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2002 Belgian Grand Prix 
What the teams and drivers said - Friday 

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Reports & Results

What the teams and drivers said - Friday

McLaren ( Kimi Raikkonen - 1st, David Coulthard - 2nd )

Ron Dennis: "A productive first day of practice."

Norbert Haug: "A good first day of practice on which we managed to do many laps. We are heading in the right direction."

Kimi Raikkonen: "It�s too early to say how we will do this weekend, but we had a productive practice. I lost a bit of time at the end of the first session when my car had a hydraulics problem, but we fixed it during the break. The car was working well and I�m pleased with the work we have gone through and am looking forward to qualifying."

David Coulthard: "There have been Fridays this year when we have been fastest so let�s wait and see what happens tomorrow. We were following a specific programme to evaluate the tyres and gained a lot of useful data."

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Ferrari ( Michael Schumacher - 3rd, Rubens Barrichello - 4th ) 

Jean Todt: "As usual on Friday, our work was centred on Sunday�s race, which takes place on what is a lovely circuit. From the results of today�s free practice, we can see that some of our rivals are looking very strong. Tomorrow, we can expect a very close fight for the top positions on the grid. As is always the case, tyres will play a vital role. As far as we are concerned, we are confident we can qualify well."

Ross Brawn: "Today we carried out the usual tyre comparison with the two types available. I think we have a pretty clear idea which is the best one, but nevertheless we will carefully study the data we have acquired. The drivers said they were happy with the balance of their cars, which performed well considering the fuel load they were carrying. On this track, consistent tyre performance during the race is very important and if temperatures stay similar to today�s then we think we are in good shape."

Michael Schumacher: "We managed to make significant improvements to the car�s set-up during the day and the car feels good. It is handling well on this track and I feel confident about the work we have done today. I think the modifications to the Bus Stop chicane work well. We used to take it flat out, using the kerbs and risking damage to the suspension and tyres, just before going flat through Eau Rouge. To my mind the modifications are therefore good from a safety point of view."

Rubens Barrichello: "This morning we lost half an hour of practice because of the fog, but the car is handling pretty well and so I am quite confident about tomorrow�s qualifying. I went off the track towards the end of the second part of the session. There was nothing wrong with the car, so I guess I was just pushing a bit over the limit."

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Williams ( Ralf Schumacher - 5th, Juan Pablo Montoya - 8th )

Sam Michael: "Our Friday�s programme was interrupted with the start of the session delayed by weather problems but still we managed to achieve some good information for the race. We tried the normal alternatives required by the Spa circuit, such as different tyres and downforce levels. In the morning we had a mechanical problem with Juan�s gearbox, which cost him some track time. We have some work to do but all in all we are satisfied with our standing so far."

Gerhard Berger: "Juan Pablo had some gearbox problems that we could fix. We concentrated on our Friday set-up programme and we are reasonably happy with the outcome. It is going to be hard to challenge Ferrari here in Spa as well, however we should be able to get closer to them."

Ralf Schumacher: "I am very happy with my car. There is nothing, which could cause me any real problems. However, I think that there is still room for improvement on the set-up side and we have a couple of things to sort out before we can make our final tyre choice. I am not worried too much either by the kerbs in the Bus-Stop chicane."

Juan Pablo Montoya: "In spite of the fact that we haven�t proved to be very competitive today I am quite confident we can improve our performance as I know there is some more to come in the car. On a Friday it is very difficult to judge where everybody really is due to the fuel level so I would not look too much at the lap times. Still the balance of my car is not the best but I am sure we can fix it for tomorrow."

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Renault ( Jenson Button - 6th, Jarno Trulli - 12th )

Denis Chevrier: "We tried to get as much done as possible today in spite of the late start this morning. Given that we only come to this circuit once a year, there is a lot of information to collect, and we managed to complete a typical Friday program without any nasty surprises or problems."

Pat Symonds: "The reduced practice time put us under a little more pressure than normal but we got the fundamentals done and know where we stand for Sunday, assuming it remains dry. The tyres are working well but as usual, there is still work to be done to further improve the balance of the two cars."

