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Issue 7 - The Heretic

30 March - 1 April News

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1-Apr: What the teams and drivers said following the Brazilian GP ... Report

1-Apr: At the post race press conference, David Coulthard indicated that his team predicted rain during the race and they setup his car with that in mind. That was why he struggled during the dry part of the race but when the rain came down he was very strong and said "I knew I had made some changes to the car with my engineer to help the car for the wet conditions. And we were getting reports of an increasing percentage chance of rain. And I just didn't want to be the one to get caught out again in those conditions. I didn't want to be the first to pit. I waited for Michael to do that. But, once I was out I was obviously able to get past him quite easily. And you know I think my engineer, Phil and Mark and all the guys did a good job setting up the car. So it's very satisfying to win this race. I know it was maybe slightly fortunate because Montoya was going very strong. But I still think in the wet we would have been in great shape."
When asked if he will be given preferential treatment as he is now just 6 points Michael while Hakkinen only has one point, he ignored the suggestions and indicated that they have equal cars, he changed the topic by expressing his delight for winning the race and gave the win as a present to his sister who asked him for a win and said "I think the team provide two equal cars anyway, so I don't really think that is an issue. And equally I think you count your championship position at the end of the season, not at the beginning. So there is a long way to go, a lot of work to be done. But I am just delighted that I was able to get my tenth victory here. It's my sister's birthday. She asked me for a win for her birthday, so it's the best present I could give her. So I am really overjoyed. You know this is definitely the best feeling I have had in a Grand Prix."

Michael Schumacher was asked about the overtaking manoeuvre that Montoya made on him after the safety car went in. He explained that the Williams had a better straight line speed and said "He had quite a lot of straight line speed in comparison to us. The problem here is that you have a very long straight from the last corner to the start and finish line. So you have to give a lot of time for the safety car to go up front before you can really start to push. And it means you only have this last corner and the guy is able to stay very close to you from there, and its very easy to take the slipstream and go in the first corner. Although I thought I was in front enough to keep in front, but then he must have braked very late and he just got it right. I mean he pushed me wide in the exit, which is pretty normal racing. We touched a bit, but no problem with that. And then I thought I could have another run at him at a later stage, but I never got really in that position."

Nick Heidfeld indicated how amazed he was to be on the podium and said "Its incredible for me and I am really happy for all the team, who put a lot of effort in it. To be honest I think I didn't realise right now, because for me now to be on the podium is really amazing."

1-Apr: Brazilian GP � Race: David Coulthard wins ahead of Michael Schumacher and Nick Heidfeld. Olivier Panis, Jarno Trulli and Giancarlo Fisichella make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes

1-Apr: Brazilian GP � Warm-up: Session over - Michael Schumacher sets the fastest time ahead of Rubens Barrichello and Mika Hakkinen. Ralf Schumacher, Jarno Trulli and David Coulthard make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes

31-Mar: The FIA have given the all clear to Ralf Schumacher to start from second position after his car was under investigation by the race stewards for a fuel irregularity. The fuel sample taken from Ralf's car was found to be illegal but after analysing a second fuel sample, it was found to be compliant. The statement read "A report was received from the FIA Technical delegate which stated that during the qualifying session a fuel sample was taken from car number 5 (Ralf Schumacher). The result of the fuel analysis showed the fuel was not the same as one of those approved for use by the competitor prior to this event. The Team Managers were summoned to report to the Stewards of the Meeting immediately. After having heard the FIA Technical delegate and the FIA Fuel Analyst and the team, the Stewards agreed that one more sample would be analysed. After having examined the results of this further analysis, the Stewards are now satisfied that the fuel used during qualifying was one approved for use by the competitor."

31-Mar: Despite crashing his race car on his first run during qualifying, Juan Pablo Montoya (4th) believes that he is getting better and said "At my first stint the car felt really good, but I pushed too hard on turn 11. I had to take the T-car, which was behaving a bit differently from my race car. Anyway, I have a good position to race from tomorrow. Myself and the team are getting better."

David Coulthard (5th) was in a confident mood despite being 5th on the grid and said "My first run was aborted when I hit traffic and as a result I only had three runs. The balance of the car has improved and there has been a performance increase from the engine as well. The competition is very close and I'm looking forward to the race where we should be in good shape."

Rubens Barrichello (6th) was very disappointed to qualify in 6th place given that this is his home GP and that Michael was on pole and said "I am very disappointed with the outcome of this qualifying session. In this morning�s free practice I only ran one set of tyres. In the afternoon, on new tyres, I was never able to find the ideal balance on the car, which was continually understeering. I am not at all happy, as I felt I could have got a much better result. Sixth place was certainly not what I was expecting here in front of my home crowd."

Jarno Trulli (7th) described his qualifying as difficult but feels that they are in a good shape for the race and said "It was obviously a difficult qualifying for me, I didn't manage any timed laps in the second half of the morning session so I wasn't able to complete the work I needed to find the best set-up for qualifying. Even so, given our good performance yesterday, I think we are in good shape for the race."

Heinz Harald Frentzen (8th) admitted that he tried everything he could to qualify higher and said "'We did a good job during qualifying, I squeezed everything I could out of the car. The balance was okay and I had to abort my third run when I came across a slower car. With everyone being so close, it was difficult to make the step necessary to move up the grid. The competition is very strong but we are not that far away from the front when you look at the times. I think we will be pretty strong for the race. It should be good!"

The Sauber pair of Nick Heidfeld (9th) and Kimi Raikkonen (10th) kept swapping places all weekend, both were satisfied to be in the top 10. Nick said "I'm really pleased with the way things have gone today. All through we have been making small adjustments. Things didn't work out on my third run, but the change we made for the final one was the best of all. To get both cars into the top 10 is brilliant, and I enjoyed the battle with Kimi. Tomorrow we have another quite big change which should make the car strong for the race, so I'm optimistic." While Kimi said "Everything was fine for me today. The car went very well and I enjoyed a good battle with Nick. I'm very pleased to finish in the top 10 in only my third F1 qualifying session, because this is the result I have been aiming for since Melbourne. I'm very pleased."

31-Mar: At the post qualifying press conference, Michael Schumacher has indicated that he knew that he had a chance for pole all weekend despite appearing slightly off the pace and said "I guess that some people, particularly yesterday, were driving with low fuel levels and that makes the picture look different to what is the normal facts. But we know pretty well from when we see lap times and when we compare things - where we stand. We knew it would be tight, but we knew we had a chance. And finally we did it."
As for the race, Michael was confident about his chances and said "We know from testing, from races, that our car is very competitive. Probably the best in the field, I'd say. If we don't do mistakes, if nothing unusual happens, then there is no reason why we shouldn't have the opportunity to win. But having the opportunity and finally doing it are two separate things. And we will have to see how difficult Ralf or Mika or other guys will make the job for me during the race."

Ralf Schumacher has indicated that he was very pleased with the Michelin tyres and that they will even be better tomorrow and said "Michelin have supplied us with very good tyres so far. And I guess especially in the race tomorrow, they will be looking even a bit better."
He also hopes that he could have a good start and keep everyone behind him and said "I think I'm in a good position although I'm on the dirty line on the inside, which is not always perfect, especially here, but we'll see. I think if I have a good start, it should be difficult to overtake me. I mean Mika should be able to tell you I guess from the last race how difficult it was. And that's a good advantage for us."

Mika Hakkinen indicated that he was satisfied with his result as they couldn't find the right balance and said "We couldn't find the right balance for the car. That's why obviously we weren't able to push the car quick enough to be on pole position today. There is always a big risk to go at the last minute, because if something happens - oil on the track or yellow flags - you're going to lose your run. But that risk has to be taken. And it didn't work out 100% for us because we didn't get the pole, but it was okay."
As for the race, Hakkinen hopes to emerge as the winner but realises that every good run eventually comes to an end and said "To be first, you have to be first to finish, that's the major thing. I like to finish, and I like to score the points. If we can, we want to have another victory. You know, every good series will have an end at some stage. There are always ups and downs. We have been seeing a very long duration of up. I hope we continue to see that for a while."

31-Mar: Brazilian GP � Qualifying: Michael Schumacher grabs his 7th pole in a row ahead of his brother Ralf Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen. Juan Pablo Montoya, David Coulthard and Rubens Barrichello make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes

31-Mar: Brazilian GP � 2nd Saturday Practice: Juan Pablo Montoya sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard. Ralf Schumacher, Michael Schumacher and Heinz Harald Frentzen make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes

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

30-Mar: David Coulthard (1st) has indicated his surprise to the progress made on the car since the last race and said "I'm pleasantly surprised with the progress made with the car since the last race. I don't know whether it's enough but believe we will be closer to our main competitors this weekend. It's hard to describe how bumpy the track is. You are really struggling to keep your eye line and the first run today was a bit of a shock to the system."
His team-mate Mika Hakkinen (5th) said "I'm comfortable with the performance of the car. We were running on good fuel levels and didn't use many tyres, so all in all two pretty good practice sessions. We have made progress but it's too soon to speculate on how much until tomorrow. As always its incredibly bumpy out there - it seems to get worse and worse every year."

Jarno Trulli (2nd) is confident for qualifying and said "It was a positive session for me, I lost about half an hour of running while we tried different brakes but, otherwise, we spent the day working on the set-up and making progress. The car is competitive again and we don't seem to be far away in lap times from everyone else. So, I'm confident for tomorrow. The track has been resurfaced in places and they have done a pretty good job, even if it's still a bit bumpy here and there."
His team-mate Heinz Harald Frentzen (8th) suffered from an engine problem and said "I didn't get to use most of the second session thanks to an unexpected problem. The engine just stopped - it wasn't a failure or anything like that - but I suddenly had no drive. I have no idea at this stage why that happened. But it meant I couldn't complete the programme we had planned for the day. We'll just have to work hard tomorrow."

Michael Schumacher (3rd) described the track as difficult and the car not 100% yet and said "This is a difficult circuit, but I am happy with the work we have done so far. I had a puncture on the rear which meant we lost a set of tyres and that involved changing our programme. The car is not yet a hundred percent, but we have made progress. We will continue with the work tomorrow. Looking at the times, it would seem that the opposition is closer than in the past two races, but of course on Friday, you can never be sure what tyres and fuel load they were running. The track is better since they resurfaced it."
His team-mate Rubens Barrichello (7th) had an engine problem in the second session limiting his time and said "The track is better than last year. The bumps on the pit straight are definitely smaller. On my twenty third lap, I spun at the exit to the first turn. I think it was due to a problem with the engine, which stopped unexpectedly. It might have been due to a drop in oil pressure. We will have to wait for the car to be brought back to the pits before finding out what actually happened. At least it�s better for this sort of thing to happen on a Friday rather than on Sunday!"

Juan Pablo Montoya (4th) was glad to have a trouble free session and said "I am pleased with today's performance, because I can see that the car has definitely improved from the first race. For the first time on a Friday we didn't experience any problems and this allowed me to achieve a good number of laps on this track which is completely unknown to me. It's a tricky circuit, as it presents several very different parts, which would require different set-ups. If we manage to solve some understeer problems, I am quite confident we could maintain a good position tomorrow."
His team-mate Ralf Schumacher (6th) was the one to run into problems this time and said "I didn't have much opportunity today to work on my car. Due to a gearbox problem we lost a lot of time in the first session and some of the second. I could not go out on the track until quite late and I am not still happy with the set-up. We have to work on it. Tomorrow there will be more rubber on the track and the tyre will do a better job."

Nick Heidfeld (8th) was happy with the balance of his car from the start and said "The track is better, for sure. It's less bumpy on the climb to the start/finish line, but the rest is the same. We followed our intended programme today. The balance was good straight away so we didn't change a lot. Everything we did today went in the right direction."
His team-mate Kimi Raikkonen (15th) was trying to learn the track and said "This morning I had a small problem with my steering wheel, and then with the brakes, on my first run. But after that everything was okay and I could focus on the job. This is a good circuit, very satisfying to drive on, and maybe you need a little more time than usual to get the most from it. I'm happy with the progress we have made today."

Eddie Irvine (10th) has indicated that the Jaguar's performance is a bit better than expected and said "We're pretty much where we expected to be, maybe a little better actually. I know we're three tenths off Williams, but I don't know what fuel level they are running with and it's very difficult to use that as a yardstick. I would say that this circuit will suit the FW23 better than it will suit us, but it's too early to say. We'll continue to work on the various things that we have and see what happens from there oni."
His team-mate Luciano Burti (11th) can't wait for qualifying in front of his home crowd and said "I'm reasonably pleased with way things went. There's still room for improvement in the car and I didn't really find as much time on the track as I would have liked. It was quite dusty and even muddy in places during the first session. The track's notoriety for bumps is still justified and it causes the car to �bottom out' in places. We need to work diligently on getting the set-up right for tomorrow. Fighting for a good qualifying position is always critical, but it will take on a whole new meaning for me in front of my home crowd. I can't wait."

Olivier Panis (12th) was optimistic and confident for qualifying and said "It was quite a good day. We concentrated mainly on working on set-up for the race on Sunday and trying out different tyres. The balance of the car is good but we need to improve it for tomorrow. I am feeling quite optimistic and I am confident going into qualifying."
His team-mate Jacques Villeneuve (13th) was also comfortable with the car despite being in 13th place and said "We changed the car quite a bit during the two sessions and made several changes which improved the car a lot, which is good. It seems to be fairly consistent at the end of the day so it should be good for the rest of the weekend."

30-Mar: At the Thursday press conference for the Brazilian GP, Rubens Barrichello has indicated that he isn't surprised by Coulthard's time as he doesn't believe that he was running with similar fuel to the rest and said "I do not think he is going to be one second faster than everybody. If both McLaren cars were in the 15.2's or 15.1's or whatever they have done you might get surprised but Coulthard was 1.6 faster than his team mate - which we know is not the case. So I am not surprised."
He indicated that his new helmet is only for Brazil and will give it away at the end of the event and said "It is just for this race. Basically I since 1995 I tried to do something special with the helmet for this race. The aim is to organise something for the person who bought the ticket to come in on Sunday and for me to actually finish the race and give the helmet to one of those guys who were in a grandstand. I think Brazil goes through a lot of problems and the guy could not afford a ticket and he just paid for the ticket and it is the minimum thing I can do for them."
He is confident for the race despite having limited track time today and said "I am feeling very happy and inside the team we have harmony. The small problem we had - it was really big in the press but it was never like that really, so I am approaching Brazil like never before. It is my best chance to really produce, to produce a really good result"

Luciano Burti indicated that their struggle in the first 2 races were more related to the car and not him and believes that he is doing a good job at the team and said "We did have technical problems in Malaysia and Australia. Even Bobby said we struggled a lot with the brakes in Australia on Friday, Saturday and in the warm up. We just sorted that out for the race. In Malaysia I had an engine that was not good for qualifying, and in the race when I pitted we put 20 kilos too much fuel in the car. So I had a difficult time with that. They are not excuses. But they were tracks I had never been to before. Of course you always want more as a racing driver but I think I've done well enough. The team seems to be happy. This is the first time I drove on track I know even a little bit. Eddie is very experienced. He has won races. He almost won the championship. He is the number one driver on the team. So I just have to do my job. I just have to be focused and improve myself and improve the car, and I am pretty sure that I will be okay. So all those gossips and rumours that Pedro will replace me do not exist inside the team. Pedro is in the team and he will be racing next year. But this year he is going to help me and Eddie because he will improve the car by testing it."

Enrique Bernoldi explained how the first 2 races of the season went and said "The only problem I had in the two races was that I didn't finish. In Australia I was fighting with Raikkonen and we touched a little bit and I went off. In Malaysia I came on the water, was too much water and I aquaplaned and I spun unfortunately." 
As for this race he said "For me is like the second start in Formula One. I had this feeling; similar feeling in Australia when it was my first race and now is the first time in my life that I'm racing cars in Brazil so for me is a special feeling. And to see all the crowd I think can bring even more motivation and more confident for us that we are just beginning."

Tarso Marques is looking forward to racing again here and said "I am looking forward to this race, the first session was much better for us, the second session we chose the wrong way on the set-up and so now I think we should think a little bit to change back the changes we did and improve for tomorrow."

Eddie Jordan has indicated that is was nice to see Ron Dennis rattled and said "It's very nice to see Ron rattled because he took the fuel out for sure but we'll know tomorrow. I've never known Ron suffer this kind of pressure before - maybe Ferrari is getting to him. DC is not going to be one second quicker than everyone else tomorrow so we'll see who has the fuel in or not I think."
He also indicated that Toyota are in for a shock when they arrive in Formula but admitted that they have guts and said "I would remind Toyota of the thing that Ron Dennis said to me the very first time I started in Formula One. He said: 'Welcome to the piranha club!' I say that to Toyota because it is going to be very tough for them. I don't care how much money they have. I don't care what engineers they get. You have teams like McLaren and Ferrari that have been around for a long time. They are very experienced and difficult to beat. Toyota are in for a shock, in my opinion, when they arrive in Formula One. But I am pleased that Toyota is coming into Formula One. They have some guts to do this because it is not going to be easy.

Flavio Briatore has indicated that he is confident that Renault will deliver a good package and said "When Renault started the turbo everybody laughing. Renault start V10 everybody tell is the compromise, is never be right, and then in the end everybody had the 10 and now we start this new situation, take a little bit of time, we tell everybody Renault come back in Formula One 2002 was one reason. Because we know exactly what we need go through to perform."

30-Mar: Brazilian GP � 2nd Friday Practice: David Coulthard dominates the session a full second ahead of Jarno Trulli and Michael Schumacher. Juan Pablo Montoya, Mika Hakkinen and Ralf Schumacher make the top 6. ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes.

30-Mar: Brazilian GP � 1st Friday Practice: Michael Schumacher sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Mika Hakkinen and Rubens Barrichello. David Coulthard, Olivier Panis and Eddie Irvine make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes.

30-Mar: At the Thursday press conference for the Brazilian GP, Michael Schumacher has indicated that while he doesn't see the Malaysian incident as a particularly bad situation he intends to talk to Rubens Barrichello about it and said "We have difficult moments. We may disagree at certain moments, that has maybe been the fact in Malaysia. But I don't see that being a particularly bad situation, having a little disagreement but we can sit together and talk and find a solution. We will have our chat over the weekend. Even if we don't have it, I don't see that as being a drama. I don't see that the relationship and the professional working side will be influenced by that at all."
Michael has denied rumours of talking to Toyota for a possible drive beyond 2002 and said "The fact is that I said I don't want to get into any discussion neither with Ferrari, neither with anyone else before the end of the season because I really want to concentrate on the job I'm doing and that's it. It's possible that they may have approached Willi for a meeting but I'm not aware of this. I've told Willi purposely that I don't want to get involved in anything. Do what you have to do, but we don't negotiate until a certain point and don't approach me with any message you get."
And regarding rumours of him buying into the Sauber team, Schumacher indicated that he doesn't see himself as a team owner and said "I don't know where it's coming from, but it's totally illogical. I've always said that I never really want to get involved in some kind of job like that, can't see myself as being a team owner. We joked, Jean  came along and said "listen, before you buy Sauber, you should Ferrari." I said I would have to drive until I'm as old as you to have the money to afford it. No, there is no truth in it." 

Mike Gascoyne has indicated that the team is happy with the progress Renault are doing despite running behind schedule which is affecting the pace of the Benetton and said "I think Renault would be quite happy to admit that they are behind on the program from where they want to be, but that's inevitable when you try to introduce new things, things do go wrong. But they're very happy with the direction that they are taking. We have to take the criticism when people say they are not doing the right thing but that's happened in the past with Renault and they've always come through. I think if you're going to back anyone to get it right in modern engine development in Formula One then back Renault. We're certainly very happy with the way we're going.
We've got a very new engine. It's very early in its development cycle. We're not going to be pushing very hard on the reliability of the engine. They've had their problems which everyone has seen. But they're working very hard. We've been aiming at reliability, to get the cars to the finish. We've managed to achieve that, not competitively but perhaps that will come."

Jarno Trulli has indicated that while the car has good reliability they are still suffering gearbox problems and said "The car has got good reliability. We still have lots of gearbox problems. They work really hard in the wind tunnel so the aerodynamic package is really good. We've got a good base to start with and a good base to develop. So we are really looking forward to the new season because I think with the new engineer that we've got we will have a big boost through the season."

Jos Verstappen has indicated that the Arrows is better in race trim than in qualifying and that is due to an aerodynamic problem that they are looking into and said "Our car is generally better in race set-up than in qualifying. We know why but we're working on that. It's mainly aerodynamics. We know where the problem is and that's where we have to concentrate. If we can solve that we will really gain a lot of time."

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

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