 which is just under the best time set here in 2000 and almost 0.4 seconds faster than the best time Schumacher has set in the first F2001 chassis. 
Michael Schumacher was happy with the car's performance "out of the box" and said This new example of the F2001 worked well right from the start, just like the first one, it feels exactly the same. We did a lot of aerodynamic work today, with tests that involved running down the main straight at a constant speed. Development is going according to plan and in fact, I would say we are slightly ahead of schedule as we have had less problems than at this time last year."
Michael Schumacher continues testing tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results

Benetton have concluded their testing at Estoril yesterday (Thursday) with Jenson Button at the wheel. The team finally managed to set a quick time after 9 days of testing with Jenson Button setting a time below the 1:20 mark for the first time in the B201.

Click here for the timed results

16-Feb: The Prost team will unveil their 2001 livery on the 28th of February in Melbourne. The team currently runs in neutral livery waiting to finalise sponsorship deals. Arrows will also launch in Melbourne and Minardi are expected to do the same.

The Toyota Formula 1 team is working round the clock preparing their first Formula 1 car. The team will launch the car at the Paul Ricard circuit on the 23rd of March and will use the circuit as the main testing ground for their 2002 challenger. The team have also obtained a special clearance from the FIA to test at 14 of the 17 Grand Prix circuits (all the European circuits except Monaco as well as Interlagos, Suzuka and Sepang). Mika Salo and Allan McNish will carry out the testing of the new car.

Eddie Irvine described the Jaguar R2 as slow and complained about losing good staff at the team and said "We are a bit under staffed. We have lost some mechanics and engineers, some good people. We have brought some people in but we need to attract some more good people." Irvine expects McLaren and Ferrari to dominate again with Williams closing in as for Jaguar he said "We are down the bottom among those who need to improve."
Meanwhile Jaguar's CEO, Bobby Rahal doesn't seem to be too concerned by the lack of speed the R2 has shown in recent tests and said "I think you have to look at what the aims of our test programmes are. We are trying to be realistic to be honest, so we have had our plan and stuck with it. I guess I'm trying to under-promise and over-deliver. I am sure we are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but we are guarded about our objectives. We are in reasonable shape at this stage of the game."

16-Feb: With most of the major testing over, here is a roundup of what the teams have been doing so far ... Testing Roundup 

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