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Can Coulthard scrape through? - The Heretic
|Michael Schumacher 2001 Ferrari ... more die-cast||
Your thoughts on the 2001 season -
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9 - 14 October News
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At the post Race press
conference for the Japanese Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher describes
his win as a great win and said "Despite the records, to finish the
season with a high in first position, that's what you wish to do and then
you go into the long winter break we're going to face now. Obviously,
we've had maybe two races which have been a little bit difficult for us,
Monza and Indianapolis, now we're back to normality and that's a great end
and a great result for the championship we have achieved, to finish off
the season for the team, for everyone."
Juan Pablo Montoya
enjoyed the race but was struggling with his
tyres in the early laps and said "I think it was a good race up to
the end. As you could see, Rubens was on new tyres, I was on old tyres and
the first few laps, as Michael says, there's a huge difference. He got by
me into the chicane, but he sacrificed the exit and I had a good run at
him into turn one and passed him again. Since then, my tyres began to come
back a little bit and I managed to pull away from him and that was it
was happy with finishing on the podium as he
wasn't confident of a win and said "I did everything I could this
year and that was it, second place was the best I could do. There was a
big gap to where Michael finished. I think I was helped a little bit by
Mika at the end there, who, I think, didn't want to have to come and talk
to you this afternoon, so I thank him for that. It's nice to finish the
season, as Michael said, on the podium. To win would have been fantastic
but I've never been that good around Suzuka, so it isn't a bad
14-Oct: What the teams and drivers said following the Race at Suzuka ... Report
14-Oct: Japanese Grand Prix - Race: Michael Schumacher wins ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya. Coulthard finishes third ahead of Mika Hakkinen, Rubens Barrichello and Ralf Schumacher ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes.
14-Oct: Japanese Grand Prix - Warm-up: Michael Schumacher sets the fastest time of the session ahead of David Coulthard and Nick Heidfeld. Jarno Trulli, Jean Alesi and Mika Hakkinen make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes.
13-Oct: At the post Qualifying press
conference for the Japanese Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher indicated
that he drove the perfect lap as they maximised their opportunities and
said "We are so far up front to the rest of them that we have
maximised our opportunities and we did, we worked very consistently the
whole weekend and things have worked in the end. You can see that as well
with my team-mate; he's in a very good pace. As usual, we expected to be
fast here and we are."
Juan Pablo Montoya
indicated his surprise by the speed of
Michael but he was still satisfied with his second place and said
"I'm surprised at how quick they could flow through the first sector.
All the time I was as quick as him in the second sector and I was quicker
than him in the third one so everything was in the first sector. I think
for my first time here it is not that bad. It seems experience around this
place really helps a lot."
Ralf Schumacher doesn't believe Williams will be able to challenge Michael in the race and said "To be realistic, no. They are so strong, they were playing games the whole weekend basically. He didn't even need to go out on new tyres this morning, he stayed on one set and they knew what they were able to do. I think it's going to be a difficult race for us."
13-Oct: What the teams and drivers said following Qualifying at Suzuka ... Report
13-Oct: Japanese Grand Prix - Qualifying: Michael Schumacher grabs his 11th Pole of the season ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher. Rubens Barrichello, Mika Hakkinen and Giancarlo Fisichella make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes.
13-Oct: Japanese Grand Prix - 2nd Saturday Practice: Ralf Schumacher sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and David Coulthard. Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button and Jarno Trulli make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes.
13-Oct: Japanese Grand Prix - 1st Saturday Practice: Michael Schumacher sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Mika Hakkinen and Rubens Barrichello. David Coulthard, Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes.
expected, the Sauber team today announced the signing of Brazilian
Felipe Massa as their second driver for 2002 replacing Kimi Raikkonen
who will be driving for McLaren. Peter Sauber indicated that the
team once again decided to go for the young talent and said "By
deciding on Felipe we have once again opted for a talented young driver.
