4-July: The Arrows
team are in serious financial problems as creditors move in to try and recover
some of their investment. The FIA granted the team an extension until 9 AM on
Friday for their cars to be scrutineered but Arrows' lawyer Robin Potts
indicated that short of a miracle, the company is doomed. Complicating matters further, Cosworth who supply Arrows with engines had
decided not to provide them with engines until they pay. Niki Lauda indicated
that he did all he could but Arrows are not paying and said "I have had
so many promises to get the money and it doesn't happen. So what am I to do? I
delivered 100 percent so I want the money.
We have been negotiating over the money for weeks. We missed two dates.
Sure I feel bad about it but on the other hand you cannot ask a supplier who
invested money to build engines and to do this for free. If there is a
contract you have to stick to the contract. I have done everything I could do
in my power to extend as much as I could his payment schedule.
I know he has sponsorship coming. He told me the whole story of what he wants
to do with his team but I think there seem to be some real big legal problems
Damon Hill expects Michael Schumacher to retire by
the end of the season and said "I have been studying Michael very closely
and I honestly feel he could pack it all in at the end of the season. Michael
has been used to having his achievements cheered so the boos he received in
Austria and in subsequent races must make him think 'what's the point in
Michael's entire body language suggests he's not getting the same kind of
enjoyment from winning as he used to.
While Ferrari are the current dominant force, there is no guarantee Michael
will be so competitive next season so he may well feel it's best to bow out
while at the very top."
But Michael Schumacher brushed aside his comments and said
"Everyone knows that he is sort of my best friend. It's tiring to answer
questions like that all the time."
At the Thursday press conference for the British Grand Prix, Rubens
Barrichello indicated that he was happy to be racing Michael at Ferrari
and said "It was a good race in Nurburgring. I had a fantastic first lap
and I was allowed to race. It was a time in the race when I was a little bit
scared of blistering my rear tyres but that would have been my only problem,
because, after my first pit stop, if I had pushed and then I had had a
blister, of course Michael, if he was OK with the tyres, he could have caught
me and overtaken, so I just took care of the situation, allowing myself to
have three or four laps just taking care of the tyres and then pushing at the
right time. People were saying that Michael did a 32.2s whatever he did and he
was half a second faster than everyone but I think it was a case of pushing
when the tyres were new or not and I think it was a fantastic race in terms of
letting us race. And then, of course, I think every team would do the same,
after ten laps to go there was no reason why both of just should fight for
position and then crash."
David Coulthard has admitted that on faster tracks he
doesn't expect to challenge the Ferraris or Williams and said "I think on
previous race performance we will probably be third row-ish in qualifying and
seeing how the race unfolds, unlike in the previous races where thereís been
quite a soft tyre which obviously has benefited us over Williams. Compounds
are obviously a little bit harder for these faster tracks so to be honest, I
donít know just how that tyre is going to perform or how the two tyres we
have are going to perform. But I suspect it will probably be a bit more
durable, so it may be a case of if the Ferraris are running reliably and the
Williams are running reliably then we will be in behind them."
As for his shunt with Montoya at the Nurburgring, he was happy to have that
out of the way and said "That was the first time weíve been running
wheel to wheel this year, in fact the first time since Juan Pablo came to
Formula One, so itís good, in many ways, to get the first shunt out of the
way and then we can concentrate on the next one!"
Juan Pablo Montoya indicated that tyres are becoming
a crucial factor and expects an improvement in performance but still not on
the colder tracks like Silverstone and said "I think every race is mainly
the tyres. Sometimes you get a really quick qualifying tyre and then you
struggle in the race. In Canada it was quite good because it was quick in
qualifying but we had a good race there as well.
Michelin are working really hard to do better tyres and they have, and it is
just a matter of time to get everything right. I think it is going to be a bit
tough this weekend for us because of the cold conditions, but the next few
races coming are going to be good for us."
