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10 - 19 Jan  News 

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19-Jan: The Jordan team was forced to cancel their testing at the Silverstone circuit today due to the very cold weather conditions and snow falling on the circuit. Jarno Trulli was due to get his first full day of testing in the new EJ11 after Heinz Harald Frentzen tested the new car over the last 2 days.

18-Jan: Kimi Raikkonen continues to grab the headlines as he prepares to start his first Formula 1 season. Raikkonen will be the most inexperienced driver to ever drive in Formula 1 as he has only raced in Formula Renault before. Several drivers have opposed the granting of a super license to Kimi including Ralf Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. On the other hand a few drivers agree including Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher. Michael Schumacher was actually impressed with Kimi when he drove at Mugello and said "I saw him drive at Mugello, I observed him and I evaluated his lap times and I could see that he can be champion. He'll make mistakes, but then again all of us do. Let's just wait for his first three races and we'll understand more about his talent.

Jordan continued testing alone at the Silverstone track with temperatures even lower than yesterday with a maximum track temperature of 2� Celsius. Heinz Harald Frentzen was again driving the EJ11 and completed 41 laps with a best time of 1:24.370. This time is the fastest this year and is just half a second slower than the fastest time set here last year. Ricardo Zonta continued testing the EJ10B and completed 27 laps with a best time of 1:26.330. Testing concludes tomorrow with Jarno Trulli taking over the testing duties of the EJ11.

Click here for the timed results 

17-Jan: Following the launch of the EJ11 yesterday, the Jordan team started a 3 day test session at Silverstone. The track conditions were very cold with the track temperature never rising above 3� Celsius. Heinz Harald Frentzen drove the EJ11 while test driver Ricardo Zonta drove the EJ10B. Frentzen completed 27 laps and a best time of 1:27.110 while Ricardo Zonta managed 21 laps and a best time of 1:33.690. The time set by Frentzen is encouraging to the team given that this is the EJ11's first run.

Click here for the timed results 

17-Jan: Mika Hakkinen sets another lap record at Valencia on the final day of testing ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and Marc Gene.
Hakkinen's best time was 1:13.828 which is over 0.8 seconds faster than the best time he set yesterday. Montoya also improved his time on yesterday but was over 0.5 seconds slower than Hakkinen. Marc Gene in third was over a second off the pace.
5 teams were present with 9 drivers setting lap times. Verstappen covered the most number of laps with 109 followed by Montoya with 104 laps and Hakkinen with 89 laps.
Eddie Irvine who was driving the new R2 (2001 spec) for the first time went off on his 4th lap and the car was damaged and had to be taken back to the factory for repair. Irvine continued testing the 2000 car.

Click here for the timed results 

At Jerez, Luca Badoer set the fastest time on the final day of testing here ahead of Olivier Panis and Kimi Raikkonen. Badoer improved on his time from yesterday but was still slower than the time set by Panis yesterday.
BAR continue to have set up problems with the 2001 car as Jacques Villeneuve once again finished 4th and almost 2 seconds off the pace. The car also had a suspension problem which caused Jacques to go off the track. The BAR team suspended testing on the new car until the cause of the suspension failure was known.
Sauber on the other hand appear to be happy with their new car. Despite the aerodynamic restrictions on the new cars, Kimi Raikkonen was under a second slower than Badoer. 
Badoer covered the most number of laps with 104 followed by Panis with 60 and Raikkonen with 53.

Click here for the timed results 

16-Jan: Mika Hakkinen sets the fastest time at Valencia as dry conditions prevailed in the afternoon allowing the cars to show their full potential. McLaren's test driver Alexander Wurz was 2nd fastest ahead of an impressive Juan Pablo Montoya.
Mika Hakkinen's fastest time of 1:14.645 is the fastest time set on this track this year and last. He was over 0.5 seconds faster than Wurz and a full second faster than Montoya.
5 teams were present with 10 drivers setting lap times. It was Luciano Burti who covered the most laps with 89 followed by Montoya with 86 and Hakkinen with 70 laps.
The Benetton team continues to struggle with their new Renault engine with Fisichella only managing under 20 laps.
Luciano Burti was the only driver to run a 2001 spec car and was 10th and over 2.5 seconds off the pace. Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

