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As the season is over, 
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6 - 10 October News  
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The Heretic

The Quali-flyer

United States GP Page

10-Oct: Due to the declining TV figures and the complete dominance of Ferrari this season, the FIA are believed to be proposing some radical changes to Formula 1 with the view to make it more interesting. However, the teams will have to agree to these proposals for them to become part of the regulations.
Some of the ideas believed to be proposed include 2 day qualifying, test limitations, aerodynamic restrictions. There are even proposals for driver swapping and adding ballast to the faster cars!.
These proposals are expected to be discussed with the teams later this month.

10-Oct: At the Thursday press conference for the Japanese GP, Rubens Barrichello tried to explain his view of the finish at the US GP and said "I didn't have many views, to be honest. I was as confused as everybody else. There have been so many pictures with me looking at the sign, as you can see, I didn't know what was going on, as nothing was said beforehand, so when I saw Michael going up, the first thing that came on my mind was that, OK, he's going to try to give me back Austria. So I went in but I didn't go up beside him and say yes, this is it, I still backed off because maybe it wasn't the idea and I wasn't going to think, OK, just give me this win and I'll take it but then beside me he backed off and I then I just finished in front. I didn't know where the line was, I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know if I'd won the race or not, so it was just a big confusion that, at the end, what I understand was that Michael wanted to give it back from Austria, that's it."
Asked about why Bridgestone performs well with Ferrari but not so with the other Bridgestone runners and he said "I don't know and it is very difficult to speak on behalf of the other teams and I can speak only on Ferrari's behalf. We test every day with two test drivers and two drivers and we develop the tyre for them (Bridgestone) and any other team has the possibility to test the tyre as well and to say 'yes, it's good' or 'no, it's not'. I can only say that, yes, we have more influence on the Bridgestone minds to say which we think we could go. But I don't know why the other teams don't go as fast."

David Coulthard declined to comment on what the team was testing last week and said "I never really want to say too much about what we are testing and there are always seems to be more knowledge as to what we have actually been testing than there should be. I was testing a McLaren, developing it for the future, this weekend, for future races. Everyone always seems to know before you've even run anything nowadays what you've been doing."
As for Alex Wurz's new lap record at Barcelona, David was positive and said "I think that the test was really positive. The only thing that you can say is that the track temperature was ten degrees cooler than when we were there before, it's such an influential thing on the lap time, and it's typical to do quick lap times in the winter. You think you're making big progress towards the end of the season because it's cool in Europe and through the winter you set quick lap times and then you get to Melbourne and you get a reality check because it's warm. I think you have to be careful looking at the lap times from the outside. The true gauge of performance is always a Grand Prix weekend."

Mika Salo who retires from Formula 1 this weekend has yet to decide what he'll be doing next year and said "Not at the moment. I think I am just going to finish this last race and then have a nice holiday and then sometime in November see what I have on offer on the table and if there is something interesting I'll take it. I still love driving, but I want a little bit less stress and I want to stay at home a bit more. I had 20 days at home this year and it was too much travelling for me so I will see what I have then and I will decide if I continue, but if I want to drive for many years more I have to drive something next year so if I don't drive next year I'll never drive again."
When asked what he though of the job done by Toyota this year he said "I think it's gone quite well for the first year. Of course we had a good start to the year because we were very well prepared. We had a one year to prepare for it, so I think it started well, and then it was up and down but overall I think it's gone quite well, they've learned a lot, but still it's going to be difficult for them next year also. This time they will have the normal testing like everyone else with the new car and they start at the same level so it will be more difficult. But for sure, the car will be better, it can't be much worse. There are some areas where they are doing a really good job and some where it's not so good. I think this year has been reasonable."

Olivier Panis who races with BAR for the last time this weekend before switching to Toyota is ready for the challenge and said "I want to say I feel positive, because I have been working a long time with Honda and we have a very good relationship but what I feel about the Toyota team is that it's still Japanese but I also feel that there are a lot of European people who work inside, which makes it a bit different but I'm still really happy to continue to work with Japanese people.
I know next year we have a lot to do but I've taken the challenge and I'm really looking forward to next year but first of all, I don't know the car, I don't have some ideas but I want to say that I agree with Mika, we have a lot to do to continue to develop the car."

Takuma Sato will race his first Formula 1 race in front of his home crowd and described his feelings by saying "It's just amazing. It hasn't started yet, the Grand Prix weekend, but I can see all the fans are already excited a lot and this morning, when I came out here from the hotel, there were already fans out there and it was a great feeling. I feel something very strange here. This is my home and obviously all the Grand Prix teams have moved from Europe and what we have done today is exactly the same as all the other Grands Prix, but the atmosphere has been slightly different for me, so it's going to be a great weekend, I'm sure."
As for his future with the team next season, he is confident and said "I have a contract with the team for two years so next year I will be with Jordan. But my feeling now is that I want to concentrate on this weekend. It is more important than that. That's all I can say because I have a contract with the team. Obviously I have a very good feeling from the team and I am confident. So I think it is alright."

The drivers also commented negatively to some of the radical ideas that would make Formula 1 more exciting. Ideas such as adding ballast to the fastest cars and drivers swapping cars. 
David Coulthard said "I know that there have been speculative ideas, some of them a bit silly. At the risk of giving a quick answer is that they need the thought that they probably require. But the knee-jerk reaction of putting in ballast and trying to handicap that have done a better job to improve the show, I don't think is right. I think it goes against what Formula One stands for which is a set of regulations of which the people with the cleverest minds and the best budgets do the best job."
Olivier Panis said "Well, definitely I want to swap my car with Rubens but I don't think he want that. But after that, I feel that sure, we need something, but it's very complicated. I think it would be quite a good idea if the drivers spoke with Max and Bernie maybe, because somebody will have different ideas on that. But I don't have the best ones. If I do, I will tell you, but I think it's quite complicated. Also we need to be fair to the best teams.
I don't think ballast is the solution. Maybe it's a bit too quick to say that. Maybe it's the easy answer, the quicker one but for the future of Formula One, maybe it's not the best.
Takuma Sato said "Well, I think the ballast situation would make more exciting battles for those outside the circuit in a fairly spectacular way, but for me on the inside, it would be a slight problem because it's not the performance from the car and driver. If you look at touring cars and GT cars, it would be fine because the performance is due to the car's performance and you can see how much the weight affects it and Japanese GT has that regulation which works out OK for those battles, but in Formula One it would be different, because the drivers are affected more than that. That's what I believe."
Rubens Barrichello said "I don't want to change cars with Olivier, that's for sure!. You can be my guest sometime. To be honest, I don't want to comment too much because a lot of things have been said and I want to wait until they have really been proposed and we see what we're going to have because it's a bit too much up in the air right now and if you think, I think that grooved tyres are already against the spirit of Formula One. We have grooved tyres in Formula One, but we don't have them on go-karts, we don't have them on Formula 3000, Formula Three so why do we have them in Formula One? Because we dream about Formula One and it's already against... (that philosophy). So I want to wait until they have some decision on it before I comment."
Mika Salo said "I agree with Rubens, I don't really know, it's not my position to start commenting about it. I also agree with David, that it's not fair if teams are doing a good job and they have worked and they have the best car and then someone puts weight on it to slow it down, it's not fair. And I'm not here next year, so that's another point."

9-Oct: The Quali-flyer's predictions for the 'Real Race' at the Japanese GP ... Report

8-Oct: "The Final Race of 2002!" - The Japanese Grand Prix Preview is now available ... Race Preview

Japanese 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 Suzuka Time / 2 AM GMT
1 PM Suzuka Time / 4 AM GMT
9:00 AM Suzuka Time / 1 2:00 AM GMT 
10:15 AM Suzuka Time / 1:15 AM GMT
1:00 PM
Suzuka Time / 4:00 AM GMT
10:00 AM Suzuka Time / 1:00 AM GMT
2:30 PM
Suzuka Time / 5:30 AM GMT
Go to the Japanese GP Page

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