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15 - 30 October News  
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30-Oct: The McLaren team finally made the decision to switch to Michelin rubber from next season. McLaren have been negotiating with both Bridgestone and Michelin with regard to next year's tyre supply and in the end they opted for a long term agreement with Michelin. A statement issued by the McLaren team read: "McLaren International and Michelin are pleased to announce that they have entered into a long-term agreement for the supply of tyres to the West McLaren Mercedes Formula One Racing team with effect from 2002. This new relationship between McLaren International and Michelin represents the re-establishment of a previously successful pairing between the two companies, which claimed 17 race wins and the 1984 Formula One Constructors' and Drivers' World Championships.
Martin Whitmarsh, Managing Director, McLaren International

"I am very pleased to be making this announcement. I have the greatest of respect for the Michelin company and its sporting achievements and believe that we can win World Championships together in the future. We are confident that the technical programme envisaged by our respective engineering teams will enable us to achieve a highly competitive partnership in this increasingly important area of our sport. As ever, we will be doing all we can with the help of Michelin and our other technical Partners to win in 2002."
Norbert Haug, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

"Mercedes-Benz and Michelin have a long-standing relationship in the field of tyre equipment for production cars where Michelin is one of our most important partners. We are looking forward to a promising good collaboration in Formula One. What Michelin has achieved in their first year after their comeback promises a lot of potential for the future."
Pierre Dupasquier, Motorsport Director, Michelin

"It is great that McLaren and DaimlerChrysler have rejoined the Michelin family. Whilst we are very pleased with what we have achieved this year in Formula One, and are very optimistic for next year, the involvement of a team with the record and skills of McLaren can only increase our optimism."

McLaren paid tribute to Bridgestone who helped them win 2 Drivers' Titles and 1 Constructors' Title in the last 4 years. The team issued a statement that read: "McLaren International today announced that it has been agreed that Bridgestone would cease supplying tyres to the West McLaren Mercedes Formula One team with effect from the end of this year. The Partnership between the two companies commenced in 1998 and lasted for four seasons yielding two Drivers' World Championships and one Constructors' title. Bridgestone's first season with McLaren, which was only their second season in Formula One, saw them assist Mika Hakkinen winning his first Drivers' World Championship in 1998 and West McLaren Mercedes winning the Constructors' Championship with a total of nine Grand Prix wins. The following year, West McLaren Mercedes and Bridgestone repeated the success in the Drivers' World Championship with seven Grands Prix wins. During the four-year Partnership, Bridgestone and McLaren enjoyed a total of 27 Grand Prix victories together.
Martin Whitmarsh, Managing Director, McLaren International

"Bridgestone has been a great partner of McLaren over the last four years and we have enjoyed a high level of success and the best of times together. It has been particularly gratifying to be able to forge strong professional and personal ties between our respective teams. Both Bridgestone and McLaren have derived a great deal from our time together and can both part company satisfied with our respective achievements."
Norbert Haug, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"Mercedes-Benz wants to thank Bridgestone for their excellent achievements during the last four years of co-operation. Those years have been very successful with Mika Hakkinen winning two Drivers' World Championship titles on Bridgestone tyres and our team taking one Constructors World Championship and finishing as runner-up three times."

The British American Racing team announced today that they have appointed Williams Chief Aerodynamicist Geoff Willis as their Technical Director from March 2002. Malcolm Oastler the current Technical Director becomes the Engineering Director. 
Malcolm Oastler said "As Technical Director Geoffrey will be responsible for the car's aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics programmes. I will continue to develop the long-term technical strategy and will concentrate on the design, electronics and engineering functions, as well as managing relationships with key technical partners. To avoid confusion I will be called Engineering Director."
"I have been conscious for some time that the job I've been trying to do here is too much for one person.  Even me!  At the same time, we have been missing the senior technical experience that can only come from teams at the top of the Championship. Geoffrey fits the bill perfectly and I am delighted that he has agreed to join us."
Geoff Willis said "I see this as a major opportunity. Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda Honda is a young team open to new ideas and has the resources in place to achieve its ultimate ambition of winning the Championship. I believe I can make a significant contribution and look forward to working with Malcolm in moving the team up the grid."
Craig Pollock added "I think Malcolm has made a great appointment.  With Geoffrey's arrival I believe we will have a technical team second to none in Formula One."

In a brief statement by the Williams team, they announced that Gavin Fisher signed a long term contract with the team while Geoff Willis will remain with the team until the 1st of March 2002. The statement read "WilliamsF1�s Managing Director, Frank Williams, and Technical Director, Patrick Head, are delighted to announce Chief Designer, Gavin Fisher, has signed a new long-term contract with the team.
Geoff Willis, currently the team�s Chief Aerodynamicist, is to take up a more senior appointment with British American Racing Honda. Geoff will remain with WilliamsF1 until the 1st March, 2002, and following his departure changes of responsibility will be made within the existing aerodynamics department."

29-Oct: Following the re-instating of Jarno Trulli's result for the United States Grand Prix, picks for that round had to be re-scored. The overall result has Saba winning the 6 'n' Pole competition 3 points ahead of the The Meanest. (337 to 334). 
Hard luck to The Meanest as he was tied in 1st place with Saba before the re-scoring.
In the highest individual score per race category, the 5 players who scored the highest are: Julia, KVA and Tiger scoring 38 points each and Vandana and Lee scoring 37 points each. We hope that you have enjoyed the first year of the competition and look forward to more fun in the 2002 season. Overall Results - Individual Race Results - Popular Picks

28-Oct: Michael Schumacher took part in the final round of the Karting World Championship at his father's track in his hometown in Kerpen.
In the first race starting from 16th he made his way up to third before spinning out due to technical problems. In the second race once again starting from 16th, he made his way up to 3rd and was later promoted to 2nd due to the disqualification of the 2nd placed driver. The race was won by Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi.
Michael Schumacher indicated that he wanted to race for fun and said "All I wanted to do was have some fun. I came here for the scrap, to race wheel to wheel in the pack and the result didn't matter. I really like this sport: compared with Formula 1, you are more involved in a manual sense, as you can work on your own kart, whereas in the single seater, all I can do is tell the engineers where I think something needs to be done. It was great to race here, in front of so many spectators and I hope karting will now be more popular in Germany."

27-Oct: The International Court of Appeal has allowed the appeal by the Jordan team over Jarno Trulli's exclusion from the United States Grand Prix based on Prix on the fact that a Steward was absent during the hearing of the team. The FIA statement read:
The International Court of Appeal met in Paris on 26 October 2001 in order to examine the appeal brought by the Royal Irish Automobile Club on behalf of Jordan Grand Prix against stewards' decision, set out in document number 31 of the 2001 SAP United States Grand Prix (exclusion of car number 11 - Jarno Trulli - for non-conformity of skid block dimensions).
Having listened to the explanations of the parties and examined the various documents and other evidence, the International Court of Appeal has allowed the appeal of Jordan Grand Prix on the grounds that a steward was absent during the hearing of the team at the United States Grand Prix.
The Court found that this was a breach of article 134 of the International Sporting Code (which provides that all decisions by the College of Stewards should be taken collectively) and thus a breach of the right of defence.
The International Court of Appeal has therefore pronounced the above mentioned stewards� decision null and void; the original classification of the event is, as a consequence, confirmed.
The International Court of Appeal was presided over by Mr. Jan van Rosmalen (Holland) and was composed of Messrs. Vassilis Koussis (Greece) and Philippe Roberti de Winghe (Belgium).

This means that Jarno Trulli who finished 4th at the US GP before his exclusion gains 3 points, Eddie Irvine, Nick Heidfeld and Jean Alesi lose 1 point each. Jordan gains 2 points (3 gained by Trulli and 1 lost by Alesi), Jaguar and Sauber lose a point each.

