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Silverstone Test Session (17-19/4) Photos (Hakkinen, Coulthard, R Schumacher, Montoya,...)

How patient can Benetton - Renault   get ? - Have Your Say  
Schumacher had a problem  
Issue 12 - The Heretic

1 - 8 May News  
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8-May: Despite finishing on the podium at the Spanish Grand Prix, Jacques Villeneuve has indicated that the performance from the car and engine is simply not enough and he wants a lot more to convince him of staying with the team.
It is believed that Villeneuve has several performance clauses in his 3 year contract with BAR that will allow him to leave the team if they don't give him a car with the required performance. Villeneuve said "It's the third year now, and everybody's worked really, really hard. There have been a lot of hard times, but we've fought back. This season has been really difficult to get going, and to finally get a podium is great. I think everybody needed it.
But I'm not happy that we're not quick enough yet. There's a lot of work going on, and hopefully we're going to become more competitive. We need a better car, better aerodynamics, and we also need a better engine, and that's quite important. We're not within half a second, so it's far. Last year was a big step up from '99, but this year we're actually at the same level as last year. So it's not very positive. What is frustrating is to work hard since '99, and that there's no progress this year... that's a little difficult. But I see the people at the race track, and they're all working hard and they work really well. I just hope that it's the same at the factory and the same at Honda."

BAR had set a target at the start of the season to finish 3rd in the Constructors' Championship and to that Villeneuve said "It might not happen, but it's still the minimum acceptable. There's going to be a lot of angry and sad people if we don't reach that, because that will mean that this whole project will have failed this year. 
It would be a shame if this team didn't work out, because I put a lot of energy and time and effort in it. So I really hope we're going to start winning. I made a choice last year, but we're not at the level that I was promised."

Meanwhile team boss Craig Pollock has admitted that their target of finishing 3rd in the championship might not be achievable given the rise of Williams and said "We had a very, very bad start to the year which was difficult to accept but we think we will do better than that. At the beginning of the year we were thinking of finishing third or better and having seen where the old guys are - Williams, McLaren and Ferrari - it is very difficult to get there. So fourth or better would be more than acceptable"

Following Toyota's announcement to appoint Gustav Brunner as their Chief Designer (see below), the Minardi team has threatened to take legal action against Toyota and Gustav Brunner as they claim that they have a contract with Brunner until the end of 2002. Paul Stoddard said "We are obviously disappointed at this news, Gustav has been a trusted and highly regarded member of staff, and for him to act in this way is totally incomprehensible to us. We are surprised and saddened that a company of Toyota's standing would seek to employ Mr Brunner, who has an irrevocable contract with Minardi until January 1, 2003. As such, European Minardi will be pursuing all of its options in law against both Mr Brunner and Toyota."
Gabriele Tredozi will take over the role of Gustav Brunner until the matter is

7-May: Minardi's Technical Director, Gustav Brunner has accepted an offer to head the design team at Toyota. He leaves his position as Technical Director of the Minardi team.
While Toyota have indicated that Brunner will not be a Technical Director, it is peculiar that just a few days ago their Technical Director Andre Cortanze left immediately.
Ove Anderson, the President of Toyota Motorsport said "We are extremely pleased that Gustav has agreed to head up our design team. He brings to us extensive Formula 1 experience, working in the past for over twenty years with various teams. Having covered just about every technical aspect of Formula 1, he is a guy who can contribute significantly to our project."
The 50 year old Austrian said "I feel a little pain leaving my existing team, but this is an opportunity not to be missed. To join Toyota from almost the start of their project is fantastic. From what I have seen so far, TMG has a good team of people and all the facilities to really push forward the positive development. I'm looking forward to what will be a busy, but very exciting time ahead."
While Toyota have indicated that Brunner will not be a Technical Director, it is peculiar that just a few days ago their Technical Director Andr� de Cortanze left immediately (story).

