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26 - 29 August News  
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29-Aug: At the Thursday press conference for the Belgian Grand Prix, Rubens Barrichello indicated that coming second in the championship is important as first place has gone and said "If at the beginning of the year you told me I would be second in the championship and I said okay, thank you, I wouldn't be doing good. Just to think I would be happy by finishing second is not a good idea. But Michael has won already and that is the only place that is left, the best of the rest, so it is something that is important. It is an improvement over last year. But to be honest it is much more important to win the races itself and then see you finish second in the championship more than anything else, but I would be lying to say it has no importance."
Rubens explained why he hasn't had a good result here and said "I've never really been on the podium here, but since I drove the Opel Lotus here and the Formula 3000, I've always done quite well here, I've won races here, the pole position was a good one. The last few years with Ferrari were not fantastic but it's a good track, it's one that I like. The last couple of years we've had problems in qualifying and last year I thought it was quite good but it was that type of rain/dry session where I had the wrong tyre."
Rubens called on Cristiano da Matta to move to Formula 1 and said "I think he is a talented guy. He asked me if it was good fun and I told him that yes, it is. It is good fun and if he has a chance to drive for Toyota, which I think is going to be a really good team in the future, he should do."
Barrichello wished that he and Michael would be allowed to race this season and said "It's a big wish to be honest. After all, we are here to race, that's the big thing. To win a race when it was easy, it doesn't give you that good a feeling, but I hope so, especially this year, the rhythm on the races has been quite good and I am physically quite a lot better than I was so many years ago, so I wish we could have good races this year."

Juan Pablo Montoya indicated that the extension of his contract had nothing to do with other drivers positions and said "That was the option that Frank had and he took it. Simple. It's not major deals going on or anything. I signed the deal back in 2000 for four years and that was it. Honestly, there is nothing strange , at least yet."
As for his thoughts on Eau Rouge, he said "I think it is very exciting. It's not an easy corner to do flat. I managed two laps last year in the morning before qualifying to do it flat and that was it. It's not a corner that it is easy to go flat through and it is a big challenge because you don't see the exit. I like it. I do enjoy it - it is probably one of the most exciting corners there is."
When asked if Coulthard's recent comments about him were unjustified, he said "I think he should try and concentrate more on doing his job and trying to beat Kimi than talking about somebody else, that's what I think."

Eddie Irvine indicated that they are introducing a new front suspension to the car this weekend and that will be the last development on this year's car. 
He praised Jaguar's Managing Director Guenther Steiner and said "Guenther has done a really good job, but he is finding his way as we go along. He has probably got a bit too much to do, but what he has achieved so far has been good, some of the people he has recruited to the team have been very good and I think a large part of that is due to his personality and the confidence he instils in people. But we have a long way to go. He knows that and everyone there knows that. We have improved the car a lot since the beginning of the year."
When asked about a rumour that he'll be returning to Ferrari as a test driver, he said "That's not going to happen. Mugello's hard work, the idea of driving around Mugello for two or three days and then... you'd actually need a week of recovery after doing three days hard testing for Ferrari at Mugello. No, that's a joke that made a headline."
He added that he is in no rush to make a decision for next year and said "I'm in no rush to do anything, I'm quite happy just plodding along and see what happens."

Felipe Massa denied that the team order situation during the German GP was behind him not getting a drive at Sauber next year and said "No, actually I have a very good relationship with Peter. When he asked to change positions, I did so and a lot of people were saying that I was fighting with him. This is absolutely not true. I really like the Sauber team and also everybody in the team and I would just like to say thank you very much to them because I am really happy for this opportunity to be in Formula One and to do a good job with the Sauber team. For me, it's quite good to be here and I hope to do a good job in the last few races and I hope to do my best to maybe improve the points. If Sauber can be fourth again in the World Championship I will be really happy."
Felipe would rather secure a drive for next season rather than take a test role with Sauber and said "I think for me the most important thing is to keep going in the race, I think that's really important for me. I'm young, I think I can learn a lot in races but for sure it's also a good opportunity to stay but now we try to study and to see what's the best for me."

