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As the season is over, 
will we see a real race?
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11 October News  
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11-Oct: At the Friday press conference for the Japanese GP, Mario Theissen has indicated that BMW will be replacing Werner Laurenz internally and said "It is always a loss if a key figure leaves a team and Werner Laurenz has been instrumental in getting the team up and running and part of the success we have had so far certainly goes to him and his work. On the other hand, he has been leading a very strong and stable team as well, so we are able to fill the role internally and will not appoint anyone from outside. Heinz Paschen, who used to be chief designer of the engine, will succeed him and his role as chief designer will be filled by people who are in this department already. So it will not be a big change."
Mario Theissen refused to confirm the rumours that Laurenz is going over to Mercedes.

David Richards praised the team for fixing Jacques' car in record time and said "They got it back together again exceedingly quickly. They did an exceptional job to do that, it wasn't easy. They were out 15 minutes before the end of the session. They obviously didn't get it back in until well into the period between the two sessions, so they did an excellent job. It was actually... although it looked comprehensive the tub took it very well, there wasn't anything substantial about it."
David Richards was asked about the deal where Villeneuve would go to CART. He said "It was some months ago and it has become public knowledge now. It was to drive in the Players Team. We clearly needed a replacement for Jacques and when the time drifted on, and when Olivier had the offer from Toyota, without the replacement driver, it wasn't practical for the team. I think Jacques was not particularly enthusiastic. He was willing to work with the team on it, if that was to the benefit of the team, but he wanted to stay in Formula One. He is a Formula One driver and he is committed to Formula One and he wants to be here and I am very pleased he will be with the team here next year."
When asked to confirm that Jacques will be driving for the teams, he said "From my position there is no question about it. He's driving with us next year. He has a contract with us."

Otmar Szafnauer indicated the Honda are bring a new spec engine for qualifying and said "For the race on Sunday we will be racing the engine that we used in qualifying at Indianapolis, so we have done some work in improving its longevity and reliability and we will be racing that engine for the first time, so it is a bit special. And for qualifying tomorrow we were able to find a step on Indianapolis and a bit better engine, a slightly higher step."
When asked about next year and the fact that Honda will only be supplying one team, Otmar said "It's much easier just supplying one team. The chassis collaboration will also increase with British American Racing. As you saw in some of the Grands Prix this year, we treated both teams equally and sometimes we only had four engines that we could bring with the latest advancement so each team had perhaps two in a weekend. Next year it will be much easier with just BAR."

Ove Andersson believes that next year will not be easy for Toyota and said "Well, I don't know, we have no experience of the second year yet, but for sure we have learned this year that the pressure of running a season, the pressure of trying to improve the car and also to look at what we're going to do for next year, for sure it will not be easier than this year, I'm sure of that."
Ove Andersson indicated that Toyota will be making their decision soon with regards to their second driver but refused to comment on the rumours that Cristiano da Matta will be their second driver.

Hirohide Hamashima described the Suzuka track as 'very complicated' for tyres and said "This circuit is a very complicated circuit because the first sector until before the S-corner is very very serious for lateral force but each side is high speed course, so in that case, tyre degradation is very severe in the first sector. Then other sectors demand good traction and braking so I hope that the tyre which we brought here is working well for braking and handling and traction."
Hirohide indicated that they have a logistical advantage at this track and said "These (tyres) were made on Friday because we prepared five proposed specifications for Suzuka then the final test was on Friday. After that we decided two specifications for this weekend. Everything arrived here on Wednesday morning. This is the only circuit where we have a logistical advantage."

The team bosses had a negative response to the radical changes proposed. 
Mario Thiessen said "To do one engine per weekend for next year is already just not possible any more. It requires a change, maybe in the engine concept, at least a significant change in the engine layout and this can only be done for 2004. Under normal conditions with stable regulations we would start engine design for the coming season in January or February. Now we are about to start before the end of the year, because of the regulation change and so you see there is no chance to do it for next year already."
David Richards said "Well, you know they are so comprehensive; to go through them one by one would take us all afternoon. But I think you've got to start with the principal that I hope everyone acknowledges now... clearly the FIA acknowledges, Bernie Ecclestone acknowledges, we need the teams and the manufacturers all to acknowledge that we can't just sit on our hands and do nothing. We do need to do something. But in doing that, we also need to be very careful what we do. A sport steeped in heritage with great success to date; you can't do radical changes overnight without thinking about the consequences very carefully. And that's really about spicing it all up for the audience. I think that must be the number one priority about how we improve the show. As for cost-cutting and cost-saving, that's a tricky one because the reality is that if we save the budget in one particular area, it will be spent somewhere else, because I'm sure that BMW and Williams have decided how much it is worth to win the World Championship, as have Ferrari. We just move budgets around if we're not careful, so when you look at cost-savings, you have to look at them in a very different way."
Otmar Szafnauer said "From Honda's perspective, some of the proposals were to penalise some of the technological advances of some of the teams and that's really not what we hoped to have done in Formula One. We would hate to see proposals that penalise technological superiority and hope that those types of things wouldn't come to fruition here. As for cost-cutting, like David said, that's a tricky one. Budgets just move around and you develop something else if you're not allowed to develop another part of your technology. I think that one has to be studied a bit before it comes."
Ove Andersson said "Well, I think most of it has been said. I agree with David about the cost-cuttings. It's very very difficult to make radical changes overnight. We might, as easily as we improve the show, we might destroy the show, so I think it has to be very careful. Generally speaking we are completely against penalising the people who are doing a good job. We believe Formula One is the pinnacle of the sport, it's to show technical excellence and it would be a big mistake to penalise the people who have done a good job."
Horihide Hamashima said "I'm of the same opinion. Penalty for the advantage is not so good, or to develop parts for the same reason. I think if everybody agreed to the same money, in that case we would have to go in that direction."

11-Oct: What the teams and drivers said following Friday practice at Suzuka ... Report

11-Oct: Japanese GP - 2nd Friday Practice Session: Kimi Raikkonen sets the fastest time ahead of David Coulthard and Rubens Barrichello. Juan Pablo Montoya, Ralf Schumacher and Michael Schumacher make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Report ... Notes.

11-Oct: Japanese GP - 1st Friday Practice Session: Michael Schumacher sets the fastest time ahead of Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard. Kimi Raikkonen, Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Report ... Notes

11-Oct: "As the season is over, will we see a real race?" is the title of the 28th issue from the Diagnosis and Prognosis Series for the 2002 season. In this issue, the Heretic looks at the aftermath of the US Grand Prix and the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix - Issue 28

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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