Most importantly, this decision means that Jordan has now moved ahead of BAR in the Constructors' Championship and take 5th place. Both Eddie Jordan and Jarno Trulli were delighted with the outcome. Eddie Jordan said "We are very satisfied with the outcome of the appeal and delighted to have our fifth place in the 2001 World Championship for Constructors confirmed."
Jarno Trulli said "I am very happy that my fourth place finish in Indianapolis stands, not least because this was my best result of my season but also because the team and I have had a lot of bad luck this year and I believe we deserved some good results."

Both the Constructors' and Drivers' Championship tables have been updated to reflect this decision.

26-Oct: The FIA issued the following statement regarding Jordan's appeal over Trulli's exclusion from the United States Grand Prix results:
The International Court of Appeal met today at 8.30 a.m. in Paris to hear the appeal introduced by the Royal Irish Automobile Club on behalf of its licence holder Jordan Grand Prix against Stewards' decision n�31 of the United States Grand Prix (exclusion of car n�11 - Jarno Trulli - for non-conformity of skid block dimensions).
The judges are Mr. Jan van ROSMALEN (Holland), elected Chairman, and Messrs. Vassilis KOUSSIS (Greece) and Philippe ROBERTI de WINGHE (Belgium).
The hearing started at 9.00 a.m.
The decision will be announced tomorrow, 27 October, in the afternoon.

If Jordan are successful in their appeal, they will move ahead of BAR in the Constructors' Championship and take 5th place. Additionally Jarno Trulli would gain 3 points in the Drivers' Championship moving him to equal points with Jacques Villeneuve and Nick Heidfeld (he will lose a point if Trulli is re-instated) however Trulli will still be ranked behind Villeneuve and Heidfeld as Villeneuve and Heidfeld had higher finishing positions during the season.
Historically though, the FIA have rarely gone against the Stewards decision and it is unlikely that the appeal will be successful.  

25-Oct: The Sauber Petronas team announced today that their partnership agreement with Red Bull will end on the 31st of December 2001. Red Bull were a major sponsor for the Sauber team in 2001 but also had a sponsorship deal with Tom Walkinshaw's Arrows team.
A statement issued by the Sauber team read "The SAUBER PETRONAS C21 will start into the 2002 season without the Red Bull trade mark.
After a long lasting partnership and the most successful season of the team so far, the co-operation with Red Bull will end as of 31 December 2001.
The seven years together with Red Bull had an essential impact on the team's image. Peter Sauber and his crew thank Dietrich Mateschitz and Red Bull for the confidence in the partnership and wish Red Bull all the best for their future."

Earlier, Red Bull announced that they will extend their partnership with Arrows and TWR by sponsoring the Arrows Formula 1 team as well as Team Cheever in the Indy Racing League where TWR develops the Infiniti engines the team uses.
Red Bull boss Dieter Mateschitz said "Tom and I share the same vision of wanting to develop a US motorsport strategy alongside our Formula 1 interests. I am pleased to confirm therefore that the Red Bull logo will be seen at the heart of US motorsport in the IRL with Team Cheever as well as in Formula One with Arrows." 

24-Oct: As both Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya continue their war of words, team boss Frank Williams has ruled out introducing team orders at Williams even if the 2 were competing for the championship. He also believes that the 2 are professional enough not to run into each other and said "They are both skilful professional people. While there is no strong friendship between them, there is no animosity. Unless it�s an error of judgement one day, I doubt they�ll ever tangle."
Ralf Schumacher had earlier called for the introduction of team orders next year out of the fear that they could take each other out and look stupid and said "There are only two possibilities. We will either look very good or very stupid if we end up taking each other off. One of the two will occur, most probably the second. Juan Pablo is a very strong driver and he takes any opportunity to overtake, relying on some people to give way. But that will not always be the case. So far it hasn't been a problem, but it could turn out to be if two guys both go hard for the title."
Gerhard Berger was quick to squash Ralf's demands and said "If Ralf really meant this, then it was the wrong time to say it. When you look at the last four races, the team would have had to concentrate on Montoya and we are going to see a better Montoya next year than this year. It is just experience. But you also saw a better Ralf Schumacher this year than last year, simply because he was pushed even harder by Montoya."
Juan Pablo Montoya responded to Ralf's claims and indicated that while he doesn't intend to improve his relationship with Ralf, he will treat him with respect and said "Truthfully, I am not interested in improving my relationship with Ralf. For me he is my team-mate on a professional level and that's fine. He has his life, I have mine and that's as far as it goes. In terms of equipment there is no number one. I believe that within Williams there is no number one, or two, and it does not matter who is winning or who is losing. We are equal. What I know is that in all ways we are respected, because in the same way that I respect him, he respects me."
Montoya added that he didn't consider himself a rookie despite this year being his first year in Formula 1 and said "I don't consider myself a rookie. After having won the CART championship, the Indy 500, entering Formula One and having 15 years of driving behind me, I do not see myself as a rookie."

