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- 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."
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: 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."
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.
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.
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."
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."
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
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."
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."
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
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
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.
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."
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."
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."
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."
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
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."
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.