He convinced us with his excellent performance during tests at Mugello,
where he demonstrated his promising potential in a remarkable
12-Oct: At the Friday press conference for the Japanese Grand Prix, Eddie Jordan has strongly denied that he signed Japanese driver Takuma Sato in order to keep his Honda engine deal beyond next year and said "It had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it! They're not linked in any way. I can't understand the analogy, it doesn't even come into consideration. They are completely different. Craig spent a lot of money preparing him, which is very nice and thank you Craig, giving him his testing, and we have him next year and that's the way it works. It's got nothing to do with Honda, it's got nothing to do with engine manufacturers, he's there on talent."
indicated that letting Sato go to Jordan will not jeopardise
his engine deal with Honda and said "I think Honda would be very
stupid just looking at a driver and choosing the team that they want to go
with in the future if they're going to go down to one team. But they
haven't even said that they want to go down to one team. We have a
contract until the end of next year with Honda, as I believe does Eddie,
and I'm sure they will chose it on other merits, not just the driver."
indicated that David Coulthard will not have the
Number One status at McLaren despite Raikkonen's lack of experience and
said "No, David won't have Number One status. We don't have Number
One status and never have had. We will provide them with equal equipment
and the outcome will be the outcome. As regards Kimi's experience, he's
had a season in Formula One. It's pretty obvious that he's a talent. How
good he's going to be, we will just have to wait and see. I think he's
pretty good already. He races very well and that's the important thing.
He's going to have the opportunity to show what he can do, hopefully in a
competitive car, but I'm not worried about his inexperience. He's got a
good head on his shoulders."
Alex Yoong has admitted that he is under a lot of pressure from home to perform as he is the first driver from South East Asia to make it to Formula 1 and said "There has been quite a lot of pressure from back home, being in a slightly unique position of being the first driver from south-east Asia. But the team has been great, they've supported me well and I think they've been happy with what I've done so far. It's been good, it's all been positive so far. "
once again confirms that he just wants to take it
easy next year and denied any intentions of racing for Keke (his manager)
in DTM and said "Like you all understand definitely what I'm planning
to do next year is to just take it easy, and to experience the time with
the family and to have a lot of good time with them and to stay in one
place for a long time and to get the feeling that when you wake up in the
morning that you feel hungry to do something and is it going to be racing
or something else? We have to wait and see. That's what's going to happen
in the future. It's not going to be anything to do with racing DTM in
Heinz Harald Frentzen
indicated that while it was very hard switching
teams in the middle of the season he doesn't regret it and said "Before
I made the decision to drive for the team I had a close look at all the
aerodynamics and mechanics of the situation and also Ferrari has got some
quite interesting things to offer and basically offer a good racing car.
That was on paper, so when I joined the team, there were a few things...
there was a lot of work but basically the people are very nice and they
are very good to work with. I really have enjoyed it. It was hard work
swapping teams mid-season. Normally you have a lot of time over the winter
to adapt slowly to all circumstances but it had to go quick, but I have to
say it was hard work but I do not regret it."
12-Oct: What the teams and drivers said following Friday Practice at Suzuka ... Report
12-Oct: Japanese Grand Prix - 2nd Friday Practice: Jean Alesi sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and Pedro de la Rosa. Mika Hakkinen, Heinz Harald Frentzen and Eddie Irvine make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes.
12-Oct: Japanese Grand Prix - 1st Friday Practice: Michael Schumacher sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Mika Hakkinen and Juan Pablo Montoya. Rubens Barrichello, Jean Alesi and David Coulthard make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Full Report ... Notes.
12-Oct: "Can Coulthard scrape through?" is the title of the 32nd issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2001 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix - Issue 32
11-Oct: At the Thursday press
conference for the Japanese Grand Prix, Jean Alesi once again
confirmed that he will not be driving in Formula 1 next year but indicated
the he is in serious discussions with Eddie Jordan and said "I finish
the season and then I will do something else. At the moment I don't know
exactly what I'm going to do. I'm talking seriously with Eddie Jordan. We
have some plans together. It's time to stop and even if it's what I love
most in my life - it's motor racing - after 200 Grands Prix you need to
give the place to the young drivers and I'm glad Honda is happy to have
the Japanese Formula Three champion driving for them next year."
indicated that he will try to win the race
and hopefully take second place in the championship and said "I've
always said that I think second is better than third and third is better
than fourth. At the end of the day, we're fighting for second place which
is not I think, the best thing in the world, but I think if you look at
the races separately, it went quite well. I had a really big chance of
winning in Monza, another big chance of winning in Indianapolis and if it
wasn't for that, even if I didn't win Indianapolis, I should have been on
the same points as David and then we would decide here. I think that after
the team won the championship with Michael, it has been proved that with a
little bit of help and a little bit more attention I can do the job. I'm
happy for that I think that the last couple of races have been quite good.
