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June - 1 July News
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1-Jul: What the teams and drivers said following the Race at Magny Cours ... Report
the post Race press conference for the French Grand Prix, Michael
Schumacher explained his bad start was due to a clutch problem and
said "I almost lost a position against David. We came very close in
the first corner. I was inside, he was outside, so I kept it going until
we would see what happened in turn three, but he pulled over already in
turn one so the line was clear. But it was quite close, very close to
losing it, and imagining being behind him and then working with the
strategy would have been far more difficult, so it was ideal to be behind
Ralf, although he was very fast in his first stint."
Ralf Schumacher indicated that he
was happy to finish second given his pit stop problem and a problem with
his tyres on the second set and said "I had a pit stop problem.
That's why we lost a position I guess, in the first place. But in the
second stint my set didn't work at all. I was so slow, really. I was
losing everything and I had to come in earlier than expected. If I would
have come out in front of Michael I think it would have been difficult to
hold him behind me. I am actually happy to sit here in second today
because it was a disaster and really difficult to drive."
Rubens Barrichello was a bit
surprised to finish 3rd thanks to a brilliant strategy by Ross Brawn. He
said "Well, I guess I am a little bit (surprised), but in a way I
sorted out my problems that I had yesterday in qualifying. Qualifying was
horrible for me, I never really knew what was going on. The car was
oversteering in some places, understeering in other places. This morning
the car felt a lot better and I was going really well on my first stint,
saving a lot of fuel at that time, and Ross came on the radio and said
'would you like to try a three stop' and I said 'I think so, it's a good
idea, because then I can be quick on the track the whole time and by doing
2 stops I might only finish in front of the Jordans, so let's try.' I
think it was a really good try and I thank the team very much because it
was a hell of a race."
1-Jul: French Grand Prix - Race: Michael Schumacher wins his 50th race in his career ahead of Ralf Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. David Coulthard, Jarno Trulli and Nick Heidfeld make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes
1-Jul: French Grand Prix - Warm-up Session: Mika Hakkinen sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. David Coulthard, Jarno Trulli and Kimi Raikkonen make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes
Eddie Irvine and Jacques Villeneuve have
expressed their concern over the blocking tactics used by Michael
Schumacher at the start of races and warned that it could lead to
Jacques Villeneuve was equally
critical of the blocking and said "I've been starting away from
Michael for quite a time now so I'm not sure, but if you don't lift and
there's an accident, there's 20 cars coming behind you and there's a good
chance you're going to get hurt. So it's a very difficult situation. I'm
not sure what I'd do whether I would lift in that situation or not.
Bridgestone have announced that they will remain in Formula 1 as long as possible and expect more tyre manufacturers to get involved in Formula 1. Shigeo Watanabe, CEO of Bridgestone Corporation said "Our involvement has contributed a great deal to our tyre business. Being in Formula 1 has boosted our corporate image generally, and has put us at the forefront of tyre technology in the eyes of the world. I am delighted that cars on Bridgestone tyres have already won seven races this year, which is bringing us and our partners worldwide attention. Michael Schumacher is leading the championship for Bridgestone and the other two top three drivers are also on our tyres. I congratulate them all on their performances so far. Formula 1 is one of the most popular sports in the world and provides entertainment and interest for millions of people. In addition, our involvement provides us with an outlet for our technical expertise and has led to a transfer of technology that benefits all users of Bridgestone tyres. In the future, more car manufacturers will be involved in Formula 1 and we believe the number of tyre manufacturers will increase also. This will enhance further the profile of our business once again. Bridgestone will continue its involvement in Formula 1 for as long as possible. I would like to thank the organisers, teams and the media who have supported us since 1997 and hope they will continue to do so in the future."
The Minardi team boss Paul Stoddard has accused the Arrows team of deliberately blocking his driver Fernando Alonso during qualifying and said "What would otherwise have been a reasonably good qualifying session for European Minardi was marred by an intentional blocking manoeuvre by Arrows and its driver, Enrique Bernoldi, which spoiled Fernando’s last run. This was orchestrated by a member of the Arrows team, positioned in the pit lane, who ensured Bernoldi’s exit from his garage was timed to perfection. This unsporting behaviour undoubtedly lost Fernando what would have been his best run of the afternoon."
the post Qualifying press conference for the French Grand Prix, Ralf
Schumacher indicated that the fight for pole was very tight even
though he didn't expect win it and said "It was very tight indeed. In
actual fact I didn't expect, after this morning, that we were able to beat
them here, but it worked out. It was very tight but it was enough."
