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it a 2-way fight for the
- 28 May News
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David Coulthard was very disappointed with the way he started the race
in Monaco after stalling on the formation lap and while he is wants those
glitches to be fixed, he is also hoping for a bit of luck and said
"We have got to get rid of these glitches at the start. The engine
just cut out and it is very frustrating.
Meanwhile his team-mate Mika Hakkinen is
having a nightmare start to his championship challenge and with 10 races
to go and 48 points between himself and the current leader Michael
Schumacher, even he admits that his chances are next to impossible and
said "If I think about my hopes for the championship then it looks
like a disaster. I cannot find the words to say how I feel after having
one problem after another this season. I just cannot describe my feelings
and how disappointed I am."
Coulthard was stuck behind Enrique Bernoldi for 44 laps during the
Monaco Grand Prix and only managed to get ahead when Bernoldi went into
the pits. After the race, Ron Dennis (McLaren) and Norbert Haug (Mercedes)
had a talk with Bernoldi about the matter.
Ron Dennis though denies such accusation and indicated that he did tell Bernoldi that while he was fighting for position there were no points involved and Coulthard was a championship contender and said "That's rubbish. I said nothing of that sort. I have no influence over his career at all. It was quite a while after the race when I talked to him and I was cool, calm and collected and I was not angry. I just told him that in my opinion it was unsporting behaviour. Every time David made an attempt to overtake he cut him off. You could argue its motor racing but in 15th position it is different when you are hampering a driver who is clearly faster and has the world championship at stake. I spoke to Bernoldi as I felt a driver contesting 15th who was effectively chopping across a driver who was contesting a world championship was acceptable for a period of time. But the length of time it happened I think was unacceptable. When I told him I felt his behaviour was unsporting and not reflective of an attitude a young developing driver should be putting into his career his response was he had been instructed to do so by the team. If that team is so desperate for television it has to resort to those strategies then you can question the behaviour of the team as a whole."
27-May: What the teams and drivers said following the Race at Monaco ... Report
At the post Race press conference, Michael
Schumacher described his win as very straight forward and said "I
was asked before why I didn't jump on the podium. Honestly, I don't feel
that emotional because it has been a very straightforward win. It wasn't
anything exceptional, nothing exceptionally happened through the race,
which could make you emotional. It's always nice to win in Monte Carlo,
it's always special, but then it was straightforward."
Rubens Barrichello indicated that his race to 2nd place was not as straight forward as he suffered from cramps in his feet and said "I had quite a lot of trouble since lap nine or ten because I started having cramp on my foot. Something happened to the pedals because they were vibrating quite a lot and actually Ross became a physiotherapist because I was telling him that if he knew something I could do inside the car because it was really really bad. At one time I could hardly feel my right foot. He was saying 'drink water, drink water' and at one stage it was gone, but I was having quite a lot of problems inside the car."
Eddie Irvine was delighted to have
finished on the podium and attributed his win to the new aerodynamic
package they've introduced and said "It's fantastic to be on the
podium especially here. To have two Ferraris and a Jaguar on the podium in
Monaco is really what Formula One is about in a way. Monaco is a strange
circuit. We've been quick here all weekend. Let's hope we can carry that
speed to Canada.
27-May: Monaco GP - Race: Michael Schumacher wins ahead of Rubens Barrichello and Eddie Irvine. Jacques Villeneuve, David Coulthard and Jean Alesi make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes
27-May: Monaco GP - Warm-up session: David Coulthard sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher. Rubens Barrichello, Heinz Harald Frentzen and Ralf Schumacher make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes
26-May: What the teams and drivers said following Qualifying at Monaco ... Report
At the post Qualifying press conference, David Coulthard has
indicated that the mistake he did during practice on Thursday affected his
confidence and it was only during qualifying that he managed to get a good
third sector time and said "I made a mistake on Thursday by touching
the barrier at Tabac and I lost a bit of time in that second session and
also it takes your confidence away a bit because you just can't afford to
hit a barrier. Then I was just playing to catch-up after that. I was into
qualifying and I said to my engineers that I hadn't actually completed the
last sector quickly at any point during this weekend, so it was going to
be interesting in qualifying. I overdid it on one lap but all the rest
were pretty tidy and the lap time came from there."
