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|Michael Schumacher 2001 Ferrari ... more die-cast|
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Luciano Burti has confirmed that he will not race at Monza this
Sunday. He also left it open as to when and if he will return to Formula
1. Burti left the University Hospital of Liege earlier today and issued a
statement that read "One of the first things I did after I left the hospital was talk to my family and my friends that I am not ready to be back to racing yet. But I will be the only person who knows when I should be back in a F1 car.
The Prost team have announced that Czech driver Tomas Enge will
replace Burti at the Italian Grand Prix. Alain Prost said "It is very
important for us to know that Luciano is now definitely feeling well, and
personally, I can only approve his decision to wait a little bit more
before coming back in the car. I hope to welcome him back in the very near
future, even if at the moment we still do not know how long it is going to
be. Despite the sad circumstances, we can call ourself very lucky as
Luciano is on the way to recover totally from his accident.
Tomas Enge said "This is something I have been dreaming of for the last 6 or 7 years ! Ten years ago, the situation in the Czech Republic kept us a million miles away from this level of motor racing. Today I am happy and proud to be the first Czech driver in Formula One. Everything came so quickly. After a good season in F3000, I had the chance to sign with the Prost Acer team to be their test driver for the remainder of the season and had a successful first test drive last week. I feel sorry that the opportunity to drive in Monza came about because Luciano suffered a terrible accident. I wish him all the best and hope he will soon be back where he belongs. I still canít express how great it is for me to drive this car. I will try my utmost to do a good job for the team and to reward the confidence Alain Prost puts in me today."
Peter Sauber has confirmed that he is in talks with McLaren over Kimi Raikkonen. He indicated that while he prefers not to let him go, he will make a good deal if he does let him go and said "Yes, McLaren is interested in Kimi. There will be negotiations in the next few weeks. Kimi is the driver of the future and we will, for sure, take that into account. He is a young driver, but he's already fantastic and he's in the middle of a lot of rumours. Some of that is true, two top teams want him. I'd prefer not to let him go, but it depends on what and how much I am offered. If he will go, I will surely have made a good deal."
Speculation is mounting that Raikkonen would be offered to McLaren in exchange for Mercedes 'works' power once the Ferrari contract runs out at the end of 2002. It appears that this is one of the reasons McLaren have not made their announcement regarding their driver line-up for next year.
9-Sep: "Schumacher Invincible" is the title of the 28th issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2001 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the aftermath of the Belgian Grand Prix - Issue 28
A 'draft' 2002 F1 Calendar appeared in the media in the last few days although
the FIA didn't officially release one. This calendar was very similar to
the 2001 calendar.
On the final day of testing at Magny Cours, it was Juan
Pablo Montoya who set the fastest time of the day and the year ahead
of Marc Gene and Heinz Harald Frentzen.
Kimi Raikkonen suffered a high speed crash on his third lap (first flying lap) going off at L'Ecole. Raikkonen was taken to the Nevers Magny Cours CHU Hospital for a check-up and was given the all clear. Raikkonen then returned to his home in Finland.
The session was run under wet conditions in the morning drying out in the afternoon. overcast but dry conditions. Late in the afternoon, the teams ran on an artificially wet track to simulate wet conditions.
Although there is no official confirmation from the Prost team
regarding who will be driving for them at the Italian Grand Prix, it
Luciano Burti's chances of making it onto the grid are looking slimmer by
the day. Dr. Gary Hartstein, the medical team's supervisor
monitoring Burti's condition doubts that he'll even show up at the Monza
track and said "The scan shows that the bleeding, which stopped
Sunday, is being naturally absorbed, as we expected. Luciano's physical
recuperation pace is excellent and above expectations. Nevertheless, we do
not want to accelerate things and the family's position is to keep Luciano
under medical observation for however long it is necessary in order for
him to go back to his normal routine. We are winning the battle step by
step and it is our intention to keep acting in the same manner. We like
people who have had severe concussion to be totally asymptomatic for a
significant amount of time before any chance of a second concussion. So I
don't know where that puts Luciano. We would want him to go a certain
period of time, longer than the next race at any event, before he even
thinks about getting back in the car. If my son were to have an impact
like Luciano had I would probably want to see him asymptomatic for at
least four to eight weeks before getting back in the car. I don't think he
will be showing up at Monza physically, I think he's probably going to
still be resting."
It seems that the Prost team will have yet another driver change. So far this season, they've had 2 (Burti taking over from Mazzacane and Frentzen taking over from Alesi).
On the final day of testing at Mugello, Michael Schumacher set
the fastest time ahead of Olivier Panis and Fernando Alonso.
There no major incidents during the session today.
At Magny Cours, Nick Heidfeld set the
fastest time on the second day of testing with Juan Pablo Montoya in
second and Marc Gene in third. Heidfeld's time was the fastest set on this
track this season.
Nick Heidfeld has an off in the morning and damaged his car slightly.
Ricardo Zonta continued his 3 day straight line test for Jordan at Vairano, Oliver Gavin continues his straight line testing for Benetton at Danielson while Andre Lotterer continues his straight line testing for Jaguar at the Elvington airfield, all in preparation for the upcoming Italian Grand Prix on the 16th of September.