the final day of testing at Barcelona, Giancarlo Fisichella
improved on the best time set at this track this year and even bettered
Rubens Barrichello's best time set here last year during a testing session
by setting a time of 1:18.483. This time is just 0.282 seconds slower than
the Pole Position time set by Michael Schumacher here last year.
Given the mainly damp conditions during this week's test, expect the lap
times to drop even further when the teams get back to Barcelona in a few
Takuma Sato in the other Jordan was second ahead of Luca Badoer in the
Ferrari in 3rd. Just 5 teams remained for the final day of testing and 8
drivers set lap times. Luca Badoer covered the most number of laps with 93 followed by
Olivier Panis in the 2002 BAR with 90 laps as he completed a race
simulation while Giancarlo Fisichella completed 70 laps. Fernando Alonso
in his first appearance as a Renault test driver covered the least number
of laps with 33.
The session's start was delayed due to fog but the track remained dry
all day enabling the teams to continue work on their dry tyre testing programmes.
Both Alonso and Salo had problems on the track.
Next week, most of the teams move to Valencia to continue their
preparations for the 2002 season. The Sauber team however will test their
new C21 at Fiorano (Ferrari's private track) while BAR will spend two days
at Vairano before joining the rest at Valencia.
have become the latest team to confirm the launch date of their 2002
contender. The team will launch the FW24 at Silverstone and will test it
at the track on the same day.
Williams have retained their driver line-up from last year with Ralf
Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya as their regular drivers but have signed
Antonio Pizzonia as their second official test driver alongside Marc Gene.
The Williams FW24 launch date falls on the same day as Sauber launch their
2002 contender, the C21.
BAR's new boss David Richards has hit back at the rumours
suggesting a Villeneuve - Button swap before the start of the
season and said "It has not even been discussed and is not foreseen
contractually either. Creating conjecture fills column inches I am sure
but it's not something that I am wasting any effort on at all."
Richards was totally confident that Villeneuve will start the 2002 season
Richards also indicated that the new Honda engine they are currently using
is a development engine and that the final version of it is still a month
10-Jan: Eddie Irvine sets the
fastest time on day 4 at Barcelona and improves on the best time set so
far here this year with a time of 1:19.252 ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and
9 teams were present with 17 drivers setting timed laps. Luca Badoer in
the Ferrari covered the most number of laps with 75 followed by Olivier
Panis in the 2002 BAR with 72 and Felipe Massa in the Sauber with 70.
Antonio Pizzonia covered the least number of laps with 15.
The improved weather conditions helped the drivers improve on the times
set on Monday as the track was initially damp from overnight rains but
dried out by early afternoon.
Several drivers had problems today with de la Rosa, Pizzonia, Massa,
Montoya, Sato and Button all stopping on the track at various times.
Of the 2002 cars, Panis in the BAR continues to set the fastest times
ahead of de la Rosa in the Jaguar and Salo in the Toyota.
McLaren and Sauber have concluded their testing for this week while the
remaining teams will continue tomorrow.
9-Jan: For the second day in a
row, David Coulthard set the fastest time of the session. He was
over half a second ahead of Luca Badoer and Jenson Button. His best time
though remained almost a second slower than the best time set here on the
first day of testing by Antonio Pizzonia.
Once again the session was run under mixed conditions with the teams
running on intermediate tyres for most of the session although early in
the afternoon the track was dry enough to go out on grooves and that is
when most drivers set their best times.
The Jordan team joined in the action and so there were 9 teams in total
taking part at this session. Only Arrows, Prost and Minardi were absent.
18 drivers set timed laps.
Allan McNish covered the most number of laps with 78 but ended up at the
bottom of the timesheets. David Coulthard who topped the timesheets
covered 73 laps while Giancarlo Fisichella covered 66 laps. Giancarlo Fisichella had his first taste of the Jordan and did well
finishing 4th fastest while Japanese rookie driver Takuma Sato also
impressed finishing 11th fastest and less than a second slower than
It was also Jacques Villeneuve's first taste of the BAR004. The
rumours that he'll leave the team if his first impressions of the car were
negative were dashed as he described his first drive of the car as 'very
very positive'. He ended up in 12th place but the best of the '02 runners.
