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2002 Season Preview 
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1 - 5 February News  
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The head of BMW Motorsport Gerhard Berger has admitted that he is not happy with the pace of the new Williams but didn't specifically blame the chassis for this as has been suggested by others in the Williams camp. Speaking to Autocar, Berger said "It is true that after the first tests the new car did not produce the lap times we were expecting. I always regard the speed of a new car on its first outing as a very important sign and even taking into account the need to make chassis set-up changes, we are not satisfied. I don't like to separate the chassis from the power unit. We are talking about a whole package here and it looks like McLaren are ahead of us."

5-Feb: On day 2 of testing at Valencia, Nick Heidfeld topped the timesheets in the Sauber C21 ahead of Takuma Sato in last year's Jordan and Felipe Massa in the other Sauber setting the 3rd fastest time.
5 teams were present with 11 drivers setting lap times. Not only were the 2 Saubers quick but they covered the most number of laps as well with Felipe Massa covering 92 laps and Heidfeld covering 90 laps. The closest to those 2 was Takuma Sato who covered 72 laps. Mark Webber in the new PS02 Minardi covered the least number of laps with 14.
It appears that the track conditions which were partly cloudy and windy suited the Bridgestones with the top 3 times set by their runners.

BAR, Jaguar and Arrows are expected to join the action tomorrow.

Click here for the test times from Valencia 

Rubens Barrichello continued testing for Ferrari at Mugello with Luca Badoer joining him. Both concentrated on tyre and electronics testing. Barrichello covered the most number of laps with 81 and set the fastest time with a 1:23.500.
Ferrari continue testing at Mugello tomorrow with Badoer and Burti while Barrichello will be attending the new car launch at Maranello.

Click here for the test times from Mugello 

5-Feb: Formula 1 testing has been almost non-stop for the last month. Here is a team by team roundup ... Full Report

4-Feb: It appears that the problems with Jaguar's R3 have claimed their biggest victim so far. Jaguar's Technical Director Steve Nichols has resigned from the Jaguar team with immediate effect and Guenther Steiner who is the Managing Director will take over the role of Technical Director as well. 

Steve Nichols took over from Gary Anderson at the end of the 2000 season with the aim of building a competitive car for the 2002 season. 

The Arrows team have become the latest team to shakedown their 2002 contender, the A23. The shakedown was carried out at a secret location on Sunday and then moved to Kemble in Gloucestershire today. 
The team now heads to Valencia to test their new car.

4-Feb: On the first day of testing at Valencia, Juan Pablo Montoya set the fastest time ahead of team-mate Ralf Schumacher and Fernando Alonso. 
The session was run under artificially wet conditions with only 2 Michelin running teams (Williams and Renault).
Juan Pablo Montoya covered the most number of laps with 66 followed by Ralf Schumacher with 62 and Fernando Alonso with 57 laps.
Jarno Trulli covered the least number of laps with 46 and left the session early as he was feeling unwell.
It was the first time Williams run 2 FW24's while it was Renault's first test under wet conditions.
Testing continues tomorrow with several teams expected to join in the action.

Click here for the test times from Valencia 

Rubens Barrichello started testing for Ferrari at Mugello. He concentrated on tyre evaluation and set-up driving a modified F2001. He completed a total of 74 laps with a best time of 1:23.257.
Ferrari continue testing at Mugello tomorrow with Badoer joining Barrichello.

Click here for the test times from Mugello 

4-Feb: It appears that the comments made last month by Barrichello regarding Ferrari giving him 30-35% attention (story) has angered Luca Montezemolo. Ferrari's boss has warned Rubens Barrichello that he needs to improve his relationship with the team and Michael or otherwise and said "If he takes a step forward in his relationship with the stable and with Schumacher then I don't see why we would change. There are not many drivers on the market capable of driving a Ferrari."
As for the new car, Montezemolo confirmed that they'll have to wait and see how the new car with the new gearbox will do on the track before deciding whether to use it in the first 3 races or not and said "We have tried to innovate but it was not easy to improve a car that was already perfect. The biggest change is in the gearbox. We just have to see how it performs now on the track. We know how important reliability is and that's why we are waiting for the results of the first tests."