23-Oct: "Best Driver, Best Team and Best Rookie of the year" - Topic of the month - Have Your Say

22-Oct: The Toyota Formula 1 team officially announced today that test driver Allan McNish will join Mika Salo as the team's driver line-up for 2002. 
Tsutomu Tomita, the Chairman of Toyota Motorsport
said "As our team has yet to participate in active F1 competition, there are numerous challenges that we must face down the road. Allan McNish is fast and is gifted with exceptional development potential. As such, we have concluded that combining Mika and Allan in our first year would be the best way to go."
Allan McNish said "I have been deeply involved with the team in the development of the Toyota F1 car from the very beginning of the project. In the process, my ability as an F1 driver was recognized and I am very happy to have been officially chosen as a driver for the coming season. This fills me with confidence that I can accomplish the difficult tasks ahead. There is a mountain of things we must do before our first race next year, and I intend to fully devote myself to bringing out my very best."
Toyota always maintained that McNish would be the second driver in 2002 but this announcement makes it official.  

Click here for the 2002 Team and Driver Line-up  

21-Oct: A number of drivers and team managers have criticised Jenson Button for his lack of pace during the 2001 season compared to his debut season in 2000. Towards the end of the 2000 season he out-qualified his team-mate Ralf Schumacher at Spa, Indy and Suzuka. When he moved to Renault it was thought that he will give Fisichella a real fight yet he only managed to out-qualify him 4 times (out of 17). 
Several rumours seem to indicate that Button may still not drive for Benetton next year however it appears that Sir Frank Williams (who loaned him to Benetton) is putting the pressure on Flavio Briatore to keep Button in 2002.
Eddie Irvine recently launched a scathing attack on Button describing him as the weakest link at Benetton and said "I feel Benetton should have done everything possible to hang on to Fisichella. In fact, if I had been the team boss I would have ditched Jenson Button so that Fisichella and Trulli could have driven together. I'd have had to say: "Jenson, you are the weakest link. Goodbye." I know Jenson had a great debut season with Williams but he has been a big disappointment this time around for whatever reasons. He has only out-qualified Giancarlo a couple of times and that was because the Italian had traffic or mechanical problems."
Jenson Button vowed to be back next year among the top drivers and has set his target to start from Pole at Silverstone and said "I've got a message for all those people who wrote me off as a one-season wonder. Watch out, because next season I will be back among the leaders.
If we continue to make the sort of progress you have seen in the last few races of this season, it is not unrealistic to aim for pole position on the grid at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix. That would be a suitable reward for all those people who have stood by me during the tough times."

19-Oct: The Jaguar Racing team announced that they have sold their Formula 3 team to a consortium in an effort to concentrate on their Formula 1 programme. Niki Lauda said "Since taking over the reins at Jaguar Racing, one thing has become very clear to me. We must focus one hundred per cent of our efforts into Formula One if we are to reach our long term target of winning races. While we respect the critical role that Formula Three has played, we must also respect the magnitude of the challenge that lies ahead.
To stand any chance of fulfilling these goals, every division of our business must be dedicated solely to Formula One. This has been far from an easy decision, but it�s been taken in the best interests of our F1 programme.�

The team has yet to decide on the future of their 2 F3 drivers, Australian James Courtney and German Andre Lotterer but the Formula 1 team doesn't have any test drivers at the moment and they might take both of them in 2002. Lauda said "Formula Three has played a key role in the development of young drivers and a crucial part of this deal with the consortium was to ensure that the young driver development programme remained in place. We have not, at this stage, decided on the future of James Courtney or Andre Lotterer. Discussions with both men are ongoing and again, we want to ensure an outcome with their best interests in mind.�

James Courtney finished 4th in the British F3 Championship with 227 points while Andre Lotterer finished 7th with 141 points. Takuma Sato who will be driving for Jordan in 2002 won the F3 Championship with 355 points.

