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25-Mar: An easy win for Ferrari ? The Brazilian Grand Prix Preview is now available ... Race Preview

Brazilian Formula 1 Grand Prix Schedule:

Session Time (Local / GMT) - World Clock
Friday Practice Session 1
Friday Practice Session 2
Saturday Practice Session 1
Saturday Practice Session 2
Qualifying Session
Warm-up Session
11 AM SP Time / 2 PM GMT
1 PM SP Time / 4 PM GMT
9 AM SP Time / 12 PM GMT
10:15 AM SP Time / 1:15 PM GMT 
1 PM SP Time / 4 PM GMT
9:30 AM SP Time / 1 2:30 PM GMT 
2 PM SP Time / 5 PM GMT
SP: Sao Paulo
Go to the Brazilian GP Page

24-Mar: Following their excellent form at the Malaysian GP with Ralf Schumacher qualifying 3rd and Juan Pablo Montoya 6th, the BMW Williams F1 team is looking forward to the Brazilian GP and hoping to collect more points. Frank Williams said "I am really looking forward to this race to be competitive once again. A good long straight presents very good passing opportunities beyond the pits. I�ve always thought Interlagos provided a fine track for exciting racing. Let�s hope we�re part of the action."
BMW Motorsport Director Gerhard Berger said "Both the Melbourne and Sepang circuits required a higher level of downforce, which was quite difficult to achieve due to this year�s rule changes. Interlagos is going to be the first track of the 2001 calendar where less downforce is required. In Sao Paulo again, we will have to deal with high temperatures, but no different to that we have already experienced, anyway. The Malaysian heat turned out being very positive for Michelin, and also on the engine side we could get further trust in our reliability. In Interlagos the engine power is very important on the circuit�s two long straights, one of which, furthermore, is uphill. All in all we are looking confidently at the Brazilian Grand Prix where we hope to collect some more points."

23-Mar: Michael Schumacher and Luca Badoer have dominated the 4 day Barcelona test setting the fastest times on each of the 4 days and considerably faster than any of the other teams. Michael Schumacher was in a confident mood following the test and said "I think we will be competitive in Brazil, just as we were in Melbourne and Sepang. I can't see any reason why we shouldn't be."
On the final day Michael Schumacher was 0.4 seconds faster than Olivier Panis and Mika Hakkinen.
9 teams were present with 14 drivers setting lap times . Jacques Villeneuve covered the most number of laps with 87 followed by Michael Schumacher with 76 and Stephane Sarrazin (Prost test driver) with 75 laps. Jos Verstappen covered the least number of laps with 40. Giancarlo Fisichella in the Benetton managed to cover 43 laps although low by comparison to the other teams it is a relatively high number of laps for the team given their struggle with the 2001 car in the last couple of days.
Marc Gene had a small accident in the Williams BMW in the morning slightly damaging the car but managed to return to the track later in the afternoon. He was the only Williams driver present as Ralf Schumacher had to leave the test early feeling unwell. 
The teams will now start preparing the cars for the long trip to Brazil.

Click here for the timed results

23-Mar: Following the launch of the new Toyota Formula 1 car, the team presented the car on track to the media. Toyota first demonstrated their heritage in Motorsport by showing their World Rally car as well as their Le Mans GT followed by the new F1 car. Mika Salo drove the car for 6 laps and admitted afterwards that he was nervous and said "I had driven the car up and done the back straight twice two days ago, so this is the first time I drove it around a corner and I am glad it turned. It needs a bit of adjusting to the handling and in other areas, and we will start this tomorrow, but the main thing was that it started. I am really relieved. Before this I was a bit nervous as Andre warned me not to crash, but after a couple of laps I forgot about that. I had no idea what would happen though so I was nervous."

Toyota Motorsport President Ove Andersson has confirmed that Allan McNish will partner Mika Salo next year as their second driver. He said "McNish will race with us unless something really bad happens. We have worked with Allan during our Le Mans programme and found him technically excellent and a pleasant person to work with."

