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December 02 News  
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The Heretic

The Quali-flyer

Japanese GP Page

18 Dec: Japanese driver Takuma Sato has returned to BAR after being released from Jordan. The move was expected since Honda ended their engine supply deal with the Jordan team earlier this year. Sato signed a 3 year deal with BAR becoming a reserve driver in 2003 with an option for a race seat in 2004 and 2005.
Sato is happy about returning to BAR and said "Itís a shame that I canít race for Jordan next season but I leave the team on good terms and I donít see testing for BAR as a step backwards. I want to be with a team where my driving ability is the most important consideration rather than other factors.
2003 will give me the opportunity to assist with the development of the car, which is very important to my own development as an F1 driver. I had very little testing in the second half of 2002 and mileage is extremely important in Formula 1 because the cars are full of technology and it takes time to find improvements.
BAR is a different team to the one I knew before and from what I see, the changes are definitely for the better. Iím very excited about working with them and I feel very positive that this is the best move for me."
Team boss David Richards said "We are delighted to welcome Takuma back. He did a great job testing for us in 2001 and his year racing for Jordan has given him much-needed experience. Most importantly however, I believe Taku is the brightest talent to have emerged from Japan to date and he is in Formula One on merit, as he confirmed with his exciting performance in this yearís Japanese Grand Prix.
Obviously, having a Japanese driver greatly assists with our direct communication with the Japanese engineers at Honda and continues to develop our seamless link between the two companies."
Jordan's team boss Eddie Jordan thanked Sato for his services and said "Takuma Sato has natural driving talent and a lot of bravery. We had an eventful and exciting season together this year. I have every confidence in him and I hope he will build on the ability that we saw demonstrated in Suzuka - perhaps one of the best drives of the season. I would like to extend my thanks to Takuma and the Honda Dream programme."

Jordan have yet to announce who will partner Giancarlo Fisichella next season. Eddie Irvine, Felipe Massa and Enrique Bernoldi are rumoured to be the hot candidates.

Click here for the 2003 Team and Driver Line-up  

18 Dec: Minardi announced the signing of Justin Wilson as one of their drivers for the 2003 season. Wilson signed a 3 year deal with Minardi. He said " Like most young racing drivers, the ultimate aim has to be to reach Formula One. That dream has now become reality, but I probably still wonít quite believe itís happened until I get behind the wheel of the new Minardi for the first time. A great many people have helped me to get to this point in my motor racing career, but I particularly want to thank my father, Keith, for his wholehearted support and encouragement, Jonathan Palmer, for his valuable guidance and advice, and Paul Stoddart, for giving me the chance to show what I can do in Formula One with Minardi. Itís a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I intend to make the most of it."
Team boss Paul Stoddart said "Following a successful seat-fitting a few weeks ago at Faenza, where we ascertained that Justin would be comfortable in next yearís Minardi chassis, we have been working closely with his management representatives in a bid to sort out arrangements that would allow him to drive for the team next season. I am therefore delighted to announce that we have signed a three-year contract with Justin that will see him driving for Minardi in 2003, and beyond.
Justin is an exceptionally gifted young driver whose career we have been following for some time. Iím convinced he will quickly prove that he has a very bright future ahead of him in Formula One, just as Minardi drivers Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber did before him. Combined with our new chassis and Cosworth engine package, I believe todayís announcement indicates the teamís overall level of competitiveness will rise significantly in 2003, in line with the five-year plan laid down for Minardi at the beginning of 2001."

Minardi have yet to name their second driver who is widely speculated to be Jos Verstappen.

Click here for the 2003 Team and Driver Line-up  

9 Dec: Your Say: "Best and Worst of 2002" - Final Results

2 Dec: The FIA have announced the 2003 Formula 1 Entry List. Missing from the entry list was the Arrows team. The FIA indicated that they have received an entry from the Arrows team but declined it. No reason was given.
All the remaining 10 teams have confirmed their driver line-ups with the exception of Minardi who have yet to announce both their drivers and Jordan who have yet to decide on whether to retain Takuma Sato or replace him.

No. Driver Team Constructor
1. Michael Schumacher Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari
2. Rubens Barrichello
3. Juan Pablo Montoya BMW Williams F1 Team Williams BMW
4. Ralf Schumacher
5. David Coulthard West McLaren Mercedes McLaren Mercedes
6. Kimi Raikkonen
7. Jarno Trulli Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault
8. Fernando Alonso
9. Nick Heidfeld Sauber Petronas Sauber Petronas
10. Heinz Harald Frentzen
11. Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan Ford Jordan Ford
12. TBA
14. Mark Webber Jaguar Racing Jaguar Cosworth
15. Antonio Pizzonia
16. Jacques Villeneuve Lucky Strike BAR Honda BAR Honda
17. Jenson Button
18. TBA TBA Minardi TBA Minardi Cosworth
19. TBA
20. Olivier Panis Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota
21. Cristiano da Matta

2 Dec: Minardi announced an engine supply agreement with Cosworth for the 2003 season with future options. Minardi becomes the 3rd team on the grid for 2003 to be powered by a Cosworth engine. Jaguar and Jordan are the other 2. It isn't clear though what specification would Minardi be getting from Cosworth.
Team Principal Paul Stoddart was delighted with the deal and said "The KL Minardi team is extremely pleased to have concluded an agreement with Cosworth Racing, which sees the company become our official engine partner for 2003. The decision renews valued links the team has built up with Ford and Cosworth Racing over the years, and will provide KL Minardi with what is clearly the most competitive power unit in its 19-year history in Formula One. In combination with the latest chassis, Iím sure we will have a very strong package for next season."
Bernard Ferguson, Commercial Director at Cosworth said "We at Cosworth Racing are delighted to be working with Minardi again. We have enjoyed a strong relationship over the years, which has been built on mutual trust and respect. I am sure the team is set to go from strength to strength, and we are proud to be the engine of choice at this exciting time for Minardi."

The first Cosworth V10 engine will be delivered to Minardi shortly.

2 Dec: It appears that the Arrows team will not take part in the 2003 championship. The FIA declined their application for entry but didn't state the reasons publicly.
Arrows have been in financial problems this year and have failed to show up at a number of Grands Prix towards the end of the season. 
The team made two announcements regarding securing financial backing but it seems that both failed to materialise.  

Click here for the 2003 Team and Driver Line-up  

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