Once again Montoya stated that Michael Schumacher was not unbeatable and while
he is a very good driver, his tyres are helping him. He said "I donít
think he is. Rubens beat him in the last race. I think the guy is really good
but he has got a really good car as well. I think the big issue we have got at
the moment is the difference in the tyres. The Bridgestones can do the same
lap time after 16 laps as in the first lap."
Flavio Briatore indicated that they have yet to
decide on their line-up for next season and refused to rule out any of his
drivers and said "Honestly, we havenít decided yet. We donít know. At
this moment, we are looking at different options which are the best for our
team, and Jenson and Jarno have both done a very good job this year. I hope
they are doing better in the future, but I donít know, honestly. I believe
in one monthís time we make our decision but for the moment, no decision has
When asked about the possibility of Alonso driving for the team despite his
lack of experience, he said "I donít know about experience, but heís
done one full year in Formula One with Minardi and testing our car and we donít
know if Fernando is driving for us next year or for another team. Really, itís
quite simple. We havenít made up our mind.
Eddie Jordan admitted that it would be satisfactory
for him if one of his cars finishes in 5th as it is almost impossible to touch
the top teams and said "To get points at all at the moment itís a big
struggle for anybody, other than McLaren, Williams and Ferrari, and Flavio
seems to have a handle on the next position.
Itís going to be incredibly difficult but thereís a fight between Sauber,
ourselves and Flavio and Flavio seems to have, at this moment in time, a
better chance. So to get fifth places and points, I promise you, in the
current environment, is not bad. Thatís not being complacent, itís being
realistic. It is extremely tough and as this season gets longer, the big teams
and hopefully itís Davidís turn to take Juan Pablo off this time so maybe
we will have the chance of getting some points if they continue to do this,
for which I will be eternally grateful. Please continue lads, itís great
sport. But thatís the only way you can do it. If they all finish, weíre
He rejected the comments made about the new Honda engine being heavier and
lacking in power and said "That is a rumour, itís not true. Itís
lighter and there is more power."
3-July: McLaren's David
Coulthard has done well at his home track winning twice and finishing
in the points a total of 6 times. While he is not setting any
expectations, he is hoping to put on a good show in front of his fans at
Silverstone and hopes to erase the disappointment from the last race, he
said "I always enjoy racing at Silverstone. There is an electric
atmosphere at the event, with myself and the whole West McLaren Mercedes
team receiving tremendous support from the home crowd. This year will be
my ninth British Grand Prix, and to date I have secured points finishes on
six occasions, including the two victories I took in 1999 and 2000, which
are a highlight of my career. Following the disappointing end to the last
race at the Nurburgring, I hope we can put on a good show and secure a
positive result in front of the British fans and McLaren employees."
His team-mate Kimi Raikkonen is excited about racing at Silverstone
for the first time as a McLaren driver, he said "Iíve had a couple
of encouraging results in the last two rounds of the World Championship,
and I am now looking forward to the British Grand Prix. Silverstone is a
challenging circuit, it includes a number of exciting, high speed corners
such as Copse and the Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel complex, which is a great
place for the spectators to watch a Formula One car in action. I remember
the enthusiasm of the British crowd from last year, and am very much
looking forward to driving in front of them for the first time as a West
McLaren Mercedes driver."
Renault's Jenson Button isn't predicting how strong
they will be at Silverstone but admits that a podium finish would be 'pretty
special' in front of his home crowd. He said "I'm not making any
predictions yet. We haven't had qualifying, and it's only really then that
we'll know what sort of shape we are in for the race. Obviously it was good to
score points at the Nurburgring after several unlucky results, but scoring
points is our aim everywhere.
It is a very important race for me and it is great to be racing at home in
Britain. Obviously, it makes the weekend very busy, but the home crowd brings
nothing but motivation. It would be fantastic to get my first podium anywhere,
but doing it at Silverstone would be something pretty special."
His team-mate Jarno Trulli expects a competitive performance now that
he has settled in the team and said "I now feel perfectly at home within
the team. Everything is getting better and better and I have a great
relationship with my engineers and mechanics. That has been shown with the
results, as we saw in Monaco and Canada, and we all went out before the
Canadian race and had some fun in Montreal. I know that the hardest period is
now behind me - the best is definitely yet to come. Although I haven't tested
much at Silverstone this year, the team has set some fast times and I am
looking forward to a good weekend and a competitive performance."
Following his first taste of the heavily modified Jaguar
R3, Eddie Irvine has admitted that the modifications aren't as good
as he expected and said "I did 15 laps in the car and I wasn't very
happy with it. We've seen the improvements in certain areas but we've seen
other problems surface.
The car had a lot more downforce but there's a couple of issues with it
that needed sorting. I think they sorted some of them the next day. We'll
see on Friday (British GP Practice).
It was quicker on the straights but that's not really what you're trying
to achieve. It's one of the things. Round the corners, when I drove it,
there were a couple of issues I wasn't very happy with and apparently they
addressed some of that the next day. But I don't know. I wasn't there.
This car for sure definitely seems a step in the right direction. It might
take us a little bit longer to get the full potential of this
Quali-flyer's predictions for the 'Real Race' at the British GP ... Report
Practice Session 1
Friday Practice Session 2
Saturday Practice Session 1
Saturday Practice Session 2 Qualifying Session
Warm-up Session Race
AM Silverstone Time / 10 AM GMT
1 PM Silverstone Time / 12 PM GMT
9:00 AM Silverstone Time / 8:00 AM GMT
10:15 AM Silverstone Time / 9:15 AM GMT 1:00 PM Silverstone Time / 12:00 PM GMT 8:30 AM Silverstone Time / 7:30 AM GMT 1:00 PM Silverstone Time / 12 PM GMT
Michael Schumacher is in a confident mood heading into the British Grand
Prix. He was particularly encouraged with the tyre tests they carried out last
week at Mugello and said "We can feel well prepared as all our testing
has been very promising. Our recent tyre tests at Mugello were very
instructive. I would say we have every reason to be confident for Silverstone."
As for memories of his '99 accident at Silverstone when he broke his leg, he
said "You never completely forget something like that. Basically it is
not a nice feeling to head for a wall, with no brakes and knowing what to
expect. However, it has not effect when I'm driving. I am not going to
Silverstone with a strange feeling in my stomach. When I am in the cockpit,
all the memories vanish. Of course I will be giving it a hundred percent at
Michael had switched his attention away from racing over the last weekend as
he followed Germany in the World Cup final against Brazil. While he hoped
Germany would win the World Cup, he wasn't too disappointed by the final
result an said "Our hopes were not that high before the tournament. The
lads can be proud of what they have achieved and I think they played really
well in the final. In the end, all that was missing was that famous little bit
Juan Pablo Montoya who had grabbed pole position in
the last 3 events but also failed to finish any of them is being cautious
about his chances at Silverstone but once again he hopes to finish well and
said "I think Silverstone is going to be a hard race and our success
really depends on the tyres, which are going to be the key to the result.
Hopefully it doesn't rain, then all should be well for us. (Last year) we didnít
qualify particularly strongly but performed really well on Sunday. I really
feel like making up for the last three disappointing races after as many
brilliant qualifying sessions, but the British Grand Prix promises to be a
Team-mate Ralf Schumacher sounded more confident about Williams'
chances at Silverstone expecting to be very competitive and said "I can't
wait to go racing to Silverstone because we have been quite strong there over
the course of many tests, as well as having good recent race performances. It
would be really great if we could achieve a good result at WilliamsF1's home
Grand Prix. The track is again a compromise between quick and slow parts, of
which the latter may cause us some problems, but we are taking some new
aerodynamic parts to the Silverstone and this should make our BMW WilliamsF1
car very competitive."