Jenson Button: "To be honest, we didn't have a great day. We haven't found the right set-up and the car is just very low on grip all round, both at the front and the rear. The rear end is moving around a lot - it feels like the same problem we had in Hungary, but the circuit here is much less bumpy. I feel uncomfortable with the car at the moment, but we still have time to find the right balance."

Jarno Trulli: "I had a very good first day, concentrating mainly on race set-up. The car is working very well, even though we still have some work to do to improve the balance. I'm confident there is more performance left to find in the package."

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Jaguar ( Pedro de la Rosa - 7th, Eddie Irvine - 9th )

Niki Lauda: "We could have done with more running today but for one reason and another, we have been limited to a total of 34 laps between both drivers. The car seems to be performing better here than it has done at other circuits but we must wait until tomorrow to understand fully our level of competitiveness. Spa puts far more emphasis on aerodynamics than the last few circuits we have raced at and given the absence of slow corners here, our package seems to be performing relatively better. We haven�t experienced any issues on the tyre front and apart from a few correctable problems, we are in reasonable shape going into tomorrow�s decisive qualifying session."

Pedro de la Rosa: "A frustrating morning which has cost us valuable lap time. My morning stint suffered because of troubles with my throttle pedal and things got worse when I encountered a misfire problem. Nothing that I would classify as serious issues, but we have not taken full advantage of the track time on offer. The limited running that I did manage was quite promising in that the car seems better suited to this circuit than the tight, twisty circuits we have raced at recently. The weather will always play a critical role in determining the outcome tomorrow and it goes without saying that we do not need rain."

Eddie Irvine: "I lost a lot of running today because of the shortened session and mainly because of a brake balance issue which was making the car a real handful to drive. I also suffered from a misfire problem and with taking everything into account, we have still quite some work ahead of us before tomorrow. We are certainly not as quick as the timesheets would lead you to believe, but we aren�t that slow either. The Michelin tyre seems to be in good shape and we�ll have to see where we come out in the wash tomorrow. We�ll have to take full advantage of tomorrow�s warm-up sessions in an effort to compensate for today�s mileage shortage. Losing track time isn�t a problem when you have no issues but is a double-disaster when you are trying to fix problems and beat the clock."

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Toyota ( Mika Salo - 10th, Allan McNish - 11th )

Ange Pasquali: "As usual the Spa-Francorchamps track has brought its usual surprises, with fog disrupting this morning's session. We are quite happy with the work we have achieved so far and the practice results let us think that we are working in the right direction. We will have confirmation tomorrow morning of the data we gathered today and have to finalise our tyre choice."

Mika Salo: "We completed our programme and the car handles well in the high-speed corners. They have done a good job on the track surface and the circuit is not as bumpy as it used to be. It definitely suits our car better, and we must now focus on improving the car�s balance in low-speed corners. Today�s result is encouraging but it is only Friday and we have to stay focused to perform as this for the remainder of the weekend."

Allan McNish: "Today was obviously a bit compromised for everybody due to the lack of running time but we managed to go through the main parts of our programme. We completed mechanical set-up work and tyre comparison, and we had two productive sessions overall. The test we had here last year made us think that the car could be quite strong here and, thankfully, it felt that way today."

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BAR ( Jacques Villeneuve - 13th, Olivier Panis - 16th )

David Richards: "We didn�t get the best of starts to our weekend today. The revised track schedule made life difficult for all of the teams but then Olivier�s engine problem and Jacques� hydraulic leak only compounded things for us. All credit to the mechanics, who turned around both cars in the minimum amount of time to allow us to achieve at least some of our set-up objectives for the day. With fog also predicted for tomorrow morning, we have to prepare ourselves for another limited free practice session ahead of qualifying."

Jacques Villeneuve: "The car feels good here. For the last two years the car hasn't been driveable at Spa but today it was very easy to drive. Unfortunately we're not quick enough but we were still the fastest Bridgestone runner after Ferrari. The delay to the morning session affected everybody but then I lost quite a bit of time in the second session because of a hydraulic fluid leak. The car was quite well balanced though so we were able to pick up where we left off. I always enjoy driving here but it was easy to take Eau Rouge flat today; with traction control and high grip it's now the same for everybody. Hopefully we'll have a better day tomorrow and a little more set-up time."

Olivier Panis: "Obviously, it hasn't been a very good day today. As everybody saw, my engine let go at the end of the first session which cost me a lot of track time during the second session. Nevertheless, my first feeling was that the car was well-balanced before the problem occurred and I feel quite positive about tomorrow. We have only tomorrow morning to try to set up the car for qualifying so I have to work hard with the engineers this afternoon now to concentrate on that. I would like to thank my mechanics for a superb job today. They managed to change the engine in around 40 minutes but unfortunately by that time it was a bit late for us to do a great deal of useful set-up."

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Jordan ( Giancarlo Fisichella - 14th, Takuma Sato - 15th )

Gary Anderson: "Today was not too bad but we should have done more. The second session was a bit of a waste of time as we didn�t get much accomplished with Giancarlo�s car and Takuma lost a lot of time with his engine failure. But all is not lost, as we�ve got reasonable balance for the car and we�ve run some race set-up and work for tomorrow. It looks like Giancarlo had a problem with his rear damper in the first session because there was a lot of damper movement that shouldn�t have been there and we changed the damper which seemed to fix it. Overall, there were no big dramas but we didn�t really make good use of the time available."

Giancarlo Fisichella: "During the first half hour we had a problem with the dampers and a very unstable car. The second session was better but at the moment our grip is not good and the balance is not perfect. We are struggling a little bit, but let's see what happens tomorrow."

Takuma Sato: "I was really looking forward to coming back to Spa, driving here for the first time in Formula One because I have such good memories here from Formula 3 days. In the first session we immediately had good pace. This is a great circuit and it was fantastic to drive through Eau Rouge. It was unfortunate that we only had 30 minutes for the first session and in the second session we couldn�t get the car and tyre balance quite right. We were in the process of trying to improve it when the engine blew, which was a shame. We�re working hard and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day."

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Sauber ( Felipe Massa - 17th, Nick Heidfeld - 19th )

Peter Sauber: "I don't yet understand the problem we had with both cars today. Fortunately, on a high-speed circuit of this nature, even small changes can have a significant effect, but it is clear that we have a lot of work to do in order to identify what set-up changes we need to make to improve the situation tomorrow."

Felipe Massa: "I had massive understeer in the low and medium-speed corners, and the car was extremely nervous in the high-speed sections. It wasn't nervous under braking, however, but I had a problem with the brake balance and flat-spotted two sets of tyres, so I set my best time on old tyres."

Nick Heidfeld: "The car was very nervous today, but at least it was reliable. I had some traffic on my quickest lap, but to be honest I don't think it made a great deal of difference."

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Minardi ( Anthony Davidson - 18th, Mark Webber - 20th )

Paul Stoddart: "A reasonably productive day for the KL Minardi Asiatech team saw Anthony able to show his true potential on a circuit at which he's driven before. It was also pleasing that he completed his full technical programme ahead of tomorrow's qualifying session. Mark, on the other hand, was not so lucky today, as in common with everyone else, he lost half of the first session to a fog delay and then mechanical gremlins cut short the second session. As a result, he effectively had only one serious timed lap. Overall, it was satisfying to see the KL Minardi Asiatech entries mixing it with BARs and Saubers today, and we now look forward to tomorrow's qualifying session."

Anthony Davidson: "It has been a good session for me today, without any dramas. We worked on the car and made some good changes. I think I found the best tyre situation for us as well. At the moment, I think it's looking alright for tomorrow."

Mark Webber: "It has really been a tough Friday for us, as we had a problem in the first session with the front of the car, which we solved, and then, in the second session, we had gearbox difficulties. I'm now looking forward to tomorrow in order to do some proper tyre runs and to complete our pre-qualifying technical program. Hopefully, the weather will be dry in the morning because I had no track time today."

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Arrows - Did not participate in either session due to financial problems

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Session 2002 2001
First Friday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Second Friday Practice Results Report Notes Results
First Saturday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Second Saturday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Qualifying Results Report Notes Results
Warm-up Results Report Notes Results
Race Results Report Notes Results

What the teams and drivers said
Friday - Saturday - Sunday

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