18-Oct: After 17 rounds, the 6 'n' Pole competition for the 2001 season ended with 2 winners!. Both 'The Meanest' and Saba have finished on equal points with 334 points each. In the highest individual score per race category, the 5 players who scored the highest are: Julia, KVA and Tiger scoring 38 points each and Vandana and Lee scoring 37 points each. The results however are provisional pending the appeal by Jordan over Trulli's exclusion from the US GP results as it could affect some of the scores. Following the decision on the appeal on the 26th of October the results will be re-scored (if appeal is successful) and confirmed with all the winners announced. 
We hope that you have enjoyed the first year of the competition and look forward to more fun in the 2002 season. Overall Results - Individual Race Results - Popular Picks

17-Oct: Despite finishing second in the Constructors' Championship, McLaren have had a disastrous season beaten by Ferrari by a massive 77 points. They were close to even losing second place to the Williams BMW team. Many are speculating that McLaren have lost their edge and that they won't be back in top form for a few years to come. However, team boss Ron Dennis is confident that they will be strong from the start of the 2002 season expecting to run the 2002 car in mid-January. He said "I think we are taking a step in the right direction. David is not happy about coming second and nor are we in respect of the Constructors' Championship. We started work on our new car in July and in the second week of January we expect to run it. The new engine will run in a couple of weeks so we are well on target for starting a season with renewed vigour."
The team have yet to decide on their tyre supply for the 2002 season with the team negotiating with both Bridgestone and Michelin. It is speculated that they are in favour of switching to Michelin aiming to get an advantage over Ferrari however Williams who currently run Michelin tyres might be advantaged by Michelin given their close relationship. What is complicating matters further is that McLaren don't want a long term contract with either supplier as they wait on Goodyear to make a decision regarding a return to Formula 1 which is rumoured to be in 2003.

Given the lack of power of the Honda engine this year and Honda's policy of supplying 2 teams, it appears that Jordan might drop Honda in favour of Volkswagen. It is rumoured that VW and Jordan are in talks for a possible engine supply by the German company in 2003 or 2004. VW would like to follow Mercedes and BMW into Formula 1 given their recent success however despite Jordan finishing behind BAR (awaiting the US GP appeal), they were stronger although less reliable. Add to that the announcement that Japanese driver Takuma Sato will be driving for Jordan next year, it seems unlikely that Jordan will switch to another engine supplier any time soon.

16-Oct: "Your thoughts on the 2001 season" - Topic of the week - Have Your Say

15-Oct: The FIA announced today the date set for the hearing of Jordan's appeal against Jarno Trulli's exclusion from the US GP results. The appeal will be heard on the 26th of October and the decision will be announced the following day.

Jarno Trulli finished 4th at the United States GP but was later excluded from the results due to the non-conformity of the skid block dimensions on his car. (story).
The appeal is crucial for the Jordan team as if they are successful they will take 5th in the Constructors' Championship from BAR. Jarno Trulli will take 9th place in the Drivers' Championship from Kimi Raikkonen. 
Eddie Irvine, Nick Heidfeld and Jean Alesi will lose a point each if Trulli's 4th place is re-instated and that will also affect the final Drivers' Championship ranking.
Appeals however are usually dismissed by the FIA. Earlier this year, BAR appealed a decision by the stewards to add 25 seconds to the race time of Olivier Panis for passing under yellow flags during the Australian GP. The appeal was dismissed and the decision by the stewards was confirmed. Panis finished 4th but with the addition of 25 seconds he ended up 7th.

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