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Was it the right decision to 
stop the race ? 
Have Your Say 

Ralf's last chance - The Heretic  

26 - 31 July News  
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31-Jul: The Jordan team issued a statement following media speculation concerning a possible move by Jean Alesi to the Jordan team taking Heinz Harald Frentzen's seat. The statement read "The Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda team will not be making any further comment concerning drivers until further notice. Any current stories being discussed in the media are purely speculative."

Both Patrick Head (Williams Technical Director) and Dr. Mario Theissen ((BMW Motorsport Director) have given their views on the engine failure that Montoya's car suffered at the German Grand Prix. Contrary to Ralf's claim that Montoya was pushing too hard, Patrick Head didn't believe that was the case and  said "Nothing Juan Pablo was doing in any way used his engine harder than Ralf. He was using no more revs. When it goes against you, it goes against you, but he had everyone covered, including his team-mate, and is very happy."
Head also explained the problem Montoya encountered in the pits and said "We did actually have to swap the rigs over and use Ralf's rig, because we thought the fuel had stopped flowing and we have enough fuel in each rig to fuel both cars. But, as it turns out, we put far too much fuel in Juan's car anyway. He still would have been able to race, but I think it would have been very difficult for him to close down on Ralf."

Dr. Mario Theissen indicated that the long fuel stop may have caused Montoya's engine failure and said "The temperatures went to the limit, but normally the engine should be capable of standing a long pit-stop. It was certainly very demanding on the engines and we saw many cars retiring with engine problems. Certainly it was stressful to have the restart because the engines ran hot twice, and that, allied to the long pit-stop, may have been an explanation."

30-Jul: "Was it the right decision to stop the race ?" - Have Your Say

30-Jul: Michael Schumacher has indicated that while the result of the German GP was not too disappointing, he want to wrap up the title fight as soon as possible and said "This is the best thing that could have happened if I did not win the race. Neither of the McLarens finished and my brother has again closed the gap on them. I am obviously very happy for Ralf and as this is our home race it is great to see him winning here. So I am not too disappointed as the situation in the championship remains the same and with one less race to go. I almost have the world championship in my pocket, but not finally. I will try to win it as soon as possible."
Michael Schumacher can clinch his 4th Drivers' Title in Hungary on the 19th of August if he wins the race regardless were David Coulthard finishes. He could even win it if he finishes second with Coulthard finishing 4th or lower.

David Coulthard realises that his hopes are very slim but will not concede until it becomes mathematically impossible and said "Nothing has changed from the last race except there are less points available to recover the situation. We all know it's a very high wall we are trying to pull ourselves up, but we only have a short rope. We certainly need a leg up. But I'm not going to say it's over until it's over. Why should I? Why should I accept anything to be other than what the situation is, which is a difficult one.
But lots of things can happen. Look at the shunt at the first corner. It shows this is an unpredictable sport and as such you have to keep an open mind from weekend to weekend."
Coulthard heavily criticised the decision by the Stewards to stop the race accusing them of being inconsistent and said "I guess somebody has to make a decision and we all have to live with those because it's a very responsible position.
But it's so unusual to have a red flag now, especially when a driver is unhurt. I find it - with the limited information I have at the moment - difficult to accept. We had already run over the debris. The red light came on as I went across the debris, so it wasn't as if other cars were backing up. But they would have had two and a half minutes minimum to clean the track before we came round again, or clean one side up at least and let us go. I feel you've got to have consistency. With all respect, unless it is a driver that is hurt, then they don't normally stop races for accidents or injuries off the track. That's not normally a reason. 
I said to the team at the time, if you were cynical you would understand the reasons for the red flag, and Dave Ryan (the team manager) said 'look, just concentrate on the race,' which is fair enough.
I've tried not to be cynical. I haven't had a chance to see all the facts, but once I have seen all the facts then it will maybe be clear why they put the red flag out. But at the moment I'm struggling to see them."
At the winners press conference, Jacques Villeneuve said that he was 'really really surprised' by the decision to restart the race. On the other hand Ralf Schumacher agrees with the decision and felt that the track was filled with debris that the race had to be stopped.

According to the Italian media, Jean Alesi will take the seat vacated by Heinz Harald Frentzen at Jordan for the remaining 5 races of the season. There has been no official announcement however when Alesi was asked about the rumour he said "Today is a day for happiness, but I will explain a few things later." He was referring to the 6th place finish in Germany.
Frentzen's replacement Ricardo Zonta didn't impress at Hockenheim with several mistakes during qualifying and the race. It is unlikely that Eddie Jordan will retain him as a race driver for the rest of the season.  

30-Jul: NewsOnF1.com announces the new Forum section where Formula 1 fans can express their views and opinions with other fans all over the world. Click here to visit the Forum

29-Jul: At the post Race press conference for the German Grand Prix, Ralf Schumacher has indicated that winning the German Grand Prix was very special for him and said "It's a great feeling. I've always had a bit of bad luck here. I've never really finished in a good position and to be here today in a German package to win the race in Germany is a great feeling."
Ralf went as far as blaming Montoya for his engine failure and said "Already before the weekend, we knew that we were on the tight side with the engines so when, after start of the race, when Pablo pulled away, I thought OK, you do whatever you want to and I already started to save the engine because I know how long and how hard that race is. It paid off at the end. After this, the team told me as well to slow down even more, and that was easy because Rubens couldn't push any more so it was a perfect scenario."
As for his expectation of the next Grand Prix at Hungary, he said "I'm not going for the championship, I guess, so that's not so important. But still, we try to be competitive in Hungary but it's going to be very difficult for us, a high downforce circuit and usually we struggle a bit on these circuits. We have two and a half weeks to develop stuff and to bring new stuff for Hungary and then see how it pays off."

Rubens Barrichello believes second place was the best he could do against the Williams and  said "Well, thinking that the two Williamses were on another level, I think that the best I was hoping for or could achieve was third basically because they were really fast, so I think it paid off to be honest, because I was the only one on their pace to start with and I took a long time to overtake David. It was a fair race but I think it was a little bit too close. He was losing time as well so I don't know what he was playing at, because we both wanted to go forward and we were losing like three seconds a lap. So I was hoping to finish well. I think it was everything I could hope for."
As for his overtaking manoeuvre with Coulthard, he said "Well, we've known each other since the Formula Three times, so I think we have respect for one another. It isn't the fact of going round the outside, it's that he left that side for me, because in a way he was one up on me because of Silverstone last year, so I needed to go on the outside."

Jacques Villeneuve indicated his surprise to finish on the podium and said "I am surprised to be on the podium. I was hoping to get into the points and I felt we needed a bit of luck to get into the points but to get on the podium today is great. We weren't very competitive all weekend but this morning, surprisingly, in the warm-up, after a few changes on the car, it was really really competitive with fuel on board, so we knew we had a chance to do a good race and the two starts went well, but then Olivier being on a different strategy than us was going a lot faster and when he got close to me I let him by so he could play with Jarno a little bit and what I was hoping happened: Jarno went off so then I was just trying to stay in Olivier's tow so he could carry me along."
Villeneuve was also surprised at the decision to stop the race following Burti crash into Michael Schumacher and said "I didn't see what happened, but I was surprised when there was a red flag, because we already went through the debris once. By then the track was clean so the most dangerous moment of the race is actually the start so I was really really surprised."
Ralf Schumacher was later asked whether he agreed with Jacques comments regarding the start, he disagreed and it was a good decision and said "You know sometimes Jacques has his own opinion, sometimes, but personally everywhere else I would agree. But here, with all the debris on the circuit, you don't want to have a puncture or cut tyre which might explode on the straight. I think it was quite a good decision actually."

29-Jul: What the teams and drivers said following the Race at Hockenheim ... Report

29-Jul: German GP - Race: Ralf Schumacher wins his 3rd race of the season ahead of Rubens Barrichello and Jacques Villeneuve. Fisichella, Button and Alesi make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes

29-Jul: German GP - Warm-up Session: Ralf Schumacher sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya. David Coulthard, Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and Mika Hakkinen make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes 

28-Jul: At the post Qualifying press conference for the German Grand Prix, Juan Pablo Montoya has indicated how delighted he is to finally grab his first Pole position of his career and said "It's really good, we worked really hard all year and we've been up and down and we've finally got it it together. The car was really good since yesterday and it was definitely about time to get all the sectors together. Patrick (Head) had a little chat with me before qualifying and that really helped."
Montoya was asked if he was right on the limit on his fastest lap, he said "Yes, just about, it was pretty good. I was very pleased, the car has been working really well, we made a change for the last run and it was coming good and I was already up on my last time but when Ralf crossed the line (without improving) the team told me to back off."
As for the start, he doesn't see why he wouldn't be in the lead after the first corner but in any case the race is not decided at the first corner and said "We got exactly the same car, the same launch control and everything, so it should be OK. It's a long straight, I think it's important to go well through the first corner. We'll see what happens. If I'm in a position to lead, I'll lead. If something goes wrong at the start and I need to be second, I will be second. You don't win the race in the first corner. I'll give it a good go tomorrow."

Ralf Schumacher indicated that he was satisfied with second place given that he never managed to qualify this high here before and said "I've never been anywhere close to the first row at Hockenheim so I'm pretty pleased. I think the two of us were quicker than anyone else so I think we could have some problems in the race in front of us tomorrow, that's what counts. I am on the first row so I got every chance."

Mika Hakkinen was happy with the handling of his car and said "We had some problems in the morning. I lost some running time but not too much and the team was able to solve those problems. At the track we did improve the balance all the way through this morning and the engineers did a fantastic work with the car and I think the car is handling better than ever here in Hockenheim."
As for the gap to Williams heading into the race tomorrow, he said "It's obviously impossible to say if that is going to happen, but if these guys can maintain the speed that they've had in qualifying for tomorrow, I could say we have no chance, so let's hope something goes a little bit wrong for them tomorrow."

28-Jul: The Ferrari team have decided to extend their partnership with Bridgestone until 2004. A statement issued by the team read "Ferrari announces that it has extended its technical partnership with Bridgestone until the end of the 2004 season and wishes to express its satisfaction with what is a productive relationship, that has led to three world titles in the past two years."
It was believed that Ferrari were in talks with Michelin for the supply of tyres for next season but these talks didn't materialise.

After announcing that Arrows will not use AsiaTech engines in 2002 (story), Tom Walkinshaw has struck a 2 year deal with Niki Lauda of the Premier Performance Division of Ford for the use of Cosworth engines in 2002. Those engines will be the same specification as the engines run by Jaguar. 
Tom Walkinshaw
said "We're delighted to have forged a partnership with the Premier Performance Division and its core companies, namely, Cosworth Racing and Pi Group. If you want to compete at the top level of Formula One these days it is essential to have a deal with a manufacturer as, even with the best aerodynamics and engineering in the world, you cannot compete against the top teams if you are down on power. The Cosworth V10 is superbly engineered and has proven its credentials so we are looking forward to racing the new Orange Arrows A23 in 2002 with renewed relish."
Niki Lauda said "This deal with Orange Arrows is the first real product of what the Premier Performance Division is all about. In addition to Jaguar Racing, my responsibilities with the PPD involve putting in place the building blocks to enable Cosworth Racing and Pi Group to realise their full potential and to work together to best effect. Some people might question whether we should be supplying engines to another team until Jaguar Racing starts winning races, but you mustn't forget the fact that Cosworth Racing does nothing else but racing - that is its sole business - unlike other engine manufacturers in Formula One who have not always specialised in the art of engineering F1 engines. This goes quite some way to explaining why these companies are reluctant to supply more than one team. In this case, I firmly believe that it's a way to move forward at a greater pace. In 1993, for example, Cosworth Racing supplied both Benetton and McLaren and I believe that the performance level of both the engine and the teams improved dramatically, culminating in Benetton winning the 1994 Formula One World Championship."

Eddie Jordan has attempted to explain the situation surrounding the termination of the contract with Frentzen while not giving too much away as they face legal action by Frentzen. Eddie Jordan said "I realise there has been considerable media coverage of the announcement made earlier this week concerning Heinz-Harald Frentzen, and that there is frustration due to the lack of explanation from the team. We are unable to comment on the details for legal reasons and I would ask everyone to respect this fact.
I understand that the media has been forced to speculate about the background to this decision and have sought comment from sources outside the team including other drivers who previously drove for me, but know nothing of the situation. I can only say that we made a decision, which was not an easy decision, and I knew it would not be popular. From a human point of view it is sad that Heinz-Harald, who is a friend to our team and achieved good results for us in the past, is not here this weekend. However, there are times when decisions have to be made when faced with a particular situation and this was one such case.
Things between us came to a head after the British Grand Prix and I made the decision we announced this week. I am satisfied that, contrary to certain reports, all our sponsors and partners, of whatever nationality, have been very supportive. Beyond that, I hope Jarno and Ricardo are given the freedom to get on with their jobs this weekend."

28-Jul: What the teams and drivers said following Qualifying at Hockenheim ... Report

28-Jul: German GP - Qualifying Session: Juan Pablo Montoya grabs his first pole position of his career ahead of Ralf Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen. Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard and Rubens Barrichello make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes 

28-Jul: German GP - 2nd Saturday Practice Session: Ralf Schumacher sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and Michael Schumacher. Mika Hakkinen, Nick Heidfeld and Rubens Barrichello make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes

28-Jul: German GP - 1st Saturday Practice Session: Michael Schumacher sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Rubens Barrichello and Ralf Schumacher. Juan Pablo Montoya, David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes 

27-Jul: At the Friday press conference for the German Grand Prix, Jacques Villeneuve admits that the car seems to be going backward against their competition and said "It's not only against Jordan, it's against most of the field, we're not doing too well, we're not very competitive and we have been going backwards, so it is a little bit difficult to accept at this point, and all the work we're doing now is more in desperation than in trying to get the last tenth out of the car."
He also indicated the they are concentrating on next year's car as there is no point of trying to improve this year's and said "I think we will see the developments mainly for next year. This car wasn't born very well. It didn't feel right in winter testing. We've improved it a bit but less than the opposition and engine-wise the same, so I think that at this point it is better to not even concentrate on this year and really put all the effort into next year. We're used to getting used to looking at the future so that's what we're going to do again. I still want to win races so I will just keep on working hard and trying to do it."

Nick Heidfeld indicated his satisfaction with the way things are going this year and said "It's only my second year so there are not too many years to chose which is the best one. Last year was a really bad one for me, and this year everything is working out fine. I hope that we can keep up the pace that we are doing at the moment and people shouldn't expect too much from us because I think compared with what we have in comparison to most other teams, we are really doing a good job." 

Ricardo Zonta who took over Frentzen's seat indicated that he didn't have any problems from the German people and said "Maybe it's because I raced in GT, in Formula 3000 here. I don't know why. Well, I've had no problem. Of course, this weekend has been very exciting for me but I think all the German people have been OK with me, no problem."
He added that he doesn't know how many races he will drive for Jordan and said "I don't know yet, because I got the news only on Wednesday. Maybe after this weekend I will know if I'm going to drive the next race or not."

Pat Symonds has indicated that the Benetton is getting more competitive and said "It's been quite a good day for us. We've not done anything out of the ordinary. We've been working on our race set-up today. We're running reasonable fuel levels but I think it's coming together, the Michelins are working well here, the engine has made some more steps forward, the chassis in low downforce configuration is perhaps a little bit better in the higher one. So yes, it's coming together." He did admit though that they are behind in their development and said "I think we're behind where we should have been in June. I think until you're at the front, you will always say that. We've got some further, reasonably major aerodynamic changes coming for Budapest. The engine is developing slowly, bit by bit. After that, obviously things start to tail off as we work more towards the R202, our car for next year. That's well under way."

Peter Sauber indicated his surprise by the good form of the Sauber and said "I'm also surprised about this season. This year we have an excellent package: a consistently developed car, and of course the Petronas engine - sorry, the Ferrari engine - which is more powerful and weighs less than last year. And I think a very important thing is two quick and highly motivated drivers."

Ross Brawn explained what caused the accident with Michael Schumacher at Monza by saying "The floor collapsed between the Curva Grande and the second chicane, the floor dropped onto the track and it's difficult to tell because of the damage in the accident but we could see from the data that we lost a significant amount of downforce and that the front of the floor collapsed. It's the first time that we've run the car at such high speed - 345-350km/h - and of course that exerts a lot more load on those sorts of pieces so it's not a problem we'd seen at any other time this year. So we reinforced the floors for the second day of testing for Rubens and we've done a lot of further modifications for here."
Brawn indicated that they are still working on developments for this year's Ferrari as they don't want to throw away either of the championships and said "All the teams are working very hard on next year's car but we haven't made any presumptions about this year yet and we have a new high downforce package for Hungary, we have a new aero package for Spa, you've seen a new engine that will probably be raced this weekend. It's an old adage but to stand still is to go backwards in this business, so everybody at Ferrari is working in the same way that we have for the past five years because it's the only way we know how to work. But it is a delicate time, we've got a substantial lead in both championships and we can only throw it away now. Whatever David does, if we do a sensible job it's very difficult for him."