A number of problems on track with Pedro de la Rosa and Felipe Massa
having problems on the track while a number of drivers visited the gravel
mainly due to the damp track conditions.
8-Jan: Even though the air
temperature was higher than yesterday, the teams had to test under mainly
damp conditions although the track dried for a while in the afternoon
enabling a few drivers to put in some quick laps. The big difference in
times between the drivers reflects the changing track conditions. David Coulthard topped the timesheets today ahead of Ralf
Schumacher and Pedro de la Rosa. Coulthard's time was still slower than
the best time set yesterday by Antonio Pizzonia in the Williams.
Ferrari, Toyota, Sauber and Renault joined in the action today so there
were 8 teams with 16 drivers setting timed laps. Luciano Burti driving for
the first time for Ferrari covered the most number of laps with 62
followed by David Coulthard with 60 and Juan Pablo Montoya with 54.
There were a number of 'firsts' for this year with Kimi Raikkonen
driving the McLaren for the first time covering 34 laps and setting the
6th best time. Luciano Burti had his first test of the Ferrari and his first drive
in a Formula 1 car since his horrific accident at Spa in 2001. He
completed 62 laps and set the 9th fastest time. Jarno Trulli had his first drive of the Renault which ran in the
corporate yellow colours. Despite it being his first time in the Renault
he was 2 seconds faster than Jenson Button in the second Renault. Trulli
covered 49 laps and set the 13th fastest time. Felipe Massa had his first run in the Sauber covering 24 laps and
ended up 14th on the timesheets. Toyota had their first run in their 2002 contender, the TF102 with
Allan McNish driving. He covered 38 laps and ended up with the 5th fastest
Finally Jaguar ran their R3 for a shakedown for the first time with
Eddie Irvine, he covered 23 laps and was at the bottom of the timesheets.
Due to the damp conditions a number of drivers spun off harmlessly
including Marc Gene, Luciano Burti, Felipe Massa and Allan McNish.
The Formula 1 cars have finally hit the track and 2 of the top 3 teams
quickly established their dominance (with Ferrari expected to test here
tomorrow). Williams test driver Antonio Pizzonia set the fastest
time of the day with a 1:20.033 ahead of Alexander Wurz in the McLaren and
The best time set at Barcelona in 2001 was by Rubens Barrichello with a
time of 1:18.606 (3/2/01)
4 teams and 9 drivers set times on the first day with Pizzonia also
covering the most number of laps with 66 ahead of Coulthard with 65 and
Gene with 54. Olivier Panis in the BAR was the only driver to test in a '02 spec
car and covered a total of 22 laps. He set a best time of 1:21.914 but had
restrictions on the power of his Honda engine as this was considered a
shakedown run. The team also changed the engine after 11 laps as a
precautionary measure. Panis commented on the new car by saying "I'm
very happy with the work we've done here so far. We didn't do very many
laps but I've got a very good feeling about the car. Everyone back at the
factory has worked really hard during the winter so I think we've made a
good step forward and I'm positive for this year. At the moment I'm taking
it step by step but today I felt very confident after just a few laps - as
a driver that's important. I really enjoyed driving the car."
Jaguar who launched their '02 car were present but tested '01 spec cars
with some of the '02 bits on. Irvine was 6th fastest while de la Rosa was
McLaren had their first test with Michelin tyres and given the times
they have set on the first day, they appear to be adjusting well. David
Coulthard described the Michelin tyres as 'different but not like day and
Kimi Raikkonen is expected to get his first taste of the McLaren
tomorrow while Ferrari, Toyota, Jordan and Sauber are expected to join in
Weather conditions were sunny but cold with a temperature of just 9
There were no major incidents during the session.