At the end of the day, I have to win the race and David has to finish
fifth (or lower). It's a hard task. I don't wish him bad at all. I'm going
to be fighting to win for sure and at the end, we're going to see."
is looking forward to the racing at Suzuka
despite not having a good record and said "Quite clearly I've never
won here. I've never been particularly strong on the circuit, but it's not
that I don't enjoy the track. I enjoy the challenge of it, it's quite a
technical circuit, quite narrow. Certainly the high speed nature and
finding the line make it a little more tricky than some of the other
circuits we race at. I look forward to coming here. I've watched the
videos from the last couple of years, and there's a smile on your face
when you think of some of the corners here, and obviously we want to try
and finish the season with a good result at Suzuka."
(Bridgestone) hopes that with Sato and Toyota,
Formula 1 will get a boost in Japan and said "I think it's very good
for the Japanese market. We used to have lots of spectators but now
honestly, it's been going down a bit, but next year Toyota is coming, Sato
is coming and maybe everybody else is coming and interest is back for
Kazutoshi Nishizawa (Honda)
confirmed that Honda will introduce
a 'Suzuka Special' engine in Japan and it will be a reasonable step over
the current engine and said "We brought a different specification
engine for this race. We made a reasonable step so I hope it helps our
teams this weekend. Not a little step, a reasonable step."
10-Oct: Following the signing of
Takuma Sato with the Jordan team for 2002, Jean Alesi has announced
that he will not be driving in Formula 1 next season. He said "I
retire. I will not race next year. For the moment it is not completely
clear what I'm going to do. For sure I will not drive F1 any more."
Following his worst performance so far in Formula 1, former World
Champion Jacques Villeneuve has indicated that he still wants to win
with the BAR team. Jacques has been heavily criticized for his performance
at Indianapolis and to that he said "Indianapolis was a terrible
weekend - I think probably the worst in my career! I can understand the
criticism after that performance. What irritates me is that people have
suggested that I've written myself or B.A.R off. It does annoy me, because
we've been the leading Honda car, and we're the only ones with podiums.
We've been a lot better off in the races. We haven't really concentrated
on qualifying this year, we've concentrated on the races, and we did get
the podiums and some points."
10-Oct: Japanese driver Takuma Sato
has signed with the Jordan Grand Prix team. He will be driving
alongside Giancarlo Fisichella in 2002.
Eddie Jordan believes that Sato is the first Japanese driver with the potential to become a World Champion and said "Sato is unique in that he is the first Japanese driver to get where he is on his own absolute ability. There is no substitute for speed and talent. He has all the attributes of a potential world champion. Sato has proved himself to be quick and outstandingly talented in the British Formula 3 Championship this year and deserves an opportunity to race in Formula One. Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda is delighted to be the team to give him this opportunity. Sato's contract with Jordan, along side the three year deal we have signed with Giancarlo Fisichella, gives Jordan vital continuity and a strong, long-term driver line up which will be key to our development with Honda. We hope that with the help of Honda and Bridgestone, we can develop Sato to make him the first Japanese driver to win a Grand Prix."
Takuma Sato was delighted with the announcement and said "Today's announcement makes me extremely happy as it is the goal I set out to achieve by deciding to do a second year in Formula 3 and combine this with Formula One testing. I am very excited about joining Jordan and am looking forward very much to starting work with the team, who I know already from my testing with them last year. I know there will be a lot expected of me on such a big stage and I know I can't afford mistakes. I will try to be a model professional and push myself to the limit."
As for Jean Alesi who currently drives for Jordan, Eddie Jordan is hoping to keep him in a test driver role and said "With regards to Jean, he has been an inspiration to the team and it is our wish that he finds a role within Jordan for the future. It is too early to say, but I would like him to stay on as a teacher. He has a huge knowledge and could help with testing and evaluating."
Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix Schedule: