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The Ferraris will fly! 
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Juan Pablo Montoya
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Can Jarno Trulli recover ?
Have Your Say

4 - 9 May News  
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9-May: At the Thursday press conference for the Austrian GP, Jenson Button indicated that he was very happy with Renault at this stage and very positive for the future and said "I am very happy at the moment. Things are going very well, everyone is working very well together and I think it is very positive. The car is working a lot better than it was last season, and it keeps improving. It is a very good team to be with. Starting with them when they were at the back of the grid and being with them, now when we are in the top ten, it is a great feeling and all very positive for the future."
As for them being able to challenge Ferrari, Jenson doubted it and said "No! I don't think so. I think that is going to be very difficult for anyone, especially us. But we will see what happens. Lots can change throughout the season but they are so far in front at the moment it is a big step forward."
Regarding the rumours about who will he be driving for next season, Jenson said "It is interesting to read. It makes my days off more interesting now, but it is so early in the season that it is crazy to be talking about things like that now. Nothing is going to be decided until later on in the season as it always is, so we just have to wait and see."

Nick Heidfeld hopes to get a strong result here as he qualified in 6th last year and the team will be running a higher spec of last year's Ferrari engine. He said "I am really looking forward to this weekend. We were quite strong here last year. I was sixth in qualifying which was my best result together with the States. Unfortunately I had a problem with the launch control at the start but Kimi finished fourth so I think it is going to be okay.
We have a new spec engine this weekend, the 02 Petronas. It should be a bit stronger and that will help us, especially on this circuit here."
When asked if Sauber will get one of this year's Ferrari engines, he said "No, it is something that was used last year. We will use last year's Ferrari engine all year and we will not get the new spec."

Allan McNish indicated that Toyota's results so far have exceeded their expectations but acknowledged that it gets tougher to improve and said "I think overall we have outshone expectations and also to some extent our own expectations. I don't think we considered we would be able to be so strong, especially in race trim. Obviously the fight gets tougher throughout the season because everybody improves and I expect that to continue. It is going to get tighter and tighter through qualifying, especially on a circuit like this."
As for his results so far, he said "I was obviously disappointed how the first laps went in three of the Grands Prix, but the two that were okay, then I was happy with my race performance. And in the last two Grands Prix I have got the car a bit more to my liking so I can actually lean on it in qualifying trim a lot better and the results have proved that. Overall, I am personally happy with it, but it is a moving target and we have got to get better."

Patrick Head has admitted his disappointment with the performance of the team since the Malaysian GP and said "We're disappointed since the race in Malaysia where we were able to be very strong, although Michael had problems. Just in terms of pure performance we were very strong in the race there and we've certainly been disappointed with ourselves since then in terms of the performance we've been able to achieve. We're pushing ourselves pretty hard."
He denied the rumours about the team developing a new gearbox and said "It's the first I've ever heard of it, apart from quotes in newspapers. I think it's remarkable how one magazine feeds off another and doesn't seem to have any interest in whether there's any element of truth in it. I was shown something in an Italian magazine, the only thing I know of is that there was a name of a German company who has made a small number of gears for us but that's about it. Otherwise there was absolutely no truth in the story at all."

Paul Stoddart indicated that while it was a tough decision for him not to race in Spain, it was his only choice and said "It was a tough weekend but basically I think we had to take the decision we took and I think it was a responsible decision. Had we had more time to evaluate what actually happened to the rear wing then we would have been racing on the Sunday, but happening in the warm-up, such a short period of time, it was the only decision I could take.
Since then, we've had the benefit of extensive testing and I have to say that we haven't really found anything we would identify as a problem that would have prevented us from racing. We put it down to a one-off component and as a precaution we've taken a lot of stress out of the point where it actually did break, albeit it will always break at the point where it did break, the weakest point and we've been able to increase the actual strength of the part itself without compromising its performance, but like I say, it's the only decision we could take."
He admitted that a number of sponsors didn't easily accept that decision and said "It wasn't easy from a commercial point of view and no, they didn't to be honest. To be strictly fair, some of them did and one or two didn't understand that there are times when you have to make tough decisions."
As for the rumour that Asiatech may supply them with a chassis as well as the engines, he said "Anything that saves money would be a help but a bit like Patrick, I haven't heard that one. I think it's the old story, the first rule of journalism: never let the truth get in the way of a good story."

9-May: "The Ferraris will fly!" is the title of the 12th issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2002 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the upcoming Austrian Grand Prix - Issue 12

9-May: Ferrari announced today that they have extended their contract with Rubens Barrichello to cover the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Barrichello's contract will now run out at the same time Michael Schumacher's contract runs out as well as a number of key figures in the Ferrari team including Jean Todt.
Ferrari renewed Barrichello's contract last year for the 2002 season only and there have been a lot of speculation about a possible replacement for him in 2003. It now appears that he has won the hearts of the Ferrari bosses after performing exceptionally well in the last 2 races driving the F2002.

8-May: "Can Jarno Trulli recover ?" - Topic of the week - Have Your Say

8-May: Juan Pablo Montoya who is currently second in the Drivers' Championship but 21 points behind Michael Schumacher is confident that Williams will be closer to Ferrari this weekend. Montoya said "The A1-Ring is an interesting track because it's quick. I do like it, I've got to say. It's quite simple and very low grip circuit but, again, that makes it a fun place to race.
We showed strongly there last year, even though Ralf and I failed to score a single point due to technical problems when we were both running in good positions. I am pretty confident that in Austria we will be quite strong, certainly stronger than in Barcelona, so I am looking forward to it."
Team-mate Ralf Schumacher is hoping to forget about his poor showing in Spain by scoring a good result and said "I said before the Spanish Grand Prix - and nothing has changed since - that we will be closer to Ferrari in Austria, simply because the circuit suits our car. We will have some new parts which should make us more competitive on the A1-Ring with its long straights and high speed corners. I hope that after Barcelona everybody from our team - including myself - has done their homework well. Then we will have paved the way to a successful weekend."

For the past 5 seasons, David Coulthard has never finished less than second at the A1-Ring (1 win and 4 seconds). He hopes to continue his good form there and said "It was encouraging to take my second podium finish of the 2002 season at the Spanish Grand Prix, and I am now looking forward to building on the result in Austria, which is also my 130th Grand Prix start. I enjoy driving at the A1-Ring and have a good record there, having won at the track last year and finished second in the previous four races. The A1-Ring is reminiscent of a kart track and is very short in length. It also has the quickest lap time of the current Formula One circuits, the lap record stands at 1m10.843, which I set in 2001."
Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen who has only finished 1 race so far this season is hoping to score a podium finish improving on his result (with Sauber) last year when he finished 4th. He said "The combination of slow corners and fast straights at the A1-Ring requires a compromise in downforce configuration, to optimise set-up for the different challenges the circuit offers. There are a number of good overtaking opportunities at the track, in particular through the first two corners, the Castrol and Remus Kurves. However the tight right of Castrol is often the scene of first corner incidents. I had a solid race in Austria last year, securing fourth, which was my joint highest position of 2001, and I am hoping to improve on that result in this years race."

7-May: The Quali-flyer's predictions for the 'Real Race' in Austria ... Report 

6-May: After failing to score points at the Spanish Grand Prix due to mechanical failures on both of their cars, Renault head to Austria in a confident mood. The team have already addressed the hydraulic problem that caused Jenson Button's car to fail while the team is working hard to correct the engine problem Jarno Trulli's car suffered. Technical Director Mike Gascoyne said "The reason for Jenson's retirement was a hydraulic leak on the car. We already had a development in place to cover that particular problem. We also know what Jarno's engine problem was, and are working hard to correct it.
I think we can be confident, as we have been at every track this year. We have performed strongly so far, and I see no reason to expect anything different this weekend. If our reliability is good enough to get us to the finish, we are confident it will be in a points-scoring position."

Heinz Harald Frentzen scored the first point for the Arrows team in Spain. The team used a new specification Cosworth engine for Qualifying helping Frentzen to start from 10th on the grid. This weekend the team looks forward to using the new spec engine for both Qualifying and the Race and believe it will give them the extra power needed for this track. Technical Director Mike Coughlan said "We hope to have the engine spec we used on the Saturday in Spain again for qualifying here as well as for the race which is a definite step forward for us. Engine power is at a premium at the A1 Ring as it is one of the highest full throttle races on the calendar. We were able to run the new engine spec for two days at Silverstone, completing well over race distance and we were very pleased with its performance. We also tested a rear suspension upgrade over the two days and that also went very well. We will be working very hard to make sure that we get the best out of the car in qualifying and I would say we should be able to qualify in the top 12."

5-May: "Another Ferrari domination ?" - The Austrian Grand Prix Preview is now available ... Race Preview

Austrian Formula 1 Grand Prix Schedule:

Session Time (Local / GMT) - Current local time
Friday Practice Session 1
Friday Practice Session 2
Saturday Practice Session 1
Saturday Practice Session 2
Qualifying Session
Warm-up Session
11 AM Spielberg Time / 9 AM GMT
1 PM Spielberg Time / 11 AM GMT
9 AM Spielberg Time / 7 AM GMT 
10:15 AM Spielberg Time / 8:15 AM GMT
1 PM Spielberg Time / 11 AM GMT
9:30 AM Spielberg Time / 7:30 AM GMT
2 PM Spielberg Time / 12 PM GMT
Go to the Austrian GP Page

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