Formula 1 testing is back after a 12 week break. The teams return to
the track tomorrow with the first test taking place at Barcelona.
With the exception of Arrows, Prost and Minardi, all the teams are
expected to participate in this 5 day test including Ferrari.
Toyota, BAR and Jaguar will take their 2002 cars alongside modified
versions of their 2001 cars. All the other teams will be testing with 2001
cars fitted with new components.
This will be the first time for Toyota to test on a track alongside other
Formula 1 teams and it will be interesting to see their times compared to
Jacques Villeneuve is expected to make up his mind on the 2002 BAR during
this test and we may know if he decides to stick with BAR for the rest of
A number of new faces will be present including Jordan's Takuma Sato and
Sauber's Felipe Massa.
Luciano Burti is expected to test for Ferrari for the first time and Kimi
Raikkonen will be getting himself familiar in the McLaren.
At the launch of the Jaguar R3, Eddie Irvine believes that 4th
place in the championship is up for grabs and is hoping that Jaguar will
be the team to take it from Sauber and said "The big three teams are
the big three, but fourth is up for grabs. I don't think Sauber will
maintain that position. We have to really try hard, and obviously can move
forward by having the wind tunnel near by."
Irvine reserved his judgement on the R3 until driving it first and said
"There is really no point in talking about it. I really don't know
what the car is like until I drive it. The seating position is much more
like the 1999 Ferrari, the one that I drove. It is more lying down. This
is the first proper Jag we have ever made. Whether it is a good thing that
it came out so early or not, I don't know. If you have a reliability
problem then the chassis should come out early so you can fix it. If it is
a speed problem, it may be better to leave it until the car is more
mature. I don't know, it is really hard to tell at the moment."
Pedro de la Rosa on the other hand is hoping to have his first
podium finish in Formula 1 this year and said "This year, if I can
get a podium that will be so nice. Obviously first a podium, then I think
about winning. If we can get to the podium it will be great because I
haven't been on the podium since 1997, which is a long time."
de la Rosa prasied the improved aerodynamics on the R3 and said "The
weakness of last year's car was basically aerodynamics. It was very poor
in that department. Also the centre of gravity was too high and it was a
very heavy car. The only good thing that we had was good tyres. Those
tyres suited our cars very well. This time you can see that the front of
the car is higher and that is because of the improved aerodynamics. To
make it lighter, the parts are all smaller compared to what they used to
be so that when I first looked at the car it all looked so weak. I was
told by the team that they are strong, and at the end of the day in
Formula1 you only have to last 300 kms, it is not the Le Mans 24 hours,
and I trust the team."
Jaguar announced that Andre Lotterer will be their
official test driver for 2002. Jaguar didn't have a test driver since they
sacked Tomas Scheckter in May 2001. Lotterer was part of the Jaguar Junior
team competing in F3 and tested regularly for Jaguar Racing last year.
Lotterer said "It's very important for the team to have a test driver
and important for me to develop the car and make myself ready to race in
case something happens to one of the other drivers. There's a lot of
technological difference between F3 and F1 so it's a great opportunity for
to learn more in the highest form of racing. I will miss racing this year,
because at the base this is why you go into the sport, but my aim right
now is just to perform, to do my best and to help the team."
The Jaguar team have become the 3rd team to launch their 2002
contender. The R3 was unveiled opposite their factory at Milton Keynes in
the UK with the presence of team boss Niki Lauda, newly appointed Managing
Director Guenther Steiner, Technical Director Steve Nichols and the 2
Jaguar drivers Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa.
Team boss Niki Lauda indicated that they have been more adventurous
in with the R3 and said "The Jaguar R3 has been conceived with the
aim of achieving outstanding aerodynamic efficiency. We have not
compromised the more traditional race-car attributes of low weight, low
centre of gravity and good torsional stiffness. Its distinctive high-nose
shape is the result of considerable wind tunnel research and the
innovative use of laminates and construction methods.