3-Feb: Jaguar have concluded their 3 day test at Barcelona today with Pedro de la Rosa driving the R3. He was the only driver to set a time on the track. He covered 39 laps with a best time of 1:19.543. 
While the time set appears relatively competitive, it appears that the best time was set in qualifying trim which makes the R3 around 2 seconds off the pace. 

Click here for the test times from Barcelona 

2-Feb: Jaguar continued their testing at the Barcelona track today. Pedro de la Rosa covered a total of 23 laps with a best time of 1:23.538 while Andre Lotterer only managed 4 laps with a best time of 1:26.590. The team is trying to rectify the front wing problem on the R3 however so far their times have been uncompetitive compared with their rivals.

Click here for the test times from Barcelona 

1-Feb: While most teams were testing at Barcelona, McLaren were testing alone at the Valencia circuit. The test started on Tuesday the 29th of January and ended on the 31st. David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen tested both the new MP4-17 and a hybrid MP4-16. David Coulthard set the best time on the second day with a time of 1:11.580. This time is the fastest ever set on this track by a Formula 1 car.
On the final day, Alexander Wurz took over from Coulthard who was suffering from a heavy cold as the team artificially flooded the track to test under wet weather conditions. 
The team now moves back to Barcelona while most of the other teams head to Valencia

Click here for the test times from Valencia 

1-Feb: Williams test driver Antonio Pizzonia set the fastest time during testing at Barcelona ahead of Fernando Alonso and Jarno Trulli.
Only 4 teams were present with 7 drivers setting laps times. Antonio Pizzonia covered the most number of laps with 74 followed by Eddie Irvine with 73 and Pedro de la Rosa with 51.
Of the 2002 cars, Jarno Trulli in the Renault was fastest just under a second faster than Fisichella in the Jordan who in turn was just over a second faster than Eddie Irvine in the Jaguar.

Williams only tested with one car amid rumours that they had run out of engines and had to drop their test programme down to one car. 
Takuma Sato crashed in the morning in last year's Jordan but the car was repaired and he managed to go back out in the afternoon.
Jarno Trulli was very positive about the new RS202 and said "The whole package is very positive. It is very consistent, it can consistently do the same things over and over again. It can generate more temperature than last year's car. There is a lot more to come on the aero side and the rear end of the car is so stable, so I am very positive and happy about it."

The Jaguar team returned to the track to try out more modifications to the R3 without much improvements as Eddie Irvine was at the bottom of the timesheets over 2.5 seconds off the pace.

Williams, Renault and Jordan conclude their testing while Jaguar continue for the next 2 days.

Click here for the test times from Barcelona 

1-Feb: Minardi shook down their 2002 contender today at the historic Circuit Enzo e Dino Ferrari, near the teamís Faenza base, in eastern Italy. Alex Yoong drove the PS02 for 20 laps without any problems reported. The PS02 is powered by the Asiatech engine and features a more raised nose section, a reshaped and extended engine cover as well as a new floor optimised to work with the latest slimline version of Minardi's unique titanium-cased gearbox. Team boss Paul Stoddart said of the debut "Weíre proud and pleased that the new car had a successful debut today. The initial technical feedback suggests we have made identifiable progress in a number of areas, in particular, the engine, courtesy of Asiatechís new AT02 V10, and aerodynamic performance, which is the result of an intensive wind-tunnel programme undertaken by the team over the last six months. Itís early days yet, but we believe there is a genuine opportunity for KL Minardi Asiatech to achieve its aim of scoring World Championship points this season. We will continue testing through the month of February and look forward with great anticipation to Melbourne, where we will be able to gauge the progress we have made and see if it has put us ahead of some of our rivals on the grid."
Minardi will test the PS02 at Valencia next week

The Jordan Grand Prix team will be one of the last teams to officially launch their 2002 contender. The team issued a statement announcing that they will officially launch during the week commencing the 18th of February. The statement indicated that the car will still sport the familiar yellow coloration from major sponsors Benson and Hedges and Deutsche Post Worldnet but the team has yet to finalise sponsorship arrangements and once that is done, the date and venue will be announced.

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