7-May: "Mika Hakkinen running out of time" The Austrian Grand Prix Preview is now available ... Race Preview

Austrian Formula 1 Grand Prix Schedule:

Session Time (Local / GMT) - Current local time
Friday Practice Session 1
Friday Practice Session 2
Saturday Practice Session 1
Saturday Practice Session 2
Qualifying Session
Warm-up Session
11 AM Zeltweg Time / 9 AM GMT
1 PM Zeltweg Time / 11 AM GMT
9 AM Zeltweg Time / 7 AM GMT
10:15 AM Zeltweg Time / 8:15 AM GMT 
1 PM Zeltweg Time / 11 AM GMT
9:30 AM Zeltweg Time / 7:30 AM GMT 
2 PM Zeltweg Time / 12 PM GMT
Go to the Austrian GP Page

6-May: During his recent test at Fiorano, Michael Schumacher has indicated that he still considers Mika Hakkinen as his main rival in the championship despite Hakkinen's car failure at the Spanish Grand Prix and said "There is still a long way to go in the championship and with twelve races remaining, anything is possible. Mika can get back in the game and as I have always said, I still regard him as my main rival. We will have to see what happens in the next two or three races."
Schumacher also stressed his confidence the the team does not face reliability problems and said "Seen from outside, it (the 2 failures at Imola and Barcelona) could give the impression that we have reliability problems, but I can tell you this is not the case. What happened at Barcelona was different to the problem we had in Imola and it has already been sorted out. I believe it won't happen again."

Gerhard Berger, the BMW Motorsport Director has indicated that the A-1 ring is a track that should suite the BMW engines and given the significant improvement in their traction control development at the recent test in Valencia he is confident of their chances and said "The A-1 Ring should be quite a good track for us. It is very demanding on engines and requires more full throttle than on any other Grand Prix track, which is positive for us. A well-functioning traction control system will be an advantage here so hopefully after the test in Valencia we should be a step ahead compared to Barcelona. Michelin tested at the A-1 Ring with the development car last year so with all these factors combined we are assuming this should be a positive race for us."

Jaguar Racing has issued a statement dismissing their test driver Tomas Scheckter following a court appearance by Scheckter where he pleaded guilty for kerb crawling. It is claimed that he was arrested in February where he was charged with "soliciting from a vehicle". 
The statement read "Mr Scheckter, who was sub-contracted to work for the team in the role of development driver, recently appeared in court and it is to matters concerning this appearance that the team and the Jaguar Racing board is left with no alternative but to terminate the relationship."
Jaguar Racing now have no test drivers in their Formula 1 team after Pedro de la Rosa (their other test driver) took Luciano Burti's seat and became their second
regular driver. 

5-May: Ferrari have concluded their 5 day test at Fiorano. Luca Badoer was the only driver present. He concentrated on aerodynamics and electronics testing. He set a best time of 59.819 which is his best time on this track. He covered a total of 105 laps which included the shakedown of the 3 cars heading to Austria.

Click here for the timed results 

4-May: On the final day of testing at Valencia, Ralf Schumacher topped the timesheets ahead of Eddie Irvine and Juan Pablo Montoya.
4 teams were present with 6 drivers setting lap times. The actual circuit was shortened and modified to allow for an artificial wet track. The times posted cannot be compared to the previous days.
All the teams were concentrating on wet tyre testing for Michelin.
Juan Pablo Montoya covered the most number of laps with 78 followed by Jenson Button with 72 and Pedro de la Rosa with 62. Eddie Irvine covered the least number of laps with 26.

Click here for the timed results 

Michael Schumacher took over from Rubens Barrichello and set the fastest time of the day ahead of Luca Badoer. Fernando Alonso was also present for Minardi and posted the 3rd fastest time.
The session was interrupted a few times by rain however both Ferrari drivers managed to set their fastest times on a dry track.
Luca Badoer covered the most number of laps with 73 followed by Michael Schumacher with 71. Fernando Alonso did 45 laps.
Ferrari concentrated on electronics testing as well as tyre evaluation.
Ferrari continue testing tomorrow with Luca Badoer.