Michael Schumacher explained why he
had to abort his first run due to the 2 Arrows blocking him and said
"The two Arrows came out of the pits and didn't look in their mirrors
good enough, so I had to abort the lap."
Mika Hakkinen was disappointed that
he couldn't make it a McLaren front row and said "Well, we made a
small change to the car and I was not sure at the moment if it was the
right thing to do, but you have to try because the times were so close and
Michael was at that time quickest, so we needed to try to do something
extra. Let's say it worked quite well for half the lap but then when I was
in the last sector, I got a big understeer in the second last corner and
couldn't get the front end to grip so lost a couple of tenths. That was
it. It was a shame that we didn't get the front row for the McLarens."
26-May: Monaco GP - Qualifying: David Coulthard grabs pole position ahead of Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen. Rubens Barrichello, Ralf Schumacher and an impressive Eddie Irvine make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes
26-May: Monaco GP - 2nd Saturday Practice Session: Mika Hakkinen fastest ahead of Michael Schumacher and Ralf Schumacher. David Coulthard, Eddie Irvine and Jarno Trulli make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes
26-May: Monaco GP - 1st Saturday Practice Session: Ralf Schumacher sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Jacques Villeneuve and David Coulthard. Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Eddie Irvine make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes
the Jordan and Arrows teams tried out some radical looking
aerodynamic devices during the Thursday practice sessions. The Jordan team
had a T-shape wing in front of the driver while the Arrows team had a
strange looking V mounted wing right at the front of the nose. Both Jarno
Trulli and Jos Verstappen tried these devices and Verstappen
later said that it seemed to provide more downforce at the front.
At the Thursday press conference for the Monaco GP, Ron Dennis has
indicated that the team does not have any plans to apply team orders at
this stage and clarified the situation within the McLaren team and said
"There are none. We have the contractual ability to instruct our
drivers at any stage during the season to follow an instruction and that
applies at the first Grand Prix through to the last Grand Prix. We will
effect judgement in any given situation and if we instruct a driver to do
something we will tell you. There's no plan."
Jean Todt indicated that the team
renewed the contracts of both Michael and Rubens to ensure stability in
the team and said "Rubens had a three year contract including an
option for 2002 and we had to decide whether we wanted to exercise the
option or not. We thought Rubens was good for the team and we wanted to
exercise the option for him until the end of 2002. For Michael, his
contract ended at the end of 2002 and as you know, we renewed the contract
of the key people at Ferrari until 2004 and we thought that Michael was
part of the key people and that's why we extended his contract until the
end of 2004. That means Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne, Paolo Martinelli, Michael,
myself, we have a contract until the end of 2004.
Michael Schumacher talked about the
Drivers' meeting they had yesterday and said "The main purpose was
that we voted for a new director and as you may know Jarno Trulli is now
the third director. Then we had a couple of internal discussions,
certainly concerning safety and circuits. There were a couple of other
things which were internal. It's good to get together. We even used the
opportunity to talk between ourselves about behaviour on the circuit and
so on, which was very good. There's a good understanding between the
drivers, although sometimes maybe things get a bit hot in the action but
at the end of the day, when we sit together, everybody is very clear and
Jean Alesi is hoping that their new aerodynamic package will help them do well here and said "For sure the car is different now. We have a new floor, we have a new front wing and the whole package looks like it's an improvement, so I hope to have the chance to get the first good result here on Sunday."
Olivier Panis still remembers his
only win in '96 here but wants to get back on the podium and said "I
remember 1996 but it's beginning to fade a little now. We need to continue
to work hard and I need a podium again. It's good to remember, but I like
all circuits. I like Monaco because for the driver it is maybe a little
easier to close the gap, but it's not just this place."
Jos Verstappen has indicated that he doesn't really care if their front mounted wing is ugly or not as long as it works and said "I don't care as long as it's quicker, it's fine. It feels like it has more downforce on the front to me."