23-Mar: Toyota have launched their first ever Formula 1 test car at the Paul Ricard track in France today as the team prepares for their Formula 1 debut in 2002.
The car was designed and built from scratch at the Toyota Formula 1 operation which is based in Cologne, Germany. It took 19 months from starting with a clean sheet of paper until the first Formula 1 car was unveiled.
The launch was attended by all the key personnel from Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) including Tsutomu Tomita, a director of Toyota Motor Company and the chairman of TMG, Ove Andersson, the President of TMG, Andre de Cortanze, Toyota's Technical Director and the two test drivers Mika Salo and Allan McNish.
Ove Andersson did not set any high expectations from the team and indicated that their long term target is to compete for the title and said "A big-size cheque book alone does not win races. There are recent examples of that. It is the strength, dedication and passion of the whole team that makes it successful or not. This takes time and is extremely difficult to achieve. Our first task is to build the best possible car. Only when we have succeeded, can we maybe start thinking, or better dreaming, about challenging for the title."
Ove Andersson also explained the reason why the team embarked on such a programme from scratch rather than buy into and existing team or just supply engines to a major team and said "It is the culture of Toyota to take up the full challenge and start from the very beginning with a project so that at least there can be no doubt about the responsibility for failure or success. I believe this is the background of the decision. Being engine supplier to a famous team is thought not to give the right return on investment and the car would not be a Toyota. Toyota builds complete road cars so why not a complete F1 race car? For sure we will all learn much more this way."
Andersson praised their 2 test drivers and said "Our drivers Mika and Allan, we believe, will be able to help us move forward with our project because of their past experience. They are more than capable to provide the technical feedback needed by our engineers and technicians. We have worked with Allan during our Le Mans programme and found him technically excellent and a pleasant person to work with. Mika has a good reputation and vast experience both from working in small as well as in big teams. He will be instrumental in helping us get our act together. Working as part of the team they have a tough demanding job to do in the coming years."
Andre de Cortanze has indicated that while they would love to see the car race as soon as possible, their first priority is to ensure the car's reliability and said "Of course there is a desire to see the car race as soon as possible but we are realistic and want to have the car well prepared for racing, so that's why we are embarking on such an exhausting test programme. In the beginning I want to be able to make more than 300 kilometres before retiring into the pits. There are many other goals after that but our number one aim is to achieve reliability as well as speed. There is no point having a fast car if it cannot finish."
Mika Salo strongly believes that Toyota will be a dominant team in Formula 1 and that is why he signed for them and said "If looks are anything to go on it will be very fast, but all the revolutionary stuff is underneath. Not only for Toyota but for Formula 1, it is important that we are competitive - Formula 1 needs another dominant team. Hopefully that will be Toyota. That is why I am here."

23-Mar: Jaguar's boss Bobby Rahal has denied the rumours claiming the Jaguar have given their rookie driver Luciano Burti an ultimatum which is to perform in Brazil or be replaced. Rahal said "I don�t know where these stories come from. As I�ve said many times before, Pedro is our development driver, with a contract to race next year. Eddie and Luciano are our race drivers and will remain so for the rest of the year, and that�s the end of the story."
Luciano Burti was also surprised about these comments as he doesn't believe that he is doing such a bad job and said "From my point of view it�s pretty clear, I have a contract with the team until the end of the season. I�m happy with them and as far as I know, they�re happy with me. To be honest it�s quite funny that people are already talking about my performance. In Australia I had a few problems but in the race I did okay, and in Malaysia my performance wasn�t bad. If you look at Montoya or Raikkonen, they were 0.7s off their team-mates and that�s what I was behind Eddie."

Last year CART star Dario Franchitti had a test with Jaguar Racing (story) but later indicated his regret to have conducted such a test due to internal team problems (story). Bobby Rahal has recently stated that Franchitti's time is running out and if he is to switch to Formula 1 it has to be this year. Franchitti has now confirmed his desire to move to Formula 1 next year despite the failed attempt last year and said "I've always said, there's no secret of the fact that I'd like to do Formula One. I'm out of contract at the end of this year, if it happens so be it. We'll see but right now I'm happy where I am, I'm enjoying my racing, I'm enjoying driving the car. To think about the future and ifs and buts is a waste of energy."

