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15 - 18 July News
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18-July: At the
Thursday press conference for the French Grand Prix, Michael
Schumacher has once again indicated that he doesn't expect to clinch
the title at Magny-Cours and said "First of all, we know under which
circumstances if and what can maybe happen, but it's not really too much
of a focus honestly, because I don't expect anything like that to happen.
I will race as normal and obviously try to win the race, that's the target
and then we will see what will be the result in the end. Whether it
happens here or another time, I don't think that is really important to
me. What matters for me is that it does happen in the end."
Jacques Villeneuve has indicated that he will definitely
be driving for BAR next year and said "I don't see any reason for me
not being back with BAR next year. It would take something really, really
extreme, so I feel at the moment I am definitely with the team next
Olivier Panis indicated that his approach towards
his home Grand Prix is the same as any other but would hope to score
points in front of his home crowd and said "For me it doesn't make a
big difference really because I am a Formula One driver, I like my job.
Magny-Cours is a home Grand Prix and I am really happy to drive in front
of the French spectators, but for me it is the same job compared to every
other one. I need to make the best and to continue to work with the team
to improve the car and to continue to get points."
Mika Salo admitted that Toyota are struggling
with reliability at the moment but they are still quick as they are
qualifying in the top 10 and said "We lost some reliability in the
last few races but the car is still quick, we can still qualify in the top
ten every race, so it's not bad. We just lost some reliability and it
happens. You can't ever test enough and we just keep testing and putting
new parts on the car and sometimes those new parts fail. That's what has
happened. We have never actually had the same failure in a race so far, so
we're finding new ones.
Pedro de la Rosa believes Jaguar have made a step
forward with their new package and said "I think the last test in
Monza was very positive for the team. We've learned some things, how to
make the new aero package work better. Still we are not sure how much
better that means but it's definitely better. We will see, compared to
other people in proper circumstances, how much we have improved during the
past week, but the feeling is that we have made another step
Felipe Massa had several spins during the race at
Silverstone and that's something he hopes to learn from and said "It
was an exciting race for me. I made a lot of mistakes at the beginning.
Actually, at the start I tried to overtake Jacques but after I put two
wheels on the grass and it was wet and afterwards I had a headache after
the spins. After in the rain, it was quite good and our car was really
quick in the rain and also at the end of the race and I had three stops
and most of the people had two so it was not a bad race, but in the
beginning I made a lot of mistakes but that's part of learning. I hope
we're not going to see that again."
17-July: Following their embarrassing engine supply crisis at the British Grand Prix, the Arrows team have clarified that this time it is not the engines. A statement by the team read "Arrows would like to clarify that, contrary to today's press reports, our participation in the French Grand Prix has nothing to do with engine supply. All payments to Cosworth Racing are up to date and, as stated before, the terms of the agreement are confidential. The issues we have are nothing to do with Cosworth, they are to do with one of our shareholders. We are still in discussions and, as we said yesterday, will do all in our power to compete this weekend."
Fernando Alonso who drove for the Minardi team in
2000 and is currently the official test driver for Renault will have no
problems securing a drive next season, that is according to Renault's boss Flavio
Click here for the latest on the 2003 Season line-up
17-July: "How long do we have to put up with . . . ." is the title of the 21st issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2002 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the aftermath of the British Grand Prix and reviews the French Grand Prix - Issue 21
17-July: Racing for the
first time at home since returning to Formula 1 this season, Renault
are hoping to finish on the podium. Technical Director Mike Gascoyne
hopes that the senior personnel from Renault will be rewarded with a podium
finish and said "We will certainly be looking for points and it would be
great to improve on that at our home race. That must be our aim. There would
be no better place in the whole year to score a podium finish. We are
expecting the same performance levels as we showed in the early part of the
Silverstone race, where our recent work manifested itself well. There will be
large numbers of senior personnel from Renault at the race and it would be
great for the commitment they have shown to the F1 program to be rewarded with
a podium finish."
After scoring all their 5 points this season at the British
Grand Prix, BAR are hoping to repeat that performance especially that
it is the home race for Olivier Panis who said "The French Grand
Prix is my home race and nothing would give me greater pleasure than to finish
in the points in Magny-Cours also. We have to be realistic though and accept
that we still have a big challenge in front of us.
As Tom Walkinshaw continues working hard on securing his team's
future, he has vowed to do everything in his power to ensure Arrows race
this weekend. He said "We have new investors waiting to step in and
secure our future, but we still have to come to agreement with existing
shareholders. Negotiations are detailed and complex but we donít intend
to give up. We need more time. We want to do a deal that will satisfy
everyone concerned. We are still in discussions with all parties and are
now moving into the time-consuming due diligence process with some of the
potential investors. I have instructed the team to despatch the cars and
transporters to Magny Cours this evening and we will do all in our power
to compete at the weekend.
16-July: The Quali-flyer's predictions for the 'Real Race' at the French GP ... Report
Michael Schumacher has indicated that while he prefers to wrap up the
Drivers' title at Hockenheim, he is ready to take it at Magny-Cours but that
depends on how his closest rivals do. He said "We will try to take it at
Magny-Cours, because I would like to win the race. But that on its own might
not be enough to win the championship, as it does not only depend on me, but
also on what the others will do. So it does not really matter if it waits
Ralf Schumacher is confident of a strong showing at
Magny-Cours and wants to delay Michael's title celebrations as much as
possible. He said "Putting aside the problems we experienced with the
fuel rig at Silverstone that we will solve, last race showed that we have
taken a considerable step forward in dry conditions. The new aero package and
our hard work testing tyres and traction control have pushed us forward and
have made us more competitive. We are improving step by step and the same
should be true at Magny-Cours as well. To be honest, I don't feel like
congratulating my brother on his World Championship victory in France. I would
prefer to delay this as much as possible!."
15-July: "Can Williams challenge Ferrari ?" - The French Grand Prix Preview is now available ... Race Preview
French Formula 1 Grand Prix Schedule: