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25 - 31
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31-Jan: Nick Heidfeld in the
Ferrari powered Sauber topped the timesheets today. He was over 0.7
seconds faster than his team-mate Felipe Massa while Williams test driver
Marc Gene in a hybrid FW23 was third fastest.
Sauber conclude their test very satisfied with the results. Technical
Director Willy Rampf said "Thanks to the reliability of the new
SAUBER PETRONAS C21 we have been able to complete our entire testing
programme despite numerous red flags for other teams during the past three
days. We are very confident in the results that we have achieved so
Weather conditions were dry with an air temperature of 16 degrees.
At Mugello, Michael Schumacher took over from Luca Badoer
who was suffering from the flu. Michael tested a modified
F2001 fitted with experimental components. He covered a total of 68 laps
with a best time of 1:22.660.
30-Jan: For the second day in a
row, 3 Ferrari powered cars topped the timesheets at Barcelona today with Rubens
Barrichello setting the fastest time ahead of Michael Schumacher and
Nick Heidfeld. Unfortunately, both Ferrari drivers crashed damaging both
cars requiring repairs at Maranello and forcing Ferrari to end their tests
at Barcelona prematurely. Both drivers were uninjured in the crashes both
of which (according to Ferrari) were caused by driver error.
Weather conditions were dry and sunny with a maximum air temperature of 19 degrees.
At Mugello, Luca Badoer tested for Ferrari with a modified
F2001 fitted with experimental components. He covered a total of 41 laps
with a best time of 1:22.870.
29-Jan: Three Ferrari powered cars
topped the timesheets at Barcelona today. Michael Schumacher in a
modified F2001 was fastest just ahead of his team-mate Rubens Barrichello.
Nick Heidfeld in the new C21 was third fastest under half a second off the
Of the 2002 spec. cars, Nick Heidfeld in the Sauber was most impressive
setting a time that was over half a second quicker than Ralf Schumacher
with rookie Felipe Massa under a tenth behind Ralf.
All the teams with '02 spec. cars had teething problems as expected but
there were no major incidents during the session.
28-Jan: Ralf Schumacher
in the new FW24 topped the timesheets at Barcelona ahead of team-mate
Juan Pablo Montoya and Antonio Pizzonia both in hybrid FW23s. This is only
the second day of testing for the new FW24 and is already lapping quicker
than last year's car!.
Panis continued testing the new BAR004, Jenson Button gave the new Renault R202 the first shakedown, Eddie Irvine continued testing the new R3 with the modified front wing while Toyota had 2 '02 cars running for the first time.
Weather conditions were dry and a maximum air temperature of 21
At Mugello, Rubens Barrichello tested a modified F2001 fitted with experimental components. He covered 26 laps and set a best time of 1:23.120. Both Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher are expected to join the action at Barcelona tomorrow.
commercial court in Versailles has made its decision to liquidate the
Prost Grand Prix team signalling the end to the team's operations.
The Prost team started in 1997 when Alain Prost bought the Ligier team.
In '97 they ran with the Mugen-Honda engine then switched to the 'works' Peugeot
engine and last year they made a deal with Ferrari to run a customer
engine based on the 2000 specification.
Heinz Harald Frentzen and Tomas Enge were the last 2 drivers to drive for the team. Frentzen in trying to get the Arrows seat which contractually is Verstappen's while Enge has decided to return to F3000 after participating in the last 3 races last season when Luciano Burti was forced to rest after his high speed shunt at the Belgian GP.
Australian Mark Webber has been confirmed
as Minardi's second driver for the 2002 season. Webber impressed everyone
at Minardi during his 2 tests for the team this month and it has finally
paid off. Webber said "Entering Formula One is obviously a fantastic
stage of my career - it's what the last seven years has been all about.
Now the hard work really begins, though, and to start this new chapter
with someone like Paul - with whom I've worked in the past and know to be
both very determined and committed to taking KL Minardi Asiatech to a new
level - is a fantastic opportunity. I simply can't wait to get under
Webber becomes the first Australian to drive in Formula 1 since David
Brabham who last drove for the Simtek team in 1994. The last Australian to
win the Drivers' Title was Alan Jones in 1980.
Minardi's team boss Paul Stoddard said "Last year, arriving in Melbourne for the first time with the European Minardi team, was a proud and emotional moment for all of us. This year, with two great young competitors joining KL Minardi Asiatech - Australia's Mark Webber, and Alex Yoong, Malaysia's first-ever Grand Prix driver - we're going to feel doubly proud, added Paul Stoddart. It's also a very different Minardi team that will arrive in Australia this year. It is better prepared in all respects, and boasts a new title sponsor, 'Go KL', a new engine partner, Asiatech, and highly encouraging aerodynamic results from two intensive wind tunnel programs. We firmly believe the team is on course to take its first important step up the Formula One grid."
Given the the Prost team has gone into liquidation, there is only 1 driver seat yet to be confirmed and that is the second Arrows seat. Either Jos Verstappen or Heinz Harald Frentzen will take that one.
27-Jan: Marc Gene
continued to set the pace at Barcelona in the hybrid Williams (FW23B)
ahead of Antonio Pizzonia. Ralf Schumacher in the new FW24 was third but
just under 0.3 seconds off the pace indicating that the new Williams is
quick right out of the box.
Antonio Pizzonia covered the most number of laps with 91 followed by Marc Gene with 84 and Ralf Schumacher with 54. Eddie Irvine just managed 27 laps.
A number of teams are expected to join tomorrow including Renault and BAR.
27-Jan: Flavio Briatore, Renault's Team Principal spoke realistically about the team's chances of winning races this season. In his usual style Briatore said "No way, it's like expecting to go have lunch on the moon. We are not there. Only a dreamer believes that we will win races in the condition we are in. No way. To win you need at least a 50 percent chance of being first when you start the race. This is winning. We need a year to really consolidate the team. The people are there."