At Jerez, Olivier Panis continues to shine for BAR as he clocked the fastest time at the track for this year and last!, Luca Badoer was second over 0.5 seconds behind while Nick Heidfeld was third almost a second off the pace. Jacques Villeneuve returned to the track after his Christmas break and was 4th fastest over 2 seconds slower than his new teammate Panis. Villeneuve was testing the 2001 spec car while Panis was testing the 2000 car and testing traction control.
Badoer covered the most number of laps with 110 followed by  Villeneuve with 91 and Panis with 72.
Both Heidfeld and Villeneuve were testing 2001 spec cars. Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

16-Jan: The Jordan Grand Prix team was the second team to launch this year behind Jaguar and similar to Jaguar, the launch was low key. Eddie Jordan declared at the launch "If we blow it this year, you can blame us. But such is the power and belief within the team, we're on course to challenge once more. No question about it."
Eddie Jordan talked about the launch, the 2000 season and the upcoming season and said "We've had a slight change of focus this year. We realised that, when we were doing these launches in London, four days would be lost. I felt it was important - particularly in view of our new relationship with Honda for 2001 - that we maximise, at all times, the opportunity of having the car with the team, on the track and progressing at all times for this forthcoming season which is so vital for us." 
Jordan talked about the disappointments of the 2000 season and how they will overcome that and said "We led momentarily in Australia, we were quick at the next race in Brazil, we knew we had a reasonably good car. Unfortunately it was unreliable. The trouble is that the quality of the competition with teams such as Ferrari and McLaren is such that you don't get a second bite at the cherry, you have to keep fighting and pushing all the time. We suffered because we were trying to sort out the car. We've learned from our mistakes and, by being here at Silverstone, you are already seeing a different philosophy and understanding about how Jordan goes racing."

Heinz Harald Frentzen called the Jordan team, the team of the future and said "I still believe that Jordan is the team of the future. I still believe in the people at Jordan and with Honda joining us we are going to have good chances to win. We have spent more time making the car fast and hopefully all the things will fit together right from the beginning so that we can attack."

Jarno Trulli is hoping to challenge the top two team more frequently this year and said "Last year we were very confident, but this year we are even more so. We know that we worked very hard during the winter and the shakedown we had makes us really positive because the car did not have any problems at all. I am looking forward to this season and doing well and achieving the results we did not achieve last year. But I don't have any targets as that proved dangerous to have in the past. I hope we can reach the front row several times this year, perhaps more often than that. We will be trying to come as close as possible to McLaren and Ferrari but we know that is going to be hard."

Luca Badoer will remain at Ferrari as their test driver in 2001. He indicated that he received a few offers from lower ranking teams but turned them down and said "I am with Ferrari, which represents the very best and I have an important role and I am proud of that. Of course, I would like to race, but I am happy all the same. I do not care that I am not famous like Michael or Rubens and take satisfaction from being part of Ferrari. I certainly would not want to compete with a lower ranking team. I get offers every year, but Ferrari is still my best option."

15-Jan: During a mainly wet session on the first day of testing at Valencia, it was Jos Verstappen in the AsiaTech (ex-Peugeot) powered Arrows who made the best out of the conditions and set the fastest time ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella and Eddie Irvine. Montoya, Gene and Hakkinen - who returns to testing for the first time since the Malaysian GP - make the top 6. Verstappen's time was almost 4 seconds slower than the fastest time set here last year. This session was also the first for Michelin tyres.
5 teams were present at the test session with 10 drivers setting lap times.  Verstappen covered the most number of laps with 78 ahead of Fisichella (49) and Montoya (47). Jenson Button only managed 3 laps as the team continues to struggle with their new Renault engine.
Luciano Burti was the only driver running a 2001 car in the Jaguar. The other drivers and teams ran modified 2000 cars as their 2001 cars are not yet ready.
The track was dry for only an hour in the early afternoon hence the significant gaps in the lap times set today as some teams managed to run on dry tyres while others only ran on full wets or intermediates. Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