Aerodynamically, R3 will generate more downforce than R2 and exhibit
improved sensitivity. As soon as we get our new wind tunnel going from
next month, we will be able to begin a programme that will see us
improving throughout the year.
I'm confident we've made a real step forward with R3 and in a few days
time our drivers, Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa, will take to the
track in Barcelona for what promises to be a very exciting day for the
Niki Lauda is aiming for Jaguar to finish in the top 6 in the
Technical Director Steve Nichols said "This year, our target
has been simple - to make the car go as fast as possible. That sounds
obvious but what I mean is that we've been more adventurous in our design
philosophy this time.
We've concentrated on aerodynamics because we feel we were a little behind
the game, aerodynamically, in 2001. Don’t misunderstand me, we have some
very good aero people at Jaguar Racing, but they have been hindered by the
fact that our wind tunnel has been located in California all this time.
Now that we have taken steps to rectify that situation, our whole
operation will become easier and on par with how our competition
Nick Hayes, Managing Director of Cosworth is confident that the
new Cosworth engine will be more powerful and will provide a better power
curve and said ""I'm confident that, with the right development,
the Cosworth CR-3 V10 engine will make significant further gains
throughout 2002. For example, the block and head incorporate new design
features, and we will introduce further modifications throughout the
We are looking to improve not only ultimate power, but also power-curve
width, driveability and packaging. Indeed, despite the fact that the CR-3
is an evolution of the CR-2, we have nonetheless significantly lowered its
centre of gravity without having to resort to a wider v-angle or
compromise its excellent packaging qualities.
The R3 will have its first run at Barcelona on the 8th of this month.
3-Jan: The McLaren team appears to
have gone against the trend they've set over the past few years by
launching their 2002 car relatively early. The team announced today that
they will be launching the MP4-17 car in Barcelona on the 19th of
The car will be immediately put to the test at the Barcelona circuit with
both David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen expected to take part in the test.
McLaren struggled last year to stay with Ferrari at the top and faced
strong competition from the Williams team. This year they have switched
tyre suppliers (from Bridgestone to Michelin) in the hope that it will
give them an edge over Ferrari.
As the dream of building a World Championship team begins to fade for Jacques
Villeneuve following the departure of Craig Pollock from managing the
team, it appears that Villeneuve is softening his stance regarding driving
for Ferrari even if was Michael Schumacher's team-mate. He said "I
would be very happy to have Michael as a team-mate, definitely."
Villeneuve had always indicated that he would love to drive for Ferrari
but not as a team-mate to Michael Schumacher as he believes Ferrari
favours Michael over the other driver.
Rubens Barrichello is contracted for Ferrari until the end of this season
so there is an opening in 2003 !
However, it is believed that Villeneuve may move to Renault before the
start of this season in a swap with Button if early tests prove that the
2002 BAR is uncompetitive.
BAR's newly appointed boss David Richards has set his
aims high for the team with a target to challenge for the 2004
championship. He was careful though to set any expectations for this year
and said "The aim is to be in a title-winning position by 2004, so if
we work backwards, we'll be challenging for wins and podiums in 2003. What
that means for this year, it's still to early to say."
Following over 2.5 months since the last Formula 1 car hit the tracks
due to the testing ban imposed by the FIA (except for Toyota who stopped
testing in mid November), the teams are now preparing for an intensive
testing schedule that will continue until the teams prepare to ship their
cars to Melbourne in Australia.
All the teams are expected to be testing mainly in Spain due to the
favourable weather this time of year. Ferrari will be an exception of
course as they will be testing at their private tracks at Fiorano and
Mugello. Later this month or early next month we could see a Ferrari test
in Spain with the rest.
Most of the teams will start testing with hybrid cars, that is a 2001
car with 2002 bits on it. Toyota and BAR will be an exception as both have
already launched their 2002 contenders although they would still test with
their 2001 cars as well. Jaguar becomes the 3rd team to launch this Friday
while the rest of the field are expected to launch their cars later this
month or early in February.
The Heretic reviews the 2001 Season- Issue