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A Three Team Struggle 
The Heretic 

Juan Pablo Montoya
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Who will be the surprise of the season ? 
Have Your Say - HOT! 

26 - 28 February News  
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28-Feb: Rubens Barrichello plans to stop complaining and try to do better this season and said "This year I have decided not to complain and get upset if things do not go perfectly. You learn a lot in life and what I love doing most in life is racing. This sport gives me so much pleasure that I have decided to stop coming up for reasons why I have not won, saying it was because of this or that problem. As for my personal goals for the year, I want to improve, to do better and hopefully win races."
Regarding the new car, while Barrichello admits that it cannot be improve a lot, it is a tried and tested solution and said "We have high expectations but we will have to wait and see how the other teams perform with their new cars. If everyone else had brought last yearís cars, then I could be sure of doing well. However, even in the current situation, we are convinced our car will be competitive here. I donít agree with those who have said that it is a mistake to have brought the old car here, because in fact, at the start of every season, there is never much difference between the previous yearís car and the new one. The new one is always developed during the course of the year. Of course the F2001 has already been through a full yearís development programme, so there is possibly not so much more that we can get out of it."
Barrichello expects the biggest challenge to come from McLaren and Williams.

Luca Badoer tested a new electronic solution on the F2002 at Fiorano. The new solution could be used at the Australian Grand Prix if it test analysis proves successful. Badoer completed 15 laps with a best time of 1:01.731.

28-Feb: At the Thursday press conference for the Australian GP, BAR's boss David Richards has indicated that it will take him a while before he makes any changes at BAR and said "I have also said that it will be first 90 days or so, when I sort a few things out and get to know things, I would expect to be able to - by the time we get to Imola - we will have a proper press conference then and explain any changes that are necessary and what we are going to make in the future."
When asked about his relationship with Jacques Villeneuve, he said "You obviously don't get to know somebody in a few weeks of working with them but there is no problems there; he is very professional, he has got a job to do, I have got a job to do and we have both got the same objectives."
Toyota's boss Ove Anderson described himself as concerned over their first ever race weekend and said "It's a feeling of concern, I suppose. This is the first time we do a race and we like to see where we are on Saturday. 
With regard to their stated aim of qualifying for their first Grand Prix, he said "I believe that has to be the first aim because otherwise we will not go racing if we don't qualify. I think now the first few races, for sure, has to be to learn and this year the team has to grow together and beginners are beginners and we need to learn to walk before we can run."
Juan Pablo Montoya indicated that the new FW24 was a step forward compared to last year's car however only qualifying will tell how much improvement they have made compared with the rest and said "We did the best we could and we know the car is a little more reliable than last year and I think that's a big thing. We don't know where we are and I think nobody knows where they are until we get down to qualifying on Saturday."
When asked about who he thought was the best driver in Formula 1, Montoya said "I have been always a big fan of Senna since I was a kid and I would say Senna."
Michael Schumacher explained the reason behind not using the F2002 and said "Basically it's time; we haven't had enough experience, we haven't done a long run with it because there were a lot of weather issues initially which stopped us and a few mechanical issues which stopped us from running and we never really got onto the situation and then there was a point of decision we had to take where to concentrate on, and this decision was as well earlier than the last day of testing so we then decided to concentrate on the old car."
Michael also indicated his disappointment for not using the new car and doesn't yet know how much they will suffer by using the old car and said "To some degree you are not so delighted but what can you do? That's the situation and the situation has obviously been provoked to some degree because we knew we have a backup solution so we pushed very hard, everything to the limit, which might pay out later; it didn't pay out initially. How much we suffer from that, that's going to be the question mark which nobody knows."
David Coulthard believes the MP4-17 has done more testing than it's predecessor and is certainly a step forward and said "Statistically that shows on paper we have got a better chance of getting both cars to the finish here, and the car seems to be a step forward over last years' car and none of us know exactly where the performance is going to be until we get out in qualifying and see how we run the race."
When asked about how much of a problem would it be if his new team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was faster than him, Coulthard said "You don't have to be a brain surgeon to work out it ain't going to be good, is it, if I'm not quicker? The fact is Kimi is quick and on that basis it would be unlikely to think I'm going to be in front of him all the time and he has got every chance to be quick in the beginning as he has in the end. It's not like he has just learnt to walk, he has been racing for a number of years."

27-Feb: Ralf Schumacher expects a close fight between the top 3 teams in Melbourne and has not discounted Ferrari's chances despite them starting the season in last year's car. He said "We should be close to the top two and we will find out how the Ferrari is. Since they are there with the old car, it might make our life a little bit easier. Last year they were very, very quick with the old car, we'll see. It's all so open, you can't really tell. We'll have to wait for the qualifying. That's really the first time we realise where we are."

Eddie Irvine expects the start of the season for Jaguar to be a tough one. Early testing of the R2 showed a problem with the front wing and they had to redesign it. Testing with the modified front wing still shows Jaguar off the pace. Irvine said "It's going to make it very tough. There's a bit of trepidation. We tried as much as we could before we got here. We were working back at the factory to do stuff and how long it takes to sort the other problems out, but I don't know. It's impossible to say because the car has given us so many problems. We've really got to do a lot of things again, so it depends how successful that is before we can start to make a judgement."

