16-Jan: Rubens Barrichello has
indicated the he can win the Championship even with Michael in the team
and said "I am really lucky to drive for a such a competitive team
and to have the same car as Michael. It is not a case of who is the number
one driver and who is the number 2. Obviously, driving in the same team as
Michael is not easy, but that does not mean I lack the will to win. If I
did not have that desire, it would be time to give up. That's why I
believe I can be champion, even with Michael as a team-mate."
Speaking at the traditional Ferrari Wroom event held at Madonna di
Campiglio, Rubens Barrichello also hinted at the preference Michael gets
from the team and how he will try to overcome that and said "He
(Michael) has been there for such a long time and if in the middle of the
race he is talking to Ross (Brawn) for example and I'm not on the line
then for sure he is going to have an advantage. Because Ross has a way of
looking ahead and, you know, preparing something else and I will only get
the second option to do it.
I know I will have at least 30-35 percent of the attention and it is
growing. There will be a time when if I keep on working I think we will
get to 50-50 and then that is the right time for me to attack more or to
have more results."
As for the team's preparations for the start of the season, he said
"I think that Ferrari will once again be the team to beat. We just
need to see what will happen on the tyre front. Our preparation is not
behind schedule on the new car and what matters is reliability. We must
wait and see what the new car is like, we could use last year's car if it
proves necessary, but it is too early to say."
It appears that Kimi Raikkonen is already getting comfortable
in the McLaren after setting the fastest time on the third day of testing
at Valencia just ahead of team-mate David Coulthard. The duo were over a
second ahead of third fastest man Giancarlo Fisichella.
7 teams were present and 14 drivers set lap times. Kimi Raikkonen covered
the most number of laps with 111 followed by Takuma Sato with 104 and
Giancarlo Fisichella with 96 laps. Marc Gene covered just 3 installation
laps and didn't set a time.
There were several incidents during the session with Gene, Yoong, Trulli
all spinning while Irvine, Button and de la Rosa suffered mechanical
Minardi continued to evaluate young drivers with Bobby Mateo continuing
his testing duties in the morning handing over to Antonio Garcia who
really impressed setting a time that was faster than that of Alex Yoong.
The session started under damp conditions but dried out by mid morning
and remained dry for the rest of the day. The air temperature reached 15
Renault and Jaguar have concluded their testing here while BAR are
expected to join in tomorrow.
16-Jan: The Sauber
team planned a two day shakedown for their 2002 contender, the C21 but
were forced to cut it short due to snowfall at the Fiorano track. Despite
the unexpected interruption, the team was very happy with the way things
went on the first day with Nick Heidfeld covering 59 laps without
any problems and setting a competitive time of 1:00.590. Team-mate Felipe
Massa drove the C20 to familiarise himself with the track and set a best
time of 1:01.420.
Sauber's Technical Director Willy Rampf was very pleased with the outcome
of the test and said "Our primary aim with the C21 has been to
further improve the car's aerodynamics, to revise the weight distribution,
to lower the centre of gravity and to further optimise the gearbox and
suspension. Despite the subsequent weather we have had a very successful
rollout. From the installation lap and the first run right to end of the
day, the new C21 ran with complete reliability 59 laps. We checked all the
systems, and detected no problems, and our first set-ups and data
measurements were extremely satisfactory. Our only disappointment was to
see the snow this morning!
The Sauber team announced today that they have extended their
cooperation with Red Bull for another year. This despite Red Bull selling
their stake in the team late last year and announcing that their
cooperation would end at the end of 2001. Team boss Peter Sauber said "Following our most successful
Formula One season, I am very happy to start into our eight year with Red
Red Bull also sponsor the Arrows Formula 1 team.
15-Jan: On the second day of
testing at Valencia, David Coulthard continued his impressive form
topping the timesheets in the dry today. He was just 0.157 seconds ahead
of his new team-mate Kimi Raikkonen while Juan Pablo Montoya was 3rd.
7 teams were present today with Jordan, Toyota and Minardi joining in. 13
drivers set lap times.
Takuma Sato covered the most number of laps with 84 followed by his
team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella with 82 and Jenson Button with 64 laps.
Eddie Irvine covered the least number of laps with 5.
There were a number of incidents today with several cars spinning off into
the gravel including Fisichella, Sato, Salo and Pizzonia. Montoya had
flames coming out of his car forcing him to pit while Irvine had problems
with the hybrid R2.
