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What next for Jacques Villeneuve ?
Have Your Say 

21 - 25 April News  
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25-Apr: At the Thursday press conference for the Spanish Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher indicated that he doesn't feel at a disadvantage coming to the Spanish Grand Prix which has been traditionally a McLaren track. He said "Not necessarily, honestly. We have had a good test here. We haven't only had one test here. We've been here several times. You could say that being here more often gives you a greater advantage. It might be true to some degree, but you have to see it in relation to the new car, the experience you've had with the new car and our base with the new car is obviously very good. What you then need is to finalise the set-up. We've had some time to do this as the last test was here - with two new cars so we feel pretty much prepared for it."
It has been a year since launch and traction control was allowed back in Formula 1. Michael was asked if he though racing was better or worse with the aids. He said "To me it is clearly an improvement because as a driver I prefer a much more neutral situation, a much more advanced and technology improved situation, which we have now. I prefer working that way. Does it make racing more or less interesting? Well, if you look through the years I don't think it really changes a lot to what is shown to the outside. We have the same circuits and about the same number of overtaking moves as we had in the past. It is pretty close together in all honesty, simply a little bit more complicated but it offers other opportunities."

Kimi Raikkonen has retired from the last 3 races and is hoping that he can complete a race distance in Spain and said "We had very good tests last week and I hope we are going to do better here. At least we should finish the race this time and that's the big thing now."
As for how testing at Barcelona regularly helps for the race he said "I think it helps because we more or less know the set-up for this circuit and then we just need to get it better. As I said, the main thing this weekend is to finish the race and I think we are going to score points and, who knows, maybe get on the podium."

Pedro de la Rosa was straight forward about Jaguar's prospects this season indicating that they won't improve until Silverstone and said "We are going to have a very tough two months in front of us and we just have to try to get the most out of the package we have at the moment and that's it. We are waiting for the new wind tunnel and new bits, new people are joining and just getting new points on the car, because that's the only way we are going to make the car quicker: just adding better, quicker aero parts. From my side, I just have to enjoy it to the maximum that I can. If there's any possibility of getting points, that's fine but I don't think we are in the position of dreaming about points if the other people don't have big problems. This is my message and it's a realistic one, it's the whole message of the Jaguar Racing Team and there's really nothing much more we can add. It's two months. It's not going to be any shorter. I think we are looking at the Silverstone Grand Prix basically and that's quite a realistic date."
Pedro praised the Spanish track in Barcelona and said "I think it's fantastic to be racing at home, especially at a circuit like this one, which you can see that it's changing, it's getting modern: more modern grandstands, bigger, better. This is good because it's Spain. Formula One is very good place to see how a country develops and we don't have Formula One teams but at least the circuit that we have is of really high standard and I would say that it's the best in the world after Malaysia. Now we have to try to beat Malaysia."

Marc Gene who is the official driver for the Williams team described his testing role and said "For me the busiest time of the year was the beginning of the season because we had a three car team and our main issue there was reliability compared to last year. We thought the way to get reliability was to do as many kilometres as possible. In fact we did 25,000 between the three cars which was really impressive and it paid off, because I think that the car is - you never know because something might happen this weekend but I think we are the most reliable on the grid at the moment. So that was the issue. My responsibility was engine development but especially reliability-wise. Now I concentrate a lot on tyre work and also engine development and sometimes new parts for aerodynamics, traction control and all that. But it's really to try and let one of the race drivers rest every other week."
As for the difference between testing and racing, Marc said "Both situations are not ideal, obviously. When you race for a modest team you get a kick from the racing, and it's very exciting because you're racing wheel-to-wheel but before the start, you know that unless something really unexpected happens you've got no chance of even scoring points nowadays because top teams are so reliable. On the other hand, now I get to drive one of the best cars in Formula One and do many more miles than when I was racing in a modest team. Maybe the only good thing about this is that Williams is very fair in that we usually tend to run the same fuel level, myself, Juan and Ralf, so I can really compare myself to them on the pace. So now I have the car and I don't race whereas before I had the car but it wasn't very competitive in racing. 
Hopefully, a midfield team will see that you've got a lot of experience, your face is as good as the lead drivers and that you can as good a job as your lead drivers. But the driver market in Formula One is extremely tough now. There's a lot of young drivers coming in and not many seats available so it's difficult. But that's the idea, in theory. We will see if it works out next year."