Speaking of Jenson Button, Briatore - for the
first time - gave assurances that Button will stay with the team at least
until the end of the year putting an end to the rumours of a Villeneuve-Button
swap. He said "I see that Jenson now is a completely different guy. I want to help Jenson. But to help Jenson you need
to be shaking him. Last year he was shaken enough, especially at the end of
the season. Now our relationship is perfect, Jenson
is driving for us all season. I tell you, Jenson is finishing the season with
us. There is no reason to have another driver in Jenson's place."
27-Jan: Renault launched their 2002 contender, the R202 today at their Guyancourt Technocentre outside Paris. The car carrying the corporate yellow and their title sponsor Mild Seven blue colours was launched with a simple statement "100% Renault".
I will be very disappointed if the team doesn't finish among the top four in 2002 but, in any case, our aim is to be as close as possible to the top teams, with the objective of winning races regularly in 2003, and challenging for the title the following year."
The Renault R202 is powered by the RS22 which according to Renault F1 Managing Director Jean-Jacques His is a major improvement over the RS21 unit that powered the Benetton B201 last year. He said "This season we will introduce new concepts. It is not a completely new engine, and uses the same architectural philosophy as last year, but there are major improvements for 2002. Having worked on achieving a high level of reliability in 2001, this year we will concentrate on ultimate performance. It takes more than one and a half years for a new engine to reach a satisfactory level of development and, now that we have acquired this experience, we will be more capable of responding to the needs of the chassis team by supplying them with a competitive unit."
Jarno Trulli and Jenson Button will be driving for the team in 2002 with Spanish sensation Fernando Alonso as their test driver. Flavio Briatore believes his driver line-up has great potential and said "For 2002, we have an extremely strong technical team working in complete harmony, and a driver line-up with great potential; Trulli is quick and very strong technically. Button will benefit from the experience gained last year, and our test driver Alonso will help develop the car throughout the year."
Renault competed as a 'works' team in Formula 1 between 1977 and 1985 but did not manage to win the Constructors' Championship. In the 90's they were hugely successful as an engine supplier winning the Constructors' Championship 6 times between 1992 and 1997. 5 times with Williams and once with Benetton.
The team now heads to Barcelona for an extensive test session with Jarno Trulli and Jenson Button.
the launch of the FW24 on Friday, Juan Pablo Montoya has indicated
that he has what it takes to help Williams win the Championship and said
"I can go quicker. Sometimes you go quicker but you still have some
doubt, you know you might be able to go faster still. In order to do that
you need to have a good balance of the car. If the balance of the car is
not right, you just can't push it. I know I can do the job, the team knows
I can do the job and I have worked hard for that. You really have to look
for every opportunity - they don't come to you.
Ralf Schumacher echoed Montoya's statement on their relationship when he said "Well, we just don't like each other. We don't associate with each other in private. We need to work together and make the car go quicker. We need to work together to make the whole project work. As long as we work together well in our working relationship, that is the best it can be. He feels that way and I feel that way. I think it is one of the best working relationships I have ever had!"
A decision on the future of the Prost team is now expected on
Monday. A Versailles court is expected to rule on whether the team should
be liquidated or if one of the bids are accepted and the team allowed to
26-Jan: Marc Gene
set the fastest time in testing at Barcelona today with a time of
1:18.806 in the hybrid Williams (FW23B). He was just over 0.2 seconds
quicker than the second Williams test driver Antonio Pizzonia. Pedro de la
Rosa was third fastest in the R3.
Pedro de la Rosa covered the most number of laps with 120 followed by Antonio Pizzonia with 94 and Marc Gene with 77 laps.
Only Williams and Jaguar were testing today. Testing continues tomorrow.
25-Jan: Alexander Wurz
in the hybrid McLaren has broken the lap record (on grooved tyres) yet
again setting a stunning lap time of 1:17.328. Kimi Raikkonen in the
MP4-17 was not too far off the pace under half a second slower than Wurz.
As this was McLaren's last day of testing at Barcelona, it is expected
that they were testing their cars in qualifying trim.
Kimi Raikkonen covered the most number of laps with 84 followed by Antonio Pizzonia with 67 and Marc Gene with 60. Pedro de la Rosa covered the least number of laps with 24.
Williams and Jaguar continue testing tomorrow.
Williams BMW launched their 2002 contender at Silverstone today with a
clear target of capturing the 2002 World Title.
Given the number of engine related failures in 2001, BMW are focusing
on reliability as well as maintaining power. BMW Motorsport Direct, Dr.
Mario Thiessen said "On circuits where engine performance was the
deciding factor, we were the force to be reckoned with in 2001. Defending
this status while at the same time improving our reliability are our key
objectives for 2002.
The FW24 was given a shakedown at Silverstone by the Williams drivers and heads to Barcelona for testing starting tomorrow.
The team announced a major sponsorship deal with FedEx who were main sponsors for Ferrari in past.
25-Jan: The Sauber team have launched their 2002 contender, the C21 in Hinwil, Switzerland. The team have set their target to defend their 4th place finish in the Championship and possibly even do better.
For the second year in a row, the Sauber team will have one of the youngest driver pairings on the grid. 24 year old Nick
Heidfeld continues alongside 20 year old Felipe Massa. Peter Sauber said "Nick has displayed consistent high performance. In his third season in Formula One he will be able to stay in the first third of the ranking. Apart from his undeniable speed his strengths include constructive contributions to the development of the car and his always fruitful co-operation with the entire team."
The Sauber test team heads to Barcelona to continue testing the C21 on the 29th of January.