Anthony Davidson who drove in his first Formula 1 race in Hungary two weeks ago indicated that he was surprised by how hard it is be lapped and said "Getting lapped is really difficult. I think it was hard in Hungary to get out of everyone's way as there were so many marbles on the track. It's such a twisty circuit, you see people behind and you want to get out of the way as quickly as possible but you've got so many corners in front of you that you have to go quite far off line and you pick up so much rubber on your tyres that you slide around a long time after that. It's difficult."
Anthony admits that it is hard to impress when racing for just two races and said "It's pretty tough to come in and just do two races and show exactly what you've got. It takes a long time to get to know the car and every track and the team and everything. It's going to be hard to impress the right people but I've just got to do the best I can."

28-Aug: Toyota announced today that Olivier Panis has signed a two year contract with the team from 2003. In an unexpected move, both their current drivers Mika Salo and Allan McNish will not be driving for the team next season.
Toyota Racing President Ove Andersson said "We would like to thank Mika and Allan for their hard-work during the last two years, which has been integral in building the team up to its current level. This decision was not an easy one for the team and for Toyota Motor Corporation and in no way reflects on their clear racing ability. Both Mika and Allan will complete the remaining four Grands Prix of this season with Panasonic Toyota Racing with the same professionalism and dedication they have demonstrated so far."

Toyota did not reveal who will be driving alongside Panis next season but CART driver Cristiano da Matta is rumoured to be one of the front runners.

It appears that Olivier Panis had to take this option after Jacques Villeneuve rejected an offer to return to CART for a year and opting to stay at BAR in 2003.

Click here for the latest on the 2003 Season line-up  

28-Aug: The Arrows team made a brief announcement today confirming that they intend to race at Spa after an agreement was reached with an American investor to buy the team. The statement read "Arrows Grand Prix International announced today that the team has been sent to Spa. Heads of Agreement have been signed regarding the purchase of the team by an American investor. We hope for the deal to be completed by Friday."

There is speculation that Red Bull and Craig Pollock may be behind this deal but nothing has been confirmed yet.

28-Aug: "Williams first real chance" is the title of the 25th issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2002 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the aftermath of the Hungarian Grand Prix and the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix - Issue 25

27-Aug: It has been reported that BAR's driver Jacques Villeneuve has rejected a $50 Million deal to return to CART for a year in 2003. BAR's boss David Richards was keen to see Villeneuve return to the CART series for a year while BAR concentrate on their chassis development with Villeneuve returning to the team in 2004. However Gerald Forsythe owner of the Player's Forsythe team was quoted in the "Le Journal de Montreal" saying "We would have loved to have been able to count on the services of someone like Jacques Villeneuve for a year. It would have been very good for Player's and for the CART series. Unfortunately, Pollock asked for even more money. Their demands were too high. I'm not sure he will receive the same kind of offer from an F1 team at the end of his contract in 2003."

This means that Villeneuve will end his contract with BAR at the end of 2003 and with Craig Pollock confirming his interest in the Arrows team, we may see Villeneuve in the Arrows (or whatever it may be called then) in 2004!

27-Aug: The Quali-flyer's predictions for the 'Real Race' at the Belgian GP ... Report

26-Aug: "Another Ferrari domination ?" - The Belgian Grand Prix Preview is now available ... Race Preview

Belgian 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 Spa Time / 9 AM GMT
1 PM Spa Time / 11 AM GMT
9:00 AM Spa Time / 7:00 AM GMT 
10:15 AM Spa Time / 8:15 AM GMT
1:00 PM
Spa Time / 11:00 AM GMT
9:30 AM Spa Time / 7:30 AM GMT
2:00 PM
Spa Time / 12 PM GMT
Go to the Belgian GP Page

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