Michael Schumacher indicated that he
could have done better had as he had some traffic on his quickest lap and
said "I just had traffic on my third run, which I would say could
have been the fastest run, but that's the way it goes. If you come
together you may say that you could have gone faster, but that doesn't
count. What is the result finally is him (Ralf) having pole position, that
counts and it's a good way to celebrate his birthday anyway."
David Coulthard indicated that he
was encouraged to be closer to the top 2 and said "I think we can
take encouragement because generally the car was capable of being quicker
but you have to make a decision when you're doing the lap as to whether
you're trying to gain that little bit of time which will help you up the
grid, or obviously you can go over the top and lose time. I think we have
to be encouraged that we were actually so much closer here than we were at
the Nurburgring. This is a lot closer than we have been in qualifying for
recent races, obviously Monaco aside. I don't recall what the gap was in
Canada but I think I was third on the grid there as well."
30-Jun: What the teams and drivers said following Qualifying at Magny Cours ... Report
30-Jun: French Grand Prix - Qualifying Session: Ralf Schumacher grabs his first pole position of his career ahead of his brother Michael Schumacher with David Coulthard in 3rd. Mika Hakkinen, Jarno Trulli and Juan Pablo Montoya make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes
30-Jun: French Grand Prix - 2nd Saturday Practice: Michael Schumacher remains fastest ahead of Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard. Mika Hakkinen, Jarno Trulli and Rubens Barrichello make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes
30-Jun: French Grand Prix - 1st Saturday Practice: Michael Schumacher sets the fastest time ahead of David Coulthard and Ralf Schumacher. Rubens Barrichello, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jarno Trulli make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes
the Friday press conference for the French Grand Prix, Olivier Panis
indicated that he is happy to be racing at his home GP and said "I am
very happy to be racing again in my home Grand Prix and I'm very happy to
be racing in front of French spectators. It's very important, but I'm not
very lucky here all the time. I expect this year will be better for me."
Jean Alesi explained the reason why
he gives away his helmets when he gets a good result and said "It's a
feeling I have inside and I share everything. Even when I'm not happy, I
share it with my friend Alain, so when I'm happy I share it with the fans."
Fernando Alonso indicated that they
have a few improvements in the pipeline that he hopes will enable him to
qualify higher and said "We lost something compared with other teams
because everybody improved their performance in qualifying and the races,
and for us it has been a bit difficult, in the last two races, to be 18th
or 19th as before. But we have some improvement for Silverstone
and maybe for Hockenheim, with a new gearbox and a new aerodynamic
package. That will be good for us to come back in those circuits."
Alain Prost has indicated that they
are discussing their contract with Ferrari and said "First of all we
have a contract, obviously a contract can be discussed and we are talking
very closely for next year and the year after - especially for next year
obviously. Ferrari is helping us a lot not only technically on the human
side and we are very close and it's very easy to talk with them about how
we might have a better deal possibly."
29-Jun: What the teams and drivers said following Friday practice at Magny Cours ... Report
29-Jun: French Grand Prix - 2nd Friday Practice: David Coulthard sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Eddie Irvine and Jacques Villeneuve. Mika Hakkinen, Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes
29-Jun: French Grand Prix - 1st Friday Practice: Mika Hakkinen sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard. Rubens Barrichello, Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes
the Thursday press conference for the French Grand Prix, Jean Todt
has described how much he enjoys working at Ferrari despite being 8 years
in the job and said "Of course it's different to when I arrived eight
years ago. Now I lead a dream team of very good people, we are all very
happy together. The team is strong, the spirit is strong, Ferrari is a
great company and still has a passion for motor racing, so I may not be
very young any more but still able to do and be willing to do the job."
Pierre Dupasquier was surprised at the comments that the Michelin tyres don't perform well in cold weather and said "I don't understand why. Even when I hear that, I ask, do you have an example of a cold race where Michelin isn't good and they answer No, that's it. We have done a very poor performance in the cold, rainy time at Imola on Saturday morning, very poor, but that was rain, cold rain, not only cold. Let's find a situation with cold weather to find out. Very frankly speaking, I can't understand this, I can't answer."
Enrique Scalabroni has indicated that while they will not be supplying the Arrows team, AsiaTech have yet to decide which team to supply next year if any and said "We made an announcement that we will change direction. At the moment we are analysing what direction we will go and shortly we will announce that. You can count the number of teams with the fingers of your hand, not too many, and the names are there and we need to see which is the best operation to do, what we have at the moment and what the teams have. John Gano will not be present at this race because he is flying tonight to Asia to talk with the main people in the group and with them, we need to explain exactly the situation and it is up to them to take the decision. It is not a technical decision, it is not my business. It is a matter of the future development of the company that we enter with and with the teams that we are working."