At Jerez, the newly signed BAR test driver, Takuma Sato surprised everyone by setting the fastest time almost a second ahead of Olivier Panis and Luca Badoer. Sato's time was the fastest this year and just over a tenth slower than the fastest time set in 2000.
3 teams were present at the track with 4 drivers setting lap times. Jordan are expected to launch their 2001 Honda powered car tomorrow and join the action.
Sato was testing the BAR 002 while Panis gave the BAR 003 (2001 spec) its first real test. Luca Badoer running a modified F1-2000 encountered some hydraulic problems in the morning interrupting their progress but despite that he managed to complete the most laps with 70 ahead of Sato with 62 and Panis with 46. Nick Heidfeld ran the 2001 Ferrari powered Sauber and was over 2.5 seconds off the pace. Testing continues tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

Prost Grand Prix is the latest team to shakedown their 2001 car. Under very cold conditions at Magny Cours, Jean Alesi drove the Ferrari powered car for 56 laps. Alesi said afterwards "This was an excellent first run of the new car. It felt very good right from the start and it was a real pleasure to be able to do a lot of laps without any problems."
Alesi is expected to continue testing tomorrow. No times were available at this private session.

14-Jan: McLaren boss, Ron Dennis has indicated that David Coulthard has a real chance of winning the Drivers' title this year and promised to try their best to provide both Coulthard and Hakkinen with the best and most reliable car and said "David is extremely fired up. He's strong and wants to test as much as possible. I honestly feel that David can win the world championship this year. Reliability problems cost Mika his third title on the trot but we have produced the best car possible this year and we shall be working hard to ensure there are no slip- up."

BAR's co-founder, Adrian Reynard believes that Jacques Villeneuve will be pushed hard by his new teammate Olivier Panis and is confident that this will bring out the best of Villeneuve and said "Jacques loves a challenge, he gets on well with Olivier and I am sure if Olivier can push him, Jacques will respond and go even better. He is the best driver in the world as far as we are concerned. He has also shown tremendous resolve."

13-Jan: Jean Todt has yet to decide if he will be staying at Ferrari beyond the 2001 season or not but he did confirm that he will not be leaving to join another team and said " I have received many offers but after Ferrari there will not be another team. If I stay it is because I feel good and also because Ferrari are happy with me. The team is strong and united and I feel at home in Italy. But I think sooner or later the day will come when Ferrari decides to change. Sooner or later I too will feel jaded, it happens to everyone." 
Todt is also convinced that the 2001 season will be easier on him as the pressure on him to win has gone and said "You have no idea how heavy the weight this sword of Damocles hanging over my head was - having to win at all costs. I am convinced this year it will be easier if only because the Sword of Damocles is no longer there."
Jean Todt refused to comment on the possibility of taking up a senior role with the FIA.

Niki Lauda has described Formula 1 as a 'family sport' that every member of the family can watch and said "You don't see blood any more, so children can watch, grandmother can watch. It has become a family sport."
He also indicated that the lack of action will make the formula boring and people will switch off and called on the FIA to stop interfering in everything and said "What the FIA do is interfere in everything. In the end there will be no more action left. The FIA should not really be so strict because then it gets even more boring.
I think it is very necessary to produce cars which can be passed and to have more action in the races. If the families get bored, because there is nobody passing and there is nothing interesting to watch, they will go away. This is really what the officials have to think about."

12-Jan: Ferrari have confirmed that they will launch their 2001 contender on the 29th of January at Maranello. Ferrari's Racing Director Jean Todt made the announcement at Madonna di Campiglio today. 

Click here for the 2001 Lineup and Launch Dates 

Adrian Reynard, BAR's co-founder has indicated that the team's aim is to win a race this season and said "A win this year is our aim and I think that is a realistic one. It's pretty obvious that Formula One is a two-horse race at the moment. You've always got those four cars to beat, which is really difficult, but we will be pushing hard to do that."
When BAR made their debut in 99, their aim was to win the first race of the season. They failed to score any points during 99 season!. 
In the 2000 season, they set a more realistic target by aiming to finish 5th in the Constructor's championship and they successfully achieved that. 

11-Jan: The Sauber team was the third Formula 1 team to shakedown their 2001 contender. The team shookdown the car at Fiorano, Ferrari's home track in Italy. Both Sauber drivers were present and both drove the new C20 with neutral livery for a number of laps. Kimi Raikkonen drove the C19 on Wednesday to get familiar with the Fiorano track. 
Sauber's technical director Willy Rampf commented on the shakedown by saying "Our primary aim with the C20 has been to meet the stringent new regulations, the new weight-bearing requirement for the rollover hoop structure, and the new side intrusion resistance demands, are very tough and have necessitated a new monocoque chassis. We have also focused on the new aerodynamic rules governing the design and placement of the front and rear wings. Weight reduction is also one of our priorities. It is fair to say that the car is a completely new development."
The team will officially launch the new car in Hinwil, Switzerland on the 24th of January. The team will test the car at the upcoming test session in Jerez from the 15th of January.

Michael Schumacher has confirmed that he will be staying at Ferrari for 2 more years and denied the rumours taking about a special clause allowing him to leave if he wins two World Championships. Schumacher said "I really like working for this team. My contract is valid for another two years and there are no special clauses. The contracts of a number of technicians and managers expire at the end of 2001, so I want to see what the future might hold after 2002." 
Speaking to the press at the Ferrari International F1 Press Meeting at Madonna di Campiglio,  Schumacher is convinced that he has not lost any of his motivation or determination after winning three world titles and said "I was born to race and for as long as will get into a racing car, there's no way I will not be motivated."
Schumacher also hinted at no team orders this season and said ""I work really well with Rubens; he's a quick driver and is good at developing the car. The team has no specific strategy and the cars are identical. We both aim to be the fastest."

10-Jan: British American Racing and Jaguar Racing were the first 2 teams to run their 2001 spec cars at Silverstone today. Olivier Panis ran the BAR 003 with neutral livery as the team keeps their livery under wraps until the 26th of January when they officially launch the new car. Luciano Burti ran the Jaguar R2 for the very first time after being launched yesterday. Jos Verstappen ran the Arrows A21 prototype with several new hydraulics components destined for the A22.

The weather conditions were cold and mainly damp. In the afternoon, the teams managed to run on dry tyres and set relatively quick times with Olivier Panis setting the fastest time ahead of Eddie Irvine. Olivier Panis also covered the most laps with 37 followed by Jos Verstappen with 32.
This shakedown was in preparation for the upcoming 3 day test at Valencia starting on the 15th of January.

Click here for the timed results 

On the final day of testing at Jerez, Giancarlo Fisichella finished the day fastest ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher.
The session started in wet conditions with both Williams and Benetton carrying out wet weather testing but as the circuit dried in the afternoon, the teams managed to test on dry tyres. 
Marc Gene completed the most number of laps with 63 as the Williams team attempted a long run with the new BMW engine while Benetton continue to have problems with the new Renault engine with Jenson Button completing just 3 installation laps before his test came to a halt suffering from an engine failure.

Click here for the timed results 

10-Jan: The Prost team have confirmed their driver lineup for the 2001 season with Argentine Gaston Mazzacane joining the team to drive alongside Jean Alesi. It was widely speculated that Gaston Mazzacane would be the second driver after PSN announced a partnership with Prost. PSN sponsored Gaston Mazzacane in his first season of Formula 1 with Minardi last season. 
Prost team owner Alain Prost said of the announcement "Gaston has shown a lot of determination and motivation, and we are happy that he joins the team at a time we consider is a new start for Prost Grand Prix. He is in top physical condition and eager to prove himself. He will be a good match for Jean from whom he can learn a lot. I am confident that with the good technical package we have put in place, next season Gaston Mazzacane will be able to show everyone his real potential."

BMW are making their intentions clear and that is to close the gap to the top 2 teams this season. Following a spectacular debut last year when they managed to finish third in the constructors' championship, BMW want to build on that success and try to reduce the gap to the top 2 teams. BMW have been testing a new engine which will be used in the 2001 car and BMW's Motorsport Director Gerhard Berger described the engine as a gem and said "We wanted to make a quantum leap forward with the new engine. My feeling is that we achieved that. I would call it a gem."

10-Jan: British American Racing have confirmed that Japanese driver Takuma Sato will be one of the team's test drivers in 2001. He joins Darren Manning, Patrick Lemaire and Anthony Davidson who was announce late last year. Takuma Sato participated in a driver development program alongside Mark Haynes. Sato continually set better times than Haynes during the 2 day test session in Barcelona in December (story).

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