Pedro de la Rosa and Mika Salo were the only two who drove 2002 spec car
sending up 9th and 10th respectively.
Minardi kicked off their 2002 testing today with Alex Yoong and Matteo
Bobbi driving. It was the first time for both drivers on the twisty
The session started under damp conditions but dried out by mid morning
and remained dry for the rest of the day. The air temperature reached 17
Testing continues tomorrow.
15-Jan: Jean Todt has
come out denying any talks between Ferrari and Montoya. A
report on the BBC earlier this week indicated that Ferrari were
negotiating with Montoya for a possible drive in 2003. Todt said "We
think Montoya is a good driver. His first year in Formula 1, at the wheel
of a competitive Williams car was a positive one. However, Ferrari has
never had any contact with him, either directly or indirectly. We do not
wish to give any credence to those who might have an interest in promoting
14-Jan: Formula 1 testing resumed
today at Valencia and Fiorano.
At Valencia, a number of Michelin runners were testing wet and
intermediate tyres on an artificially damp track. David Coulthard
set the fastest time ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and Jarno Trulli.
4 teams were present with 7 drivers setting lap times. David Coulthard
also covered the most number of laps with 94 followed by Juan Pablo
Montoya with 93 and Pedro de la Rosa with 83.
Due to the wet track, a number of drivers spun harmlessly. Eddie Irvine
had mechanical problems with the R2.
Pedro de la Rosa was the only driver running a 2002 specification car and
was over 3.5 seconds slower than Coulthard.
Testing continues tomorrow with a number of Bridgestone runners joining.
At Fiorano, Michael Schumacher returned
to the track for the first time this season and was immediately on the
pace breaking the lap record for the Fiorano track while testing
experimental components. He covered 69 laps with a best time of 58.783.
14-Jan: According to the BBC,
Ferrari are rumoured to be trying to secure the services of Juan Pablo
Montoya from 2003. After losing out on Kimi Raikkonen to McLaren and
knowing that they need to find a driver to take over from Michael
Schumacher when he retires, the pressure is on them to find a talented
driver that can help Ferrari stay at the top. Last year Ferrari's boss
Luca Montezemolo was impressed by the performance of Montoya in his debut
season and now it seems that he is doing all he can to try and sign him
There are a number of obstacles in the way though with Williams having an
option on Montoya for 2003 and the expected refusal of Montoya to play
second fiddle to Michael Schumacher. However if those obstacles were
overcome, a Michael Schumacher - Juan Pablo Montoya pairing at Ferrari
would make an explosive combination. Neither team were prepared to confirm
nor deny the allegations.
This could be an attempt by Montoya's management to put the pressure on
Williams to raise his salary in 2003.
Juan Pablo Montoya's manager however indicated that Montoya was under
contract to Williams and said "It's nice to know that other teams are
interested but he is under contract to Williams."
We'll just have to wait and see.
13-Jan: The Jaguar Racing team started
their testing session at Valencia with a media day and with Niki Lauda
having a taste of the R2. Lauda wanted to get a better feel of today's
Formula 1 car and to see how different it was from the days he last raced
in Formula 1 back in 1985.
With Pedro de la Rosa giving him the much needed advice, Lauda managed to
cover a few laps but not before spinning twice into the gravel. The times
he set on the track were around the 1:30 mark whereas the best time set at
Valencia last year was a 1:12.748.
Lauda spoke to the press after his test and said "My intention for
this test was to understand the technology of the car; launch control,
traction control and engine behaviour. I found out everything I wanted to
know. Compared to my day it is all very different, now you keep both hands
on the steering wheel!. In my time one hand was always operating the
gearstick. Now you have to keep both hands on the wheel, kick the
throttle, then the revs automatically go to 17,000 and everything is
automatic. The upshift is really amazing, it is such a smooth transition
when you change gear, there's no push or jerkiness. I was expecting more
aggressive shifting, but it was just so smooth. The downshift was even
more amazing, for example you are braking down to 2nd gear from 6th, you
flick four times through the gears and it is all automatic. The management
system works out the speed of the car and the engine, and the downshift is
so smooth it is incredible. Now you have to just concentrate on
On his spins he said "Traction control comes in when the car starts
sliding, you kick the throttle and everything comes in. I spun a couple of
times, only because Pedro told me where to brake; I was brave enough to
try that!. I was told I went into the corner as quick as Pedro, the
difference is I didn't make the corner! I spun but at least I achieved the
same speed and showed my drivers I am trying, otherwise they will not
speak to me."
As for his claims that a monkey can drive a modern Formula 1 car, he said
"The launch control was unbelievable. Yes, I have said that any
monkey can drive a car nowadays, but I am simply comparing it to the
driving 17 years ago, where you had manual gears, normal clutch, no
anti-stall etc. and had to take care of wheel spin as you started. It is
now a lot easier to start."
When asked if he will do it again he said "I will not make this a
regular appearance, if I want to make it regular I have to train and I am
not prepared to do that. For this test I didn't train, just smoked less!."
And if he was nervous before the test he said "Obviously you think a
lot beforehand when you make a stupid decision like this!. But once you
are in the car you forget about everything and go for the throttle, you
are no longer nervous."
Serious testing at Valencia commences tomorrow
with most of the Formula 1 teams joining in on various days of the
13-Jan: David Coulthard is asking
McLaren for the kind of support Mika Hakkinen used to get from the team if
he is to mount a serious challenge to Michael Schumacher this year.
Speaking at the Autosport International show he said "Mika enjoyed a
lot of support from Ron and other key people in the team, which he
deserved because he was a fantastically quick racing driver. But that's
what I need as well because Michael has the whole Ferrari team built up
If you don't feel good, you don't perform. You need to be in the right
environment and have the right people around you pulling for your side so
that when the battle is on you know they're going to support you. That's
where the team can help the driver a lot."
Coulthard indicated that he was confident they will win races this season
but wasn't sure if they'll win enough and said "You'd be brave to bet
against Ferrari being the benchmark, but we will win races. It's just
whether we do it often enough to challenge for the championship."
Enrique Bernoldi who has just been confirmed with Arrows this
year has indicated that their car will be a significant improvement from
last year given the 'works' Cosworth engine and the arrival of Sergio
Rinland from Sauber. He said "This year we are going to be closer to
the front of the grid. Our new package gives us a much better chance than
last year. We will have much more power and I've seen the data from the
wind tunnel, so I'm sure the aerodynamic package will be better too. The
new engine and car will give us a realistic chance of scoring
The Arrows team only managed to score 1 point in the 2001 season.
12-Jan: Ferrari have
concluded their 3 day test at Fiorano. Luciano Burti used the 3
days to familiarise himself with the track as well as helping Ferrari in
the testing of experimental components. Burti covered 73 laps with a best
time of 1:00.046.
12-Jan: The Orange Arrows team
confirmed that Enrique Bernoldi will drive for the team in 2002.
Team Principal Tom Walkinshaw said "Enrique has proven himself to be
very quick from the outset, particularly in qualifying where he has been
our lead driver on 10 occasions. What has impressed us most recently is
his growing confidence in setting up the car and his race performances. I
feel the investment in taking a rookie last season will be well rewarded
when we give him a competitive package in 2002.”
Enrique Bernoldi said “My first year in F1 was pretty tough but also
very rewarding as I was able to make steady progress throughout the
season. I am grateful to Tom for having confidence in me and am looking
forward to giving it 100% and making 2002 a success.”
Reading into Walkinshaw's comments, it appears that Jos Verstappen will
be dropped by the team and will probably be replaced by Heinz Harald
The team decided not to test on the track until the new A23 is ready at
the end of the month. They have yet to announce the launch date of their
The Minardi team will commence their 2002 testing next week at
Valencia and will be giving a number of test drivers an opportunity to
test the Minardi PS01. Those drivers include Mark Webber, Christijan
Albers, Matteo Bobbi and Antonio Garcia.
The team have confirmed Alex Yoong as one of their drivers for 2002 but
have yet to name their second driver. Team boss Paul Stoddart indicated
that this test is not a shoot out and does not indicate that their second
driver would necessarily be picked from those testing next week and said
"We have a very full technical programme planned for the next six
weeks and, in addition to Alex Yoong, we will use a number of drivers to
assist us with this work. During the process, we will obviously look at
how each of them gets on, but this should not be construed as a ‘shoot-out’
for the second Minardi seat, as has been suggested in some quarters. Nor
should any conclusions be drawn from the presence, or absence, of any
particular individual, in terms of providing an indication of the team’s
final choice of driver for 2002."
The team are expected to run their new car, the PS02 in early February.