Click here for the timed results 

4-May: At Fiorano where Rubens Barrichello has been testing for the last 2 days, indicated that Ferrari do not have a problem with their suspension and that the failure he suffered at the Spanish GP had nothing to do with Michael's failure at the San Marino GP and said "I can't say that everything always works 100%. Testing work aims to ensure the maximum level of reliability, but we know that problems can always arise. As for the cause of my retirement in Barcelona, I can say that it was due to a failure we had never seen before. It had nothing to do with the failure that Michael suffered in Imola, or what happened to Luca in the January test at the Circuit de Catalunya. There is no specific problem with the suspension."
As for the speculation about his future as his contract with Ferrari runs out at the end of this season, Barrichello indicated that he is not thinking about that at this stage and said "At the moment, I have nothing to say about my future. I am concentrating totally on the work I am doing with the team. When it will be the right moment, I will think about my future."

At the Spanish GP, the Williams BMW team indicated that they only used launch control during the race but not traction control as it was not ready to be used in race conditions. During testing at Valencia, the team improved the the system to a degree that they are hoping to use it at the upcoming Austrian GP. Ralf Schumacher who has been extensively testing the traction control system said "We focused mainly on tyre development and traction control, which is improving very well, and I think we will be able to use it in Austria. We still have some work to do with Michelin in order to get the best out of the tyres at the A-1 Ring."
Despite Ralf's comments, the team suffered engine problems with both cars (Schumacher and Montoya) possibly related to traction control. BMW however were satisfied with the progress. 

3-May: On the 3rd day of testing at Valencia it was David Coulthard setting the fastest time just ahead of Eddie Irvine and Ralf Schumacher. 
5 teams were present with 10 drivers setting lap times. David Coulthard covered the most number of laps with 106 followed by Pedro de la Rosa with 86 and Ralf Schumacher with 67. Jenson Button covered the least number of lap with 15.
The weather conditions were mainly sunny with a short rain interruption around lunch time.
The teams concentrated on tyre development, aerodynamics and traction control.
The McLaren team have concluded their test while the Michelin running teams will remain at the track tomorrow for an artificial wet test to test their traction control systems.

Click here for the timed results 

On the final day at Silverstone, Olivier Panis was again fastest ahead of Jarno Trulli and BAR test driver Patrick Lemarie.
4 teams were present with 7 drivers setting lap times. Jarno Trulli covered the most number of laps with 88 followed by Patrick Lemarie with 67 and Ricardo Zonta with 66. Jos Verstappen covered the least number of laps with 45 laps.
The weather was dry which allowed the teams to run without interruptions. The teams concentrated on tyre evaluation, aerodynamics and traction control.
The BAR team have also been running aerodynamic mapping test at Vairano and moves to Santa Pod for a day of straight line testing on Friday.

Click here for the timed results 

Rubens Barrichello continued testing at Fiorano setting the fastest time ahead of  Luca Badoer. Both drivers concentrating on electronics as well as set-up and brakes for Barrichello. 
Barrichello covered a total of 110 laps while Badoer covered 82. 
Ferrari continue testing tomorrow with Michael Schumacher joining Luca Badoer.

Click here for the timed results 

3-May: Just as the Heretic claimed in the Spanish GP review (Schumacher had a problem), Ross Brawn has admitted that while Michael Schumacher had a tyre vibration problem, he was told to slow down due to fears of a suspension failure. Brawn said "Until we get the car out we are not sure. There was a vibration on the tyres which was getting worse and worse and we considered a new set of tyres.
Rubens had a suspension failure, and we told Michael to drive easily and stay out of trouble. It is not usual and we will make some changes for Canada. There was a linkage in the rear suspension that broke. The part used was quite new and we have to take it back to get a metallurgic test to work out what went wrong. 
We measure all the forces on the car and we have a maximum load the suspension can take and we never went above 40 percent of what it can take. I don't think it had anything to do with traction control."

Technical Director Andr� de Cortanze has left the Toyota Formula 1 team. In a statement issued by the team, they announced that they have reached a mutual agreement with Cortanze that he leaves the company with immediate effect. The statement added: The Directors of TMG have formed a Technical Project Management Team to drive forward the next stage of the Formula 1 project. TMG President Ove Andersson will chair the project team, which consists of key departmental managers and engineers.
"These latest changes to our management give us a more solid foundation on which we can carry on building a successful new F1 race team" said Ove Andersson. "We continue to develop our organisation, which has a strong technical structure and have no plans to announce a new Technical Director in the short term. Our F1 project is on schedule and we are pleased with our progress so far. We thank Andr� for his contribution over his 4 years with TMG and wish him well for the future.

2-May: Mika Hakkinen set the fastest time at Valencia on the second day of testing ahead of team-mate David Coulthard and Ralf Schumacher.
5 teams were present with 10 drivers setting lap times. The track was mainly dry with some rain in the afternoon.
The teams concentrated on aerodynamic set-up, tyre evaluation and traction control development.
Ralf Schumacher covered the most number of laps with 80 followed by Mika Hakkinen with 74 and Luciano Burti with 51. Jenson Button covered the least number of laps with 24.

Click here for the timed results 

At Silverstone, Oliver Panis set the fastest time ahead of Jos Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen.
4 teams were present with 7 drivers setting lap times. The track was dry in the morning but heavy rain fail shortly after the start of the session stopping the session for around 3 hours. Testing resumed in the afternoon on a mainly wet track.
Jarno Trulli covered the most number of laps with 37 followed by Olivier Panis with 34 and Patrick Lemarie with 33 laps.
Kimi Raikkonen crashed his Sauber as he tried to avoid a slow moving Ricardo Zonta. Kimi said after the accident "Ricardo Zonta came after the incident to apologize and he explained that he was not sure on which side of the track I would be and he hesitated as he saw me come in his rear mirrors. It's clearly a misunderstanding between us. Main thing is that I am not hurt. These things happen sometimes."

Click here for the timed results 

At Fiorano, Rubens Barrichello managed to set the fastest time he has ever managed on the track with a time of 59.560 as he covered 68 laps. (Michael Schumacher holds the lap record of 58.890). Luca Badoer was also present and set a best time of 1:00.032 as he covered 65 laps. Both drivers were testing electronics. Barrichello also carried out some tyre evaluation.

Click here for the timed results 

Testing continues at all venues tomorrow.

2-May: "Schumacher had a problem" is the title of the 12th issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2001 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the aftermath of the Spanish Grand Prix - Issue 12

2-May: In his post race column, Heinz Harald Frentzen described the moment when his car failed to launch at the start of the Spanish Grand Prix and wrote "If you want to experience more excitement in you life then try taking an armchair into the middle of the fast lane of you nearest motorway and sit down facing away from the traffic. It's a great way to tint you hair grey! That will give you an idea of how I felt when the lights went out for the start of the Spanish Grand Prix and I was sitting there with my car in neutral a lot of lights flashing on the dash panel and desperately trying to get my car's new launch control to launch."
Frentzen earlier described his accident with Pedro de la Rosa as a racing accident but in his column he appears to put some blame on de la Rosa. He also took a swipe at the new electronic aids and wrote "Because of de la Rosa I didn't get the chance (to continue the race). He said later that he didn't see me until I hit him. Maybe we should swap all these electronic driver aids for a good pair of air horns!"
He also indicated that while his start to the season is not what he wanted, he is confident that things will turn around given that he gets a bit of "Ferrari fortune" and wrote "The season isn't panning out for me the way I had hoped, but I am convinced things will turn around for me and the B&H team before too long. I certainly wasn't the only one to get to the airport early on Sunday and to go home disappointed. Mika must have felt a lot worse than me. All you can do is come back and try harder next time and hope for a slice of Ferrari's fortune every now and again or, better still, in Austria!"