Fernando Alonso who is the official test driver for the Renault team described his testing role for the team and said "I think the test driver in a top team is very important because we do a lot of tests, a lot of improvement on the car, there are a lot of parts on the car to be tested every week and there's constant development on the car. We will see at the end of the year. I try to learn a lot, do a lot of kilometres and improve myself."
As for the difference between testing and racing, Fernando said "It's a completely different job. This year is quite frustrating to watch the race on TV. But you do realise that your job is very important for the team. You feel part of the team and that's the main thing. I'm the third driver but I do realise that the team needs me, that's motivation for me. For sure, for any racing driver racing is our life. When we are in the car, we are living. When we are not in the car, we are waiting for the next time that we are in the car. So for sure we miss racing."

25-Apr: The Jordan Grand Prix team officially announced today that Technical Director Eghbal Hamidy has left the team. The statement issued by the team read "Jordan Grand Prix wishes to announce that Eghbal Hamidy, former Technical Director, has officially left the company. This decision was reached amicably and neither party wishes to make further comment."
Hamidy joined the Jordan team in February of 2001 from Arrows but it is believed that since Gary Anderson (whom Hamidy disagreed with at Stewart) joined Jordan in November of 2001, Hamidy has not been happy at Jordan and since the start of the 2002 season, he has been officially on 'holiday'. It is rumoured that he is in talks with McLaren.

24-Apr: Following a disastrous start to the season, Jordan Grand Prix have followed in BAR's footsteps and announced a major restructure reducing staff by around 15%. 
Managing Director Trevor Foster, Head of Engineering Tim Holloway and Chief Operating Officer John Putt will all be departing the team. 
Eddie Jordan will become more involved with the sporting side as well as the commercial side. The team will be run by Henri Durand, the Director of Design and Development and Gary Anderson, the Director of Race and Test Engineering.
Eddie Jordan said of the announcement "Jordan has always been at its best when lean and efficient. Once you sense complacency creeping in, or costs becoming exorbitant, a prudent business needs to take action. We have an incredible group of people at Jordan who work tirelessly to achieve on track success. These changes will generate a more efficient structure at a time when our focus is on the performance and reliability of our cars."
It is interesting to note that Technical Director Eghbal Hamidy was not mentioned in this announcement. It is believed that he wants to leave Jordan and is currently on forced 'leave'.

Following the resignation of Wolfgang Reitzle, the head of the Premier Automotive Group which Jaguar Racing is part of, Niki Lauda has calmed fears of Jaguar Racing being under threat. He has been assured of full support by the Ford Motor company. 
Speaking to Autocar, Lauda said "Nick Scheele (Chairman of Ford in Europe) telephoned me last Thursday and confirmed that the Jaguar F1 programme has the full support of Detroit. He told me to go and push hard and get the job done."
The Jaguar Racing team's results so far have been dismal despite having scored 3 points so far this season. They continue to struggle with the R3 and usually qualify towards the back of the 22 car field.

23-Apr: "What next for Jacques Villeneuve ?" - Topic of the week - Have Your Say

23-Apr: Michael Schumacher heads into the 5th round of the Championship in Barcelona in a confident mood saying "Whatever happens, we should be competitive."
He remains cautious regarding Williams as Barcelona has been their main test track and said "It's best to be cautious when making predictions. One should also bear in mind that Williams and Michelin have done most of their testing in Barcelona."
Michael admits that their is still a long way to go and they have to remain focused and said "We know there is still a long way to go this season and we need to take it one race at a time. As soon as one race is over we are automatically focussed on the next one and so there is not much time for celebration. We have to maintain concentration and continue to push and that's exactly what we are doing." 

BMW Motorsport Director Dr. Mario Theissen has admitted that he doesn't hold high hopes for the upcoming race at Barcelona and said "With their new car, Ferrari has raised the benchmark and by doing so they have motivated us even more to push our development programme further. We have prepared ourselves well for the next race with a two car test at Silverstone supplemented by work on the dynos in Munich. Even though Barcelona is not one of the circuits we have especially high hopes for, I regard us as being well prepared for what is coming later this season."
He was very pleased that Williams BMW are the most reliable team so far this season with a near perfect record and said "We are happy to be the most reliable team so far this season. Nobody has recorded more race laps than our drivers and the only competitive distance we have not completed this season was as a result of Ralf’s accident in Australia. So early in a season, this degree of reliability is pleasing."

22-Apr: The Quali-flyer's predictions for the 'Real Race' in Spain ... Report 

22-Apr: "Can McLaren fightback ?" - The Spanish Grand Prix Preview is now available ... Race Preview

Spanish 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 Barcelona Time / 9 AM GMT
1 PM Barcelona Time / 11 AM GMT
9 AM Barcelona Time / 7 AM GMT 
10:15 AM Barcelona Time / 8:15 AM GMT
1 PM Barcelona Time / 11 AM GMT
9:30 AM Barcelona Time / 7:30 AM GMT
2 PM Barcelona Time / 12 PM GMT
Go to the Spanish GP Page

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