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Two Williams and two Schumachers on the podium - The Heretic

Juan Pablo Montoya
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Your thoughts on the Malaysian GP 
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18 - 20 March News  
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20-Mar: On the second day of testing, Alexander Wurz once again set the fastest time of the day and once again Rubens Barrichello in the F2002 and Luca Badoer in the F2001 were second and third.
Nine out of the eleven teams were present today with 11 drivers setting lap times. Luca Badoer covered the most number of laps with 107 as he mainly drove the F2001 but also shook down the second F2002. Rubens Barrichello completed 87 laps in the F2002 and Pedro de la Rosa covered 76 laps in the Jaguar. Jarno Trulli only managed 28 laps after his running was limited by a misfire problem.
The top lap time has dropped by over half a second from yesterday but remains over 1.3 seconds off the lap record.

Australian Ryan Briscoe made his debut for Toyota as their test driver. He covered 55 laps with a best time of 1:24.108. Over 5 seconds off the pace of Wurz. Briscoe had a few problems but was happy overall with the test and said "I would have liked to have done a few more laps on my first real F1 test. There were a few glitches with the hydraulics and electronics, but we were testing some new things today for the next couple of races, so we expected a few teething problems. Overall though I am quite happy. The car feels good to drive and it is getting better all the time."

Testing continues tomorrow with more regular drivers joining in.

Click here for the test times from Barcelona 

20-Mar: Following the incidents at the start of the first 2 Grands Prix this season, the FIA have introduced tougher penalties to be applied to drivers involved. With immediate affect, the stewards will have the power to move a driver involved in an incident 10 places back from his qualifying position for the grid at the next event.

The FIA also introduced the single engine rule with effect from January 2004. The FIA statement read "From 1 January 2004, each driver may use only one engine for the three days of a Grand Prix weekend. Each time his engine is changed during the event, the driver will move back 10 places on the grid. The FIA, in consultation with the teams, will define an engine change so as to prevent the rebuilding of an engine at the circuit. Use of its spare car counts as use of an additional engine.

Other new regulations introduced include:

- No chassis changes for 2 years (2003 and 2004)
- A car unable to leave the grid 30 seconds after the start of the formation lap will be pushed to the pitlane.
- Race numbers will follow the Constructors' Championship order of the previous year, except for the numbers 1 and 2, which go to the  team for which the World Champion is driving.

On the safety side, the FIA will require the use of the Head and Neck Protection System (HANS) device by every driver from January 2003 provided they have confirmation from each team that no driver is disadvantaged by using this device.

20-Mar: announces a new addition to the site, "The Real Race" by the Quali-flyer. A section providing detailed analysis, commentary and graphs on all the 17 Qualifying sessions of the season. That's were team-mates battle ... That's the Real Race

19-Mar: Most of the Formula 1 teams are planning to test at Barcelona this week in preparation for the Brazilian Grand Prix. On the first day of testing, it was Alexander Wurz in the McLaren who topped the timesheets ahead of Rubens Barrichello in the new Ferrari F2002 with Luca Badoer in third in the Ferrari F2001.
The fastest set today by Alexander Wurz (a 1:19.204) was over 1.2 seconds off the lap record set by Wurz earlier this year.
4 teams were present and 6 drivers set lap times. Luca Badoer covered the most number of laps with 92 followed by Alexander Wurz with 89 and Rubens Barrichello with 78.

This is the first time for Barrichello in the F2002 and he appears to be on the pace immediately. Ferrari will make a decision before the weekend on which car to take to Brazil.

A number of teams are expected to join tomorrow. Jaguar will conduct a back to back test between the R2 and R3 to decide on which car to use at Imola.
Australian Ryan Briscoe is expected to test for Toyota tomorrow.

Click here for the test times from Barcelona 

19-Mar: It is a 4-way tie at the top after the second round in the 6 'n' Pole competition ... Full Results ... Register

19-Mar: Jean Todt was disappointed at the result Ferrari achieved in Malaysia and particularly with Barrichello's engine failure and said "Thatís rare for us. Itís a real shame for Rubens, though, particularly as this is the second race in which he has failed to score points."
Todt also indicated that penalties should be more consistent but admits that is hard to achieve and said "We have to accept the stewardsí decision. Definitely, it would be better to have a clear rule but I think itís very difficult to make a clear rule. I think it was a racing incident. Itís very difficult to change the regulations. Itís not rational or mathematical. You have to judge a situation very quickly. Even though you can depend on the on-board camera, itís very difficult. In Australia, everyone was complaining that nothing was done. Here everyone is complaining because something has been done.Ē
Todt indicated that the newF2002 will be used when ready and that they are not under pressure and said "We donít work with pressure. Pressure is on the outside. The others are strong, they are pushing, but as soon as we are confident we will take the new car.Ē
Jean Todt believes that Williams are their main threat and said "Now I can say, yes, Williams are our closest rivals. You know it changes very quickly. But I wouldnít write McLaren off.Ē

18-Mar: After failing to score any points in the first 2 races of the 2002 season, David Coulthard appears to have accepted the fact that his Championship chances are slim this year. No only that he has to beat Michael Schumacher but also both Williams drivers who are running a car that has proven to be fast and reliable. He said "This result is not good for my championship hopes and what adds to the difficulty is that Williams are so strong. I'm already an outside chance for the championship because I have got to win the next two races just to get myself back into a normal hunt. And that is not going to be easy.
That does not put a pressure on you but it sets such a high goal which if everything is working its not a high goal. Winning races when everything is going well is easy. It is winning races when everything is not going well which is difficult."
Coulthard also has strong competition from within with Kimi Raikkonen already out-qualifying him once and has 4 points in the championship. However Coulthard wasn't too concerned about Kimi and said "We're both here to be on pole. Of course, I want to be quickest, and that involves being in front of Kimi. He was obviously more comfortable. He did more laps this whole weekend. I struggled to stay on the track. It's only the second Grand Prix of the year."

Meanwhile Ron Dennis described his newest recruit Kimi Raikkonen as 'incredibly cool' and said "I think the thing that has come through and in which he even surpasses Mika is that he is so incredibly cool. He doesn't get fazed by anything. He knows what the car is doing. 
As you would expect, he is still on a learning curve, but I think that he may find it easier here than in a lot of other teams. We have got a good database and, of course, the best help he can get in having someone with the speed and maturity of David in the other car. David has certainly got someone giving him a lot of pressure and I don't think that is a bad thing."

Williams Chief Operations Engineer Sam Michael has indicated that they have requested clarifications from the FIA over the penalty imposed on their driver Juan Pablo Montoya at the Malaysian GP. While that won't change the result, they want to know the reasoning behind it so they can avoid it in the future. He said "I want to reserve judgement on the circumstances of the accident until I have seen the video and heard what the stewards have to say. We have our own opinions on it but are reserving judgement at the moment. Asking for clarification from them is not going to change anything for the Malaysia result but we just want to know where we stand so we don't do it again."

18-Mar: "Your thoughts on the Malaysian Grand Prix" - Topic of the week - Have Your Say

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