Rubens Barrichello was very disappointed to retire as he believes that he could have won the race but has admitted that although he didn't have any problems with his car before his retirement he couldn't keep up with Michael and Mika and said "It is especially hard to deal with a retirement like the one I suffered in Barcelona, because the one thing we know about Ferrari's F1 cars is that they are usually very reliable. I could easily control my position and given that Hakkinen retired and Michael had some problems, I think I had a good chance of winning the race. As to why I could not match their pace, when they were running properly, I am not sure. The balance of the car was fine, but I just could not keep up"

2-May: "How good is Juan Pablo Montoya ?" Topic of the week - Have Your Say

1-May: The McLaren team decided to join the Michelin runners at Valencia rather than risk another wet session at Silverstone. Well it was actually dry at Silverstone and very wet at Valencia.
The McLaren team still managed to top the timesheets despite the rain and the limited amount of running. Alexander Wurz was fastest ahead of Mika Hakkinen and Alex Wurz. Mark Webber testing last year's Benetton was 3rd fastest.
5 teams were present with 8 drivers setting lap times. Mika Hakkinen covered the most number of laps with 48 followed by Alexander Wurz with 44 and Luciano Burti with 42.
All the teams concentrated on electronic testing.

Click here for the timed results 

At Silverstone, Ricardo Zonta set the fastest time of the day ahead of Olivier Panis and Kimi Raikkonen.
4 teams were present with 7 drivers setting lap times. Enrique Bernoldi covered the most number of laps with 69 followed by Jos Verstappen with 64 and Kimi Raikkonen with 57 laps.
BAR test driver Takuma Sato crashed during the session but was uninjured.
Jordan concentrated of tyre evaluation and aerodynamic setup, BAR had 3 drivers on hand to test new aerodynamic components in addition to traction control. Sauber concentrated on their launch control system while Arrows team tested new parts and carried out tyre evaluation tests.

Click here for the timed results 

At Fiorano, Luca Badoer started a 5 day test session for Ferrari. He completed 90 laps with a best time of 1:00.391. The team concentrated on electronic testing.
Badoer will be joined by Barrichello tomorrow.

Click here for the timed results 

Testing continues at all venues tomorrow.

1-May: Mika Hakkinen has indicated that despite his loss at the Spanish Grand Prix and the gap between himself and Michael growing to 24 points, he will not give up the title chase until it is not mathematically possible. Only then will he consider changing his targets and said "Of course I'm worried about it, it's absolutely natural, but I'm not losing my belief that I can still win it. I just have to count the points all the time and when I don't have a mathematical possibility to win any more this year then we have to change to different targets for this year. Until that moment I have to push and fight as hard as I can."

With strong rumours that Ferrari are interested in offering Jenson Button a drive in 2003, Frank Williams has indicated that he is in no rush to release Button and said "Jenson is on our books for 2003 and we would not consider any offers now. If someone wants to approach us we would have to say - please be patient. We don't have to make a decision for a long time and I will not be rushed into making one now."
Jenson Button was excited about the prospect of driving for Ferrari and said "Any driver would love to drive for Ferrari because they are the world champions. They are the best team at the moment but I am not going to talk about my future."
Jenson Button is on a long term contract with Williams from 2000, he is currently on a 2-year loan to Benetton as Frank Williams wanted to make a drive available for Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya.  

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart has indicated that the team is actively looking for a replacement to their current Ford engine which is believed to be a '98 spec engine. He is hoping to make an announcement on a deal within a month and said "I can say we are talking to a number of engine manufacturers who are currently on the Grand Prix grid. I hope to make an announcement in the next couple of races."

1-May: The Ferrari team has confirmed that Michael Schumacher's car had a problem with the tyre balance and it was found that the tyres were not properly balanced on the rims particularly at the rear and hence the reason for Michael to slow down. Rubens Barrichello's car suffered a problem with the right rear suspension which caused it to drop onto the bump stops. This caused Barrichello to go off the track and eventually retire.
The team will start a 5 day test at Fiorano with all 3 drivers taking part. Luca Badoer will be driving on all 5 days with Barrichello joining him on Wednesday and Thursday while Michael Schumacher joining Badoer on Friday.

The rest of the Bridgestone runners are expected to start a 3 day test session at Silverstone today while all the Michelin running teams (except Minardi) will start a 4 day test session at Valencia from today.

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