Minardi's boss Paul Stoddart has made known his bold ambition of finishing 9th this season. He is hoping to mix it with Toyota and Jaguar early in the season and said "I think we might have a bit of a run with Toyota for a while, Jaguar haven't done too good so far and I think we can get the second Arrows fairly comfortably. Those are the teams that are in our sights. We've got our sights set on ninth in the constructors'. I think we need a few points to do that. We'll be more than pleased to beat one or two teams this year, particularly those that might have better budgets than us."

27-Feb: Arrows unveiled their 2002 livery in Melbourne at the track with Heinz Harald Frentzen and Enrique Bernoldi present. The title sponsor for the team remains Orange while other major sponsors include Red Bull and Lost Boys.

The A23 is powered by Cosworth and Team Principal Tom Walkinshaw is very excited about it and said "The Cosworth V10 is superbly engineered and has proven its credentials so we are looking forward to racing the new OrangeArrows A23 in 2002 with renewed relish."

The team have also decided to stay with Bridgestone this season. The Director of Motorsport at Bridgestone said "Bridgestone and Arrows go back a long way.

Indeed the team has been one of our most loyal and supportive friends in Formula 1 and it is always a pleasure to work with everyone there. It is time that Arrows enjoyed the success it deserves and Bridgestone is looking forward to playing its part in helping the team fulfil its ambitions. 2002 is the start of a new era, with a new engine supplier, so we hope a team effort will bring more success to Leafield this season"

2002 OrangeArrows Page

27-Feb: "Who will be the surprise of the season" - Topic of the week - Have Your Say

26-Feb: Juan Pablo Montoya has indicated that his Williams team have made a good step forward with the FW24 and believes that they will be very competitive. He said "I think we have made a pretty good step from last year to this year with the car but we won't know until Saturday how much progress we have made compared with everybody else. There is still more work we can do on the car, but I am confident we will be very competitive."
He believes that Ferrari are at a disadvantage by using last year's car and said "I think it's a negative move, but a positive one for us. If you think about it, they are starting off the season with last year's car. If we had brought last year's car we would have been 10th on the grid this weekend."
As for their other rivals, McLaren, Montoya believes that they are very close and said "We have tested with McLaren and it is going to be a very interesting fight with them. It's very hard to say who is quicker at the moment, we look to be very even and both cars are on the same tyre."

26-Feb: "A Three Team Struggle!" is the title of the 2nd issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2002 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the upcoming Australian Grand Prix - Issue 2

26-Feb: Michelin have decided against using a controversial new tyre in Melbourne which has asymmetrical grooves rather than symmetrical ones. A Michelin spokesperson said "We are not going to take our chances and end up in a court battle. Our tyres in Australia will be 100 percent legal. They will be exactly as per last year in terms of look and grooves. We try to do everything by the book but it is clear that the FIA do not believe our development tyre is legal."
Michelin however intend to continue the development of the new tyres in the hope of resolving the issue with the FIA. The spokesperson said "We are in discussions with the FIA over the exact regulations relating to grooves and have made a proposal which we think is within the rules. We have been testing with the tyre and if they had come back to us then we would have run it. But while there are discussions, we will not run them and we would like the FIA to classify things so we can do so as soon as possible."

Bridgestone have also confirmed that they will be using tyres that adhere to the spirit of the rules. Bridgestone's Technical Manager said "When grooved tyres were introduced in 1998, we believed the FIA's intention was for all four grooves to be symmetrical. We have followed that spirit ever since. Bridgestone's tyres for the 2002 Australian Grand Prix will comply with the rules set down by the FIA and, visually, will be the same as officials, competitors and spectators have come to expect in Formula 1."

Despite Verstappen visiting the Sauber factory and getting a seat fitting, Sauber have yet to decide wether to take him on as a test driver this season. It appears that the main issue is that Verstappen is much taller than their 2 regular drivers which requires them to make a lot of changes. A Sauber spokesperson said "Verstappen has been around to see us and to fit the car. He is twice as big as our drivers so we needed to see whether he could drive our car without too many modifications.
On the one hand, our technical people say that the drivers are too tired by racing to also do test drives and that it may be an advantage to have a test driver. But as Mr Sauber likes to say: we only have one car to test and we are not a large team."

Jordan have admitted that the new Honda engine is not very reliable at full revs and is hoping that this issue would be resolved as soon as possible and said "We're desperate to get more horsepower out of it. The Honda engineers have work to do; we have work to do."
During the pre-season testing both BAR and Jordan ran the new Honda engine with limited revs most of the time. 

Allan McNish has warned against against taking Toyota lightly and indicated that while they may not be very competitive in Melbourne, they'll be improving fast. He said "It won't sit very nicely if we're sitting on the last row of the grid. If that's the case, that's the case, and we've got to develop from there. It would be 'very naive' to regard Toyota as easy pickings for F1's smaller teams. Toyota have said that in three years they want to be fighting for points and in five years they want to be hopefully fighting for race victories, and if you win enough of those you win a championship."
His comments were echoed by Toyota's test driver Ryan Briscoe who said "They've got a good opportunity to be competitive. There are big improvements. If they keep going ahead like that it's not going to take long to get to the front."

Australian 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 Melbourne Time / 12 AM GMT
1 PM Melbourne Time / 2 AM GMT
9 AM Melbourne Time / 10 PM GMT (Friday)
10:15 AM Melbourne Time / 11:15 AM GMT (Friday)
1 PM Melbourne Time / 2 AM GMT
9:30 AM Melbourne Time / 10:30 PM GMT (Friday)
2:00 PM Melbourne Time / 3:00 AM GMT
Go to the Australian GP Page

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