24-May: What the teams and drivers said following the Thursday practice sessions at Monaco ... Report
24-May: Monaco GP - 2nd Thursday Practice Session: Mika Hakkinen sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Michael Schumacher and Ralf Schumacher. Barrichello, Trulli and Coulthard make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes
24-May: Monaco GP - 1st Thursday Practice Session: Michael Schumacher sets the fastest time of the session ahead of David Coulthard and Jarno Trulli. Frentzen, Barrichello and Mika Hakkinen make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes
At the Wednesday press conference for the Monaco GP, David
Coulthard has indicated that he is taking the races as they come
whether his rivals believe that he is a title contender or not and said
"What other people say and what points there are and these sort of
things are the fill-in paragraphs for all the journalists!"
Juan Pablo Montoya believes that
driving around the circuit in a Formula 1 car should be lots of fun and
said "Never having driven Formula One a street course, it should be
quite a lot of fun. A Champ car was a lot fun, you could slide it around
and I think around a place like here it would be pretty interesting."
Kimi Raikkonen indicated that he had
raced karts on parts of the Monaco circuit but it is hard for him to learn
the circuit until the first practice and said "I've been here twice
before, in '94 and '98 when I did a kart race, but I only really know the
swimming pool area and the Rascasse. I have walked around the circuit and
went just around the track with a school trip. It's quite difficult to
know what the corners look like because there are so many cars around."
Craig Pollock has indicated that his
star driver Jacques Villeneuve had the worst start to a Formula 1
season but believes that he is back in focus again and said "He seems
to have clicked back in. Certainly in the last test he was very fast in
the car. His focus is back again and I think he will be very competitive."
23-May: The Jordan team have confirmed that they will not be using Launch Control at the start of the Monaco GP mainly due to the inability of practicing starts at the exit of the pit lane in Monaco. The team had the most trouble with their system in the last 2 races with Heinz Harald Frentzen having problems at both the Spanish and Austrian Grands Prix while Jarno Trulli encountered problems in Austria. Trevor Foster the team's Managing Director said "The drivers carried out successful launch control starts from the pit lane exit during testing in Valencia last week. For the launch control system to be fully effective however, it is important to carry out practice starts at individual race circuits, which is not possible in Monaco as the pit exit is too narrow. As the track is also quite narrow, there is not as much room for cars to manoeuvre as at other circuits, so if a car stalled on the grid it could hinder the start for cars behind in the field."
The Benetton team are having one of their worst ever seasons and have been outqualfied by Minardi's Fernando Alonso a number of times this year. However at Monaco they've had good results in the past with Michael Schumacher winning twice with them in 94 and 95. Their star driver Giancarlo Fisichella has also done well here finishing in the points in the last 4 events. Benetton are hoping that this race will give them the boost they need. Technical Director Mike Gascoyne said "From the Benetton Renault Sport point of view it should be one of the better races, in what was undoubtedly was going to be a difficult start to the year, as it should suit our overall package. Our main aim will be to achieve a good qualifying performance as passing at Monaco is so difficult. A lot will be in the hands of Michelin as it is their first visit to Monaco but they have brought a new soft tyre here and we hope that it proves to be competitive."
Former Minardi Chairman Gabrielle Rumi has
died of cancer at the age of 61. The Minardi team have issued the
May he rest in peace.
Gabrielle Rumi sold the struggling Minardi operation to Paul Stoddart's European group in January 2001 (story).
23-May: "Anybody's guess !" is the title of the 15th issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2001 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix - Issue 15
Ferrari have announced that they have renewed the contracts of both of
their drivers. Michael Schumacher has re-signed with Ferrari until
the end of 2004 and that falls in line with the contracts of Jean Todt,
Ross Brawn, Paolo Martinelli and Rory Byrne (story).
The team also renewed Rubens Barrichello's contract until the end
Rubens Barrichello was pleased of the extension to his contract and said "I'm very pleased. There were a lot of rumours about my contract, but I knew everyone - from the President, Mr Montezemolo, and Jean Todt down - inside the Ferrari family were very relaxed about the situation. I think both sides are happy - both myself and Ferrari."
The FIA have set the date of the
1st of June for hearing the appeal by the BAR team against Kimi
Raikkonen for passing under yellow at the Austrian GP.
It is worth noting that Sauber protested against Olivier Panis finishing in 4th place at the Australian GP after Panis overtook under waved yellow flags and they were successful as Panis had 25 seconds added to his time and ended up classified 7th.