22-Mar: Michael Schumacher was the fastest man on the track today setting a time that was 0.7 seconds faster than anyone else. Olivier Panis in the BAR was second as he continues to set impressive times in testing although that has yet to show in his qualifying. Heinz Harald Frentzen was third slightly behind Panis.
With the exception of Sauber and Minardi, all the teams were present today. Eddie Irvine covered the most number of laps with 103 followed by Mika Hakkinen with 85 and Michael Schumacher with 76. Jenson Button covered the least number of laps with 13. 
The teams continued testing their traction control systems and preparing for the upcoming Brazilian GP on the 1st of April. 
Several teams had problems which forced the session to be stopped. Ferrari, Williams, BAR and Benetton all suffered engine failures during the session.
Both McLaren drivers were present but were testing their modified 2000 spec cars. The 2001 spec cars were undergoing aerodynamic development.
The session concludes tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results

22-Mar: Michael Schumacher has indicated that their choice of intermediate tyres and their rivals choice of wet tyres made for the huge gap in performance between them and said "In the warm-up we found out that the intermediate tyres were much quicker than the rain ones. On my first flying lap I did a time of 1.52, while Coulthard on rain tyres did a 1.57. With the intermediates, you only needed someone in front to lay out the racing line and you could easily drive it. It was clear that while some parts of the track were very wet, others were almost dry. In these conditions, rain tyres can go off very quickly, while they were almost ideal for intermediates. So, if you have the best car in the field and your rivals help you out by getting their tyre choice wrong, you end up with the big gap we saw on Sunday."
Schumacher once again dismissed talk of Ferrari using illegal traction control and said "I think these declarations are completely incorrect and I am very disappointed about them. I really do not understand why people cannot simply accept that we have done a great job over the winter. As for the new engine, we have concentrated on its driveability, trying to optimise its power curve. That can only happen if the car is very good aerodynamically and mechanically and has very good grip."

Giancarlo Fisichella immediately apologised for his mistake on the formation lap at the Malaysian GP when he missed his starting position and ended up stranded in the middle of the grid forcing an aborted start that relegated him to the back of the grid. Fisichella said "I immediately admitted to the mistake, I apologised to the whole team on the radio. I was simply concentrating too hard on making sure that the car was set up right and I was only watching the car in front."
Team boss Flavio Briatore surprisingly defended his driver and said "Unfortunately Giancarlo was distracted but what happened on Sunday is also a result of a particular situation we are going through. We are still in an experimental stage."

21-Mar: Luca Badoer was again the fastest man on the Barcelona track today ahead of Heinz Harald Frentzen and Alexander Wurz.
There were 8 teams present today with 12 drivers setting lap times. A number of regular drivers were present but still jet lagged.
The fastest time set by Badoer (1:21.047) is still considerably slower than the fastest time set here this year by Rubens Barrichello (1:18.606). 
Luca Badoer had his first taste of the F2001 preparing it for Michael Schumacher who joins tomorrow. Badoer said of the F2001 "It felt really good straight away. You can tell the car is basically sound from all points of view; chassis, engine and driveability".
Juan Pablo Montoya did some tyre evaluation as well as traction control testing but complained of the jet lag and said "We had a pretty good day, doing some tyre testing and working a bit on traction control. I am still a bit jet-lagged though, this morning I woke up at 5:00am!"
The BAR team was scheduled to join the test today but were delayed due to the late arrival of their cars from Malaysia.
Alexander Wurz covered the most number of laps with 103 followed by Heinz Harald Frentzen with 86 and Luca Badoer with 85. Eddie Irvine covered the least number of laps with 6 while Jenson Button only managed 17.
Most of the teams continued testing their traction control systems for the Spanish GP and setting up their cars for the Brazilian GP next week.
There were several spins and car failures during the session. None of which were major.
More drivers are expected to join tomorrow including Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard and Jacques Villeneuve.

Click here for the timed results

21-Mar: "Ferrari dominates" is the title of the 6th issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2001 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the aftermath of the Malaysian Grand Prix - Issue 6

21-Mar: Eddie Irvine has expressed his surprise at Barrichello's comments that he was unhappy with Michael's overtaking manoeuvre at the Malaysian GP and said "You can only beat Michael when he�s not there, or when he lets you win. To be honest, I�m amazed that Barrichello still doesn�t understand this after one year with Ferrari. When I was with Ferrari in 1999, I won in Australia because Michael retired, at Zeltweg and Hockenheim because his leg was in plaster and finally in Malaysia because he let me win. I doubt very much that I could have won anything in 1999 if Schumacher had been there fighting for the title. When Barrichello won at Hockenheim last year, the German went off at the first corner. That just goes to prove that when he�s in the race, no team-mate can beat him!"

In preparation for their Formula 1 debut in 2002, the Toyota Motorsport Group (TMG) are set to unveil their Formula 1 car on Friday the 23rd of March at the Paul Ricard circuit near Marseille in France. The circuit will be the team's home circuit but have also been granted special permission by the FIA to test at all the European circuits except Monaco as well as Interlagos, Suzuka and Sepang this year. 
Mika Salo and Allan McNish will carry out the testing duties for the team this year with Salo confirmed as one of their drivers in 2002. The team has also signed 17 year old French driver Franck Perera and 19 year old Australian driver Ryan Briscoe as part of their young drivers' development program.

20-Mar: On the first day of testing at Barcelona, Luca Badoer (Ferrari test driver) sets the fastest time just under 0.6 seconds faster than Alexander Wurz (McLaren test driver).

5 teams were present and 5 drivers set lap times today. All the drivers present today were test drivers. Marc Gene covered the most number of laps with 89 followed by Johnny Herbert with 78 and Alexander Wurz with 74. Luca Badoer covered the least number of laps with 42.
Ferrari are testing the F1-2000 fitted with traction control with Luca Badoer. Michael Schumacher is expected to join on Thursday and test the F2001 in preparation for the Brazilian GP.
McLaren are MP4/15 development car also fitted with traction control with Alexander Wurz. Both David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen are expected to join tomorrow.
Williams are running both the FW22B and FW23 with Marc Gene and are also concentrating on traction control. Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher are due to join on Wednesday and Thursday.
Arrows are testing with both the A21 and A22 with Johnny Herbert and Enrique Bernoldi joins the test tomorrow.
Benetton continues to test new components trying to make the car more competitive. Mark Webber is conducting the test with both regular drivers expected to join him.
BAR, Jaguar, Jordan and Prost are expected to join the test tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results

20-Mar: Most of the 11 Formula 1 teams including Ferrari will start testing at Barcelona from today for a 4 day test session. This will be the last time the Formula 1 cars will test at Barcelona before the Spanish GP on the 29th of April. This is due to the new regulations that ban testing on a circuit one month prior to a grand prix. The same applies to Magny Cours, Silverstone and Monza (story).
Most teams will be running two different programs, one to fine tune their traction control systems which will be re-introduced at the Spanish GP and the second will be to test different enhancements in preparation for the Brazilian GP.
The teams start testing today with their test drivers concentrating on Traction Control systems. Once their regular drivers have recovered from the jet lag and their cars arrive, they will join the action.  Regular drivers are expected to join on the 22nd and test for the final 2 days.

20-Mar: "Should Rubens Barrichello be penalised ?" Topic of the week - Have Your Say

20-Mar: Following the Malaysian Grand Prix, McLaren's boss Ron Dennis has indicated that while the intermediate tyres were superior to the wet tyres during the race, the team decided to use wet tyres to minimise the risk to the drivers and said "The decision to put both drivers on wet tyres was the only responsible option when faced with the severity of the downpour, it turned out to be the wrong decision but it was the only decision to take at the time. You can�t play around with drivers' lives. David told us he was aquaplaning at 60mph behind the safety car. When the safety car finally pulled in, conditions had significantly improved, resulting in a performance advantage being passed to our main competitors who had fitted intermediate tyres."

Ferrari's Technical Director Ross Brawn hit back at those comments and indicated that they have tested intermediates at Fiorano and they were comfortable with them and said "We tried these tyres at Fiorano last week, and we knew that the intermediate was a very, very good tyre. Ron made a comment about Ferrari being irresponsible fitting those tyres. We had the information that they were very good tyres even in fairly deep water. So I think that�s a bit of an unfortunate comment for him to make without the facts or information that was needed. We knew there were dry parts of the track and we knew there were wet parts of the track and we knew the tyres were very good in the morning as well. That was what we ran this morning. We knew it was very good and we knew it would go into the dry.�

Heinz Harald Frentzen has revealed that not only was he very lucky to start the race but he was also lucky finishing it as his car had no fuel on board. Frentzen said "It started in the parade lap when software gremlins meant the system switched to an emergency program which limited the engine automatically to 5.000 rpm. In my mind, I was starting to think about my flight back to Europe. On my way to the pits, I heard of the interruption of the starting procedure in the very last moment so I stayed on the track � good luck. It was also very lucky that the software problem could be solved before the start."
Later on in the race Frentzen was told that he was 5 litres short on fuel and he had to save fuel in order to finish without pitting and said "Due to a technical error during refuelling, there were five litres missing in my fuel tank. My pit signalled me a lack of fuel so I had to save fuel permanently. Despite my economic way of driving, my computer showed me a completely dry fuel tank one lap short of the finish. But my Honda didn�t disappoint me and managed the remaining 5542 metres with air and a lot of stamina..."

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