27-Jul: What the teams and drivers said following Friday practice at Hockenheim ... Report

27-Jul: German GP - 2nd Practice Session: Eddie Irvine sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and Mika Hakkinen. Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher and Pedro de la Rosa make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes

27-Jul: German GP - 1st Practice Session: Rubens Barrichello sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Pedro de la Rosa and David Coulthard. Michael Schumacher, Ralf Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen makes the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes

26-Jul: At the Thursday press conference for the German Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher felt sorry for what happened to Frentzen and said "I certainly feel very sorry for Heinz-Harald for what has happened. It's not surprising that this does happen but it's a big shame, because they had a good time together in 1999 and it means that he as a driver can't be too bad. If times are difficult, then maybe you should stick to your driver as well. I'm certainly not very happy to see what's happened to Heinz-Harald. On the other hand, he might get a better opportunity now."
On his chances at Hockenheim given that he has never won with Ferrari here he said "I think in previous years it's been the characteristics of the circuit which didn't suit our car. I did win with Benetton. I don't think it's a particular circuit which I have a problem with but we simply need the car to deliver the performance. I don't know whether it was last year or the year before when we were ninth in qualifying and that shows how much that kind of circuit and Monza can be a problem, even though we were competitive on other types of circuit. Now we have a car which is competitive on all sorts of circuits and circumstances, in the usual situations, and I look forward to this again, but now we have to prove it."

Ralf Schumacher also felt sorry for Frentzen and said "I feel sorry for Heinz, the way it's happened, but we don't know the reasons for it. In previous years I've had problems with this team and it appears to happen sometimes, and if people just don't want to work together any more, I think it's the best way, it's best to decide to stop working with each other because it can't help one of them. I heard a rumour that Heinz is going to be with us again next year in a different team and if that's the case, then I'm sure it's a better option for him anyway."
He was confident that they will be stronger than they were at Silverstone and said "I hope that it's going to be better than the last race was or appeared to be and I'm pretty sure it will be. This circuit suits us a little bit better. The temperatures are there, at the moment, at least and I hope that it doesn't rain again, because that would be a little problem for us as it has proved to be at the previous races, but it should be more promising."
On the issue of giving way to his team-mate, he said "I depends on the circumstances. In Silverstone we cleared that matter, it was not a request it was a question but at the wrong time and it was discussed afterwards. But if there was a race like Magny-Cours when I had a tyre problem with my second set I wouldn't have a problem. If one driver is quicker than the other for whatever reason I think we shouldn't stop ourselves."

Mika Hakkinen is hoping to repeat the performance of Silverstone but believes it will be more difficult and said "The idea, of course, is to come here to win the Grand Prix, the whole team, me and David, but I suppose all the other drivers have more or less the same thinking, the same idea but obviously it was difficult at Silverstone and I believe it's going to be even harder here, to do the same as we did there. We had quite a successful test in Monza. Obviously we were happy with our performance so I'm confident of coming here with a car which is quick. Whether it's going to be quick enough I don't know."

Norbert Haug believes Mercedes are well prepared for Hockenheim and said "I have to say that we've done quite a good job so far this year in the races and I think we were very reliable. We had a problem in Canada and I think it's well known what happened there. Apart from that, I have to say that our engine guys are doing a good job. We have to see whether we are strong enough, but we've prepared ourselves in a very thorough manner. We tested a lot in Monza, did a lot of long runs in Stuttgart on the dyno and so we should be quite well prepared but we will have to see whether this influences the outcome of the race."

Mario Theissen believes the Hockenheim track should suit the BMW engines very well and said "Obviously the track should suit us very well although the Motodrome, the infield, is quite different from the straights in the forest but I hope we find the right combination to be quick. This should put us into a good position here. In fact this is the most demanding track for the engine. This is the reason for us to take the Hockenheim circuit as the reference for endurance testing on the dyno in Munich. It's most demanding because we have the long forest straights where the engine has to he higher revving in top gear for quite a long period - not just as long as in Indy but overall the engine spends a longer time in top gear at higher revs, full throttle, and this is the most demanding thing the engine has to do."

Although Toyota have not officially confirmed that Allan McNish will be driving along side Mika Salo in 2002, Toyota's Motorsport President Ove Anderson has once again confirmed that Allan McNish will be Toyota's second driver for 2002 and said "As a matter of fact we have been connected to about 16 drivers in the press until now, which I think is quite unique. I can only reconfirm what I said when we announced the car that we have Mika Salo as one of the drivers and as far as we're concerned Alan McNish is doing a good job for us now and, if this continues, I see no reason to change. Principally we have a very good co-operation and he will stay in the team if our co-operation continues on the same level. I would say he's confirmed, yes."
On the issue of testing in December which is banned for the current F1 teams he said "Well it's very clear that the FIA regulations apply to us the year we enter the world championship and this is from January 1st next year. I have consulted the FIA concerning this matter in November last year and I got it confirmed that according to the sporting regulations in paragraph 65 we can test until the end of this year. After that, when we are entering the championship, obviously we have to follow the rules for the participating teams so we made our plans based on that situation and if these rules are changed we will be in big trouble. On the other hand people are saying we will gain an unfair advantage on the other teams if we can test all the two months. I cannot agree with that at all, we are a new team, we have not so far participated in any race whatsoever, we are doing some testing and from that point of view all the other teams have been racing for years and years and years. They did 17 races this year so I can't see the unfair view on this. Besides that maybe some of our suppliers could have a problem, like Michelin, they could perhaps use this time when they are working with us, but already we have discussed this and they are ready to guarantee to the other teams that they will only supply us with control tyres. They will guarantee that they will not use this. From that point of view I can't see any unfair advantage at all, we have to take every opportunity to be able to at least qualify and since our plans were made according to the information from the FIA in November last year."

26-Jul: "Ralf's last chance" is the title of the 24th issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2001 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the upcoming German Grand Prix - Issue 24

26-Jul: Following recent speculation on the 2002 driver line-up for the BAR team with rumours indicating a possible move by Jacques Villeneuve or Olivier Panis to McLaren if Mika Hakkinen retires, the BAR team have confirmed that they will retain their current driver line-up for the 2002 season. The statement issued by the team read "Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda are delighted to confirm that Jacques Villeneuve and Olivier Panis will continue to drive for the team in 2002. Despite recent speculation to the contrary, the team will benefit from a stable driver line-up, affording the continuity needed to help it progress and achieve its ambitions.
2002 will be Jacques Villeneuve's 4th consecutive season with British American Racing underlining his desire to help the team realise its true potential with more podium finishes. Olivier Panis has more than justified his return to full-time racing during his impressive first season with the team, the highlights being points-scoring performances in Brazil and Austria.
Jacques Villeneuve said "I am looking forward to working with Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda in 2002. Next year we should improve significantly and I'm confident that we can achieve some good results. I have been with the team for three seasons - since the beginning - and during that time there has been a steady progression. I'm very happy that we will continue working together to make the team as competitive as possible. It is also good news that Olivier and I will continue as team-mates. We work well together and that is important for the team to move forward and make the necessary progress."
Olivier Panis said "I am extremely happy to continue with Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda in 2002. Stability is a key factor in the future of the team and I believe that, together with Honda, we can go on to achieve great success. When I joined it was because Craig Pollock, the team and the partners had faith in my ability to come back into full-time racing and be successful again. In return, I had the same faith in them and their ambition to fight with the top teams in the Constructors Championship. Things haven't always turned out as we expected but it means a lot to me that we still have that same confidence in each other. The fact that Jacques and I will continue to be team-mates is also very important. We've had nearly a year together to get to know each other better and to understand how we both work. Jacques is a fierce competitor and I look forward to working with him again as we challenge the 2002 Championships. Now that everything has been cleared up for next season, I intend to focus on the six races remaining this year and do my utmost to achieve the best possible result in 2001."
Craig Pollock, Team Principal and Managing Director said "So far, 2001 has been a difficult season for Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda but the strength of our driver line-up continues to shine through. Jacques and Olivier have been doing an amazing job. We still have six Grands Prix to focus on and they will just keep pushing all the way. I am very happy that the partnership will continue next season. To fight at the top end of the Constructors' Championship you need two heavyweight drivers and we certainly have that in Olivier and Jacques. The momentum their combined talent brings is an enormous boost to the team. Now it's over to us to give them the tools to do the job in 2002. We have to produce a car that's capable of consistent podium finishes and which takes us nearer to our first win. I believe the continuity Olivier and Jacques will bring, combined with our ongoing partnership with Honda, means we can all look forward to the future with confidence."

26-Jul: Michael Schumacher has indicated that he is ready to race at the German GP and is hoping to celebrate his 51st win at Hockenheim and said "Our car has been very competitive on all circuits this year, so I think we can also be optimistic about the German Grand Prix. And of course, it would be great to be able to celebrate a 51st win right here in Hockenheim."
Schumacher added that the accident he had at Monza will not affect his racing at Hockenheim and expects the fight to be between the top 3 teams and said "The accident will not create any problems for me racing at Hockenheim as I know why and how it happened so everything is under control. I don't feel any pain at all and contrary to expectation, I already felt fine a couple of days after and over the weekend I did my usual physical training.
I expect Williams-BMW to be very strong at Hockenheim, and so I expect a battle between ourselves, them and McLaren."

Ralf Schumacher is confident of their chances if it doesn't rain and if the current weather forecast remains with sunny skies expected on all three days, Ralf doesn't need to worry about rain. He said "Itís my second home country Grand Prix this season and I will be looking forward to the unique atmosphere in the motodrom, which is like driving in a football stadium. Hockenheim is not particularly exciting from a driverís point of view, but there are some good overtaking opportunities. The most difficult thing is to achieve the right car set-up, as you have to find enough downforce for the twisty motodrom section and high speed for the long straights. As long as it doesnít rain we should be well prepared for this race."
His team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya also believes that they will be competitive at Hockenheim and said "I have always finished well at Hockenheim, although sometimes I have not qualified as well as I would have like to. This will be my third visit there and so it should improve my knowledge of the track. The Monza test has been extremely useful for us because our performance in Germany will depend on many of the factors we see at Monza, such as the importance of fuel levels. All in all, we have a good car and should be competitive there."

David Coulthard hoping to close the gap to Michael at Hockenheim. Being 37 points behind him in the championship, he needs to win the race to have any chance of catching Schumacher. He said "There are six races to go in the FIA Formula One World Championship and we are looking to build on the second positions held in both the Driversí and Constructorsí titles. The Mobil 1 German Grand Prix is always an interesting race, often affected by the unpredictable weather conditions. With the extremely fast outfield section, through which we are at full throttle for the majority of the time, and the slow Stadium complex, a set-up compromise is required to ensure the maximisation of performance over the whole track.
Team boss Ron Dennis is hoping for a good result from both his drivers to try and catch Ferrari. He said "Following the performance improvement demonstrated at Silverstone, the West McLaren Mercedes team arrives at the Mobil 1 German Grand Prix with two drivers who are capable of winning races. There are still a large number of points to be secured in both Championships, and the team will continue to work hard to optimise the results over the rest of the season."

26-Jul: Even though Michael Schumacher has not won the German Grand Prix in a Ferrari (he won once in 95' driving a Benetton), Ferrari could make it 3 in a row if they win on Sunday. In '99 Eddie Irvine won the race after Mika Salo driving in place of the injured Michael Schumacher handed him the lead and last year Rubens Barrichello won the race after starting from 18th place.
Of the current drivers, no driver has won the event more than once with Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen, Eddie Irvine and Rubens Barrichello each winning once. 
Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet have won the race 3 times each while Prost, Mansell and Berger won it 2 times.
Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell won pole 3 times each while of the current drivers only Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard have won pole, twice for Hakkinen and once for Coulthard.

The Williams team has the most number of wins with 7 ahead of Ferrari with 6 and McLaren with 5. McLaren hold the most number of poles with 8 ahead of Williams with 7 and Ferrari with 4.

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