Michael Schumacher has indicated
that his brother Ralf was more upset about the 10 second stop-go penalty
than with Michael's aggressive start and said "I think the
particularly reason - and Ralf has expressed this as well, although people
don't like to listen because it doesn't suit their story - is that Ralf
was quite upset about the 10 second stop and go penalty because he felt
that this decision was a very hard one and I can only agree for what had
happened to get what he did is a very hard decision. But then, on the
other hand, the rule is there and we all ought to respect that sometimes
it's hard to accept and sometimes it's the other way around. That is the
main reason - and I said this after Sunday as well - that he wasn't too
happy about what I did at the start, I can well imagine, I've been very
unhappy with people who did the same to me and when you're behind, you're
always the person who is unhappy. In front, you feel totally OK. That's
the way it is. We don't have a particular problem with this. We talk about
things and perhaps they're pretty clear. We race and we race for different
companies and we have to maximise the opportunities and we have to use the
rules in whatever way they allow us to until a certain point, obviously,
and he's quite happy with that."
Jarno Trulli has indicated that in
his 5 year career in Formula 1 he had never had a competitive and reliable
car so far and said "It's always disappointing when you can't finish
races, especially when you are in the points, but that is racing. You have
to keep working, with the team, to try to develop and push more and more.
Try to get reliability, which is what we need at the moment. It's
difficult, but I have to say that I'm almost used to that, because in my
five years in Formula One I never had a really competitive and reliable
car, so I always try to do my best in ever race, I just forget what
happened before and every weekend hope that it's going to be alright.
That's why I look so strong at every race, because I have had bad luck
Schumacher made 9 Formula 1 appearances at the Magny Cours track; of
those 9, he won 4 while retired from 3 with 2 finishing in the points. He
has the most number of wins at the Magny Cours track while running second
overall in the all time winners for the French Grand Prix behind Alain
Prost who won it 6 times between 1981 and 1993. He shares this second
place with Juan Manuel Fangio and Nigel Mansell. Surprisingly, Ayrton
Senna never won the French Grand Prix.
Michael Schumacher has 3 pole positions so far, that is 2 behind Juan Manuel Fangio who has 5. Ayrton Senna had just 1 pole position at the French GP and that was in in 1986 in a Lotus 98T. Of the current drivers, Mika Hakkinen and Rubens Barrichello had one pole position each.
Ferrari have won 11 times at the French GP (twice at Magny Cours) ahead of Lotus and Williams with 7 wins each. McLaren have won the event 5 times.
28-Jun: "The Michelin factor" is the title of the 20th issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2001 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the aftermath of the European Grand Prix and the upcoming French Grand Prix - Issue 20
27-Jun: "Should engine capacity be reduced to 2.5 litres ?" Topic of the week - Have Your Say
27-Jun: David Coulthard has admitted that McLaren is behind Ferrari and Williams following the European Grand Prix but he is determined to do what he can to try and reduce the gap between himself and Michael Schumacher in the championship however he is wary if the Williams team and said "The performance at the Nurburgring doesn't mean that we're all at sea going to Magny-Cours because it's a different track, different tyre, which can change the situation significantly. Michelin at the test (at Magny-Cours last month) were very strong so we can expect them to be very fast on that track, and Ferrari have still got a slight edge on us. We'll do what we can."
The Benetton team have been struggling this
season ever since they launched the B201, however they have been talking
about a new engine package to be introduced this weekend that will give
them a big jump in power. Giancarlo Fisichella is very confident of
the improvements they will get with this new package and said "For
the next race it's going to be a big step, a big jump in power, so I am
Tom Walkinshaw has indicated that his Orange Arrows team will
not be using the AsiaTech engines next year and that they are looking at
three different engine options for 2002 and said "We have three
engine options for 2002. AsiaTech was informed this morning to plan
without us for next year. We will announce our engine partner for the 2002
season in the very near future."
Alain Prost has indicated that contrary to the rumours going around in the F1 circles, his Prost team were very happy with the Ferrari engines they are currently using and he expects to continue with them for next year. He did however indicate that their could be a possibility of a switch and said "Formula 1 has plenty of rumours, we have a deal with Ferrari, we are very happy with Ferrari, they are doing a good job for us so there is no point to change. We will see if there is something different in the next two weeks but at the moment we don't plan to change. I will do a statement very quickly to tell what is happening."
French Formula 1 Grand Prix Schedule: