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

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Drivers Championship Constructors Championship
Reports & Results

What the teams and drivers said - Sunday

Ferrari ( Michael Schumacher - 1st, Rubens Barrichello - 2nd ) 

Jean Todt: "A dream race: yet another this year. Michael took off in the lead, making the most of pole position, while Rubens, thanks to a good start, managed to make up a place to go second. Everything went perfectly; the car, the engine, the Bridgestone tyres, the drivers and the team. Words cannot describe the season we are having. We have proved ourselves capable of winning on all types of circuit, thanks to a really exceptional package. Now we must maintain Ruben's position in the Drivers' Championship, a result he deserves. I am also happy that this win is the hundredth that Ferrari has taken in partnership with Shell."

Michael Schumacher: "This result was better than we expected, as we were not sure what the situation would be in terms of temperature and tyres. Our car is simply very good on high speed tracks like this one. The car felt good and I just enjoyed myself. I watched my pace for a couple of laps to look after the tyres and after that, with me and Rubens at the front, it was a case of just bringing it home. I had no problems, but having seen so many engines blow up, we eased up towards the end as we still had a margin over Montoya. It was a very nice race for me, as you don't always need to be fighting to enjoy the drive. The next race is in Monza, which obviously we would like to win as it is our home race. But I don't expect we will be so dominant, as we have seen Williams go well there in the past, but we should be very competitive. We will know more after next week's test there."

Rubens Barrichello: "Considering the problems I had since Friday finding the right set-up I am very happy with this result and the fact I have extended my advantage in the championship by two more points. Even this morning, I was still not happy with the set-up and honestly I made the wrong tyre choice. Before the start I did wonder how quick Kimi would be, but I got the jump on him at the start and that made life easier. As he tried to close the door on me, I was already alongside him at the first corner, so he had to back off and there was no way for him to get in front. I had worrying moments when both Massa and then Panis blew up in front of me. It was not just a case of trying to find my way through the smoke, as I also had to see if there was any oil on the track. I never considered asking the team if Michael would let me pass to help me get more points for second place in the championship. Michael was so dominant this weekend and got a good pole. It was clear after 3 or 4 laps I could not follow him and he deserved to win today."

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Williams ( Juan Pablo Montoya - 3rd, Ralf Schumacher - 5th )

Sam Michael: "It was a really good race by Juan today. He had a good start and looked after the car well but pushed when he needed to. Ralf lost some time when he spun on the way to a pit stop and then we had a problem leaving at the second stop. The team worked very well at all four pit stops and we did not suffer from any technical problems today. We have had a reliable car and engine. The Ferraris are still a long way in front of us, but they remain our target."

Gerhard Berger: "Juan Pablo drove a strong race today. He was constantly under pressure but he asserted his authority against the McLarens. Unluckily Ralf lost some time at the start and with his spin. Both the drivers took advantage of very good pit-stop work. In one go we have achieved six points today and strengthened our position in the Constructors� Championship widening the gap by three points to McLaren."

Juan Pablo Montoya: "This has been an outstanding outcome to a difficult weekend. I am a bit surprised I could keep up with Kimi Raikkonen who had a very fast pace in the first part of the race. I really did not expect such a good result today. When I pitted for the first time I managed to stay ahead of Kimi thanks to the great job of my team. Also we made some adjustments during the pit-stop and they helped a lot. In the last part of the race I managed to keep behind me the other McLaren of Coulthard and I would like to acknowledge the help that I received from the pitwall over the last few laps to achieve this result. We still have hopes for the second place in the drivers' championship. The moment Rubens fails, we have to be there."

Ralf Schumacher: "I can only be reasonably satisfied today as I made a few mistakes. At the start I was blocked by a slow starting Raikkonen, then I spun and went into the gravel trap and finally when I restarted after my second pit-stop I pushed the wrong button on the steering wheel by mistake. In the end I have scored two points which are very valuable to the team in the fight for the second place in the Constructors� World Championship."

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McLaren ( David Coulthard - 4th, Kimi Raikkonen - Retired )

Ron Dennis: "Low ambient temperature was the primary reason for the drop in our performance from yesterday. A difficult weekend, but nevertheless, as qualifying demonstrated, we are making progress."

Norbert Haug: "Today nobody had a chance against Ferrari. David couldn't get past Montoya in the final stages of the race despite closing in and putting pressure on him, as overtaking was not possible. We will have to investigate the reason for Kimi's engine failure."

David Coulthard: "It's a pity that we couldn't achieve a better result today. I managed to get past Ralf Schumacher on the long straight towards Les Combes to claim fifth on the first lap. My car was not so good in the middle sector and that's why I couldn't get close enough to actually get past Montoya. The grip improved after my second pitstop when there was more rubber on the track and I had a low fuel load, which was why I set my fastest lap times towards the end. A very fast second pitstop by the team enabled me to close right up to Montoya, but unfortunately it was not enough."

Kimi Raikkonen: "Not the ideal way to end the weekend, but it's one of those things. At the start I couldn't hold Rubens back. and he managed to get past as both him and Michael were on new tyres. The following lap I went wide and nearly lost control of the car but managed to save it, but unfortunately the mistake allowed Montoya to overtake me. I was keeping up with him and putting on the pressure, and we went into the pits for our first stops at the same time, but he got out in front of me. Just before my second pitstop I could feel that something was not right and on lap 36 I had an engine failure and that was the end of the race for me. It's been an exciting weekend and I enjoyed starting from the front row, but ideally I would have liked to stay there."

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Jaguar ( Eddie Irvine - 6th, Pedro de la Rosa - Retired )

Niki Lauda: "A very impressive all-round performance, especially from Eddie. Both drivers, however, performed well and maintained their places through the first corner, La Source, which isn�t easy. We have been encouraged all weekend with the performance of the Jaguar R3 and combined with great support from Michelin, the package has rewarded us all with a championship point. Pedro also drove a very strong race and it is disappointing not to have seen his hard work rewarded with a finish. We are not 100% sure at this stage, but his retirement appears to have been forced by a rear suspension failure. Given the strength of the top three teams and the challenges of this circuit, I am delighted by the conclusion to this race weekend and it�s just reward for the very hard work that is going into this programme by everyone back at Milton Keynes. We have three races left on the calendar and we will now aim to take full advantage from what we have learned this weekend."

Eddie Irvine: "My start was quite reasonable and I didn�t lose any places going into or coming out of the tight first corner. The aim from there on was to maintain position and preserve the tyres. I did my best to keep up with Trulli in 7th place, but he just kept getting further and further away from me. Salo was then threatening me from behind and I kept my foot down and pushed as hard as possible. We did everything right this weekend from qualifying well to our race preparation and strategy. The car felt pretty good throughout the race and caused me no real problems. It wasn�t the most exciting race I have ever had, but it just highlights the importance of qualifying well. Our race pace was very good and very comparable to Williams and McLaren over the 44 laps of this race. The next three races should be interesting and I am particularly looking forward to Monza and Suzuka where we hope to demonstrate a similar level of performance."

Pedro de la Rosa: "I have mixed feelings about the final result in that I am delighted for the team in getting a point, but disappointed with having to retire. The car has felt good all weekend and suffered no problems apart from minor niggles on Friday. Our preparation has been thorough and given the strong race pace, it is all the more disappointing to retire. With only six laps to go until the end, I felt the rear of the car snap with what appears to be a rear suspension failure. The team scoring a point, however, is the main thing to take away from the weekend and we will now look at taking this further over the next three races."

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Toyota ( Mika Salo - 7th, Allan McNish - 9th )

Ove Andersson: "This was another good race for us. It has been some time since we have been so close to a World Championship point. Both cars were very reliable and ended up in the top 10. I think the team and both drivers did a very good job. Monza in two weeks time will be a new challenge. Although we have had several test days there, it is difficult to predict how we will perform in the race."

Mika Salo: "It was a pretty good race for me and the team. Our pit-stops were very good, and we had no particular problems. I think I drove well and I made no mistakes. I was absolutely on the limit from start to finish and we were really close to score a point. It is obviously extremely frustrating to finish 0.4s off sixth place."

Allan McNish: "I had quite an eventful race and good fights with other drivers. We had a little problem with the wheel sensor that affected the traction control and therefore my car's consistency, but we had no other major worry. I am happy for the team that we brought both cars home in the top 10. This takes us to the last three races in a positive frame of mind"

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BAR ( Jacques Villeneuve - 8th, Olivier Panis - Retired  )

David Richards: "After a difficult start for Jacques and Olivier, both drivers pushed hard to try to make up the deficit after losing places into the first corner. Olivier fought back as best he could but unfortunately suffered an engine failure just 5 laps from the end of the race. We were pushing hard to get the best from the package today and we lost an engine as a consequence. Having said that, we saw a number of other teams lose engines so the long downhill run into Eau Rouge had its own part to play. Jacques drove a very hard race and did well to finish 8th and so close to Irvine and Salo. Monza is a tough high-speed circuit so we have some work to do next week in testing but we�re hopeful of better things there in two weeks� time."

Jacques Villeneuve: "As the race turned out, we had a real chance of getting 6th today but I had a terrible start and then lost time behind McNish. It was a fair fight but that wasn�t the case with Fisichella. I spent too much time stuck behind him and because of his strategy, we could have been fighting together until the end of the race if his engine hadn�t blown. Generally the car was working well and I pushed as hard as I could. Monza is going to be difficult for us I think. It�s a real power circuit so we�ve got some work to do in testing next week to find a way of making us more reliable."

Olivier Panis: "I was heavier on fuel than most of those around me so I didn�t get such a good start because of that and, as everybody saw, I lost places. After that I battled as hard as I could to regain position but it was too late. I kept pushing throughout the race and I could have finished behind Jacques but once again I was unlucky with the engine and that was the end of my race. I really hope that we can fix the problem because Monza is a power circuit and it�s going to be a tough race. We�re testing there next week so have a lot of work to do."

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Sauber ( Nick Heidfeld - 10th, Felipe Massa - Retired  )

Peter Sauber: "Three things are important for us today. We had a top 10 finish. Our set-up was much better than it was on Friday and Saturday. And none of our immediate rivals scored points. In the circumstances it was good damage limitation, and we have learned something."

Nick Heidfeld: "The car was better in the race than it was in qualifying, but I ran in so much traffic all the time that I never really got the chance to get the best from it. Felipe passed me early on when we were running different fuel strategies, but by the second stops we were close again. Unfortunately, on the lap when I needed to go my fastest, just before my stop, I had to let Michael lap me, so I lost a massive amount of time which prevented me getting past McNish. But it would have been incorrect to ignore all the waved blue flags."

Felipe Massa: "I had a pretty good race car today, so it was a shame we started so far back. If we'd this this set-up in qualifying we would have been okay. I was able to pass Nick early on after getting a good run through Eau Rouge, and I was very happy to get by McNish going down the hill to Eau Rouge after the second pit stops. Everything was going fine until something suddenly went wrong with the engine as I came past the pits."

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Jordan ( Takuma Sato - 11th, Giancarlo Fisichella - Retired )

Eddie Jordan: "We�ve worked very hard here but it�s been a disappointing weekend all round. I�d like to thank the whole team and the drivers for their efforts."

Takuma Sato: "It has been a tough weekend for us. I had quite a difficult start, I don�t know why yet because I haven�t seen any data, but the car was quite nervous everywhere, oversteering and hopping around a lot and costing me quite a few seconds. At the first pit stop, the tyre change took a really long time, which was a shame, although the second and third stints were better. Spa is great fun to drive so it�s a shame we didn�t have better results, but this is motor racing and you have to fight back."

Giancarlo Fisichella: "I was having a good race and unfortunately we lost it when the engine blew up, which was very scary. Considering my grid position, the one-stop strategy was looking good, which is frustrating. I�m already looking to the next race."

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Renault ( Jarno Trulli - Retired, Jenson Button - Retired )

Denis Chevrier: "In the end, the race result was simple: two engine failures, each with a different cause. The positives from the weekend are Jarno's qualifying performance, as well as a race pace which saw us holding our position in the top six on merit. However, as the numerous retirements today demonstrated, this is a demanding circuit from every point of view, and especially for the engine."

Pat Symonds: "Although we were concerned by the cool track temperatures, in fact the tyres performed extremely well and we had achieved a good balance on both cars. We were setting competitive lap times which should certainly have led to a points finish. Unfortunately, to get those points, we must first finish."

Jarno Trulli: "Once again, I got a very good start, but then accidentally hit the neutral button as I was going into the first corner. I caught the slide, but lost the positions I had gained at the start. I then pushed as hard as possible, and the gap held steady until Ralf's spin. After my last stop, I managed to keep Ralf behind - I think it would have been difficult for him to overtake, as I was quicker on the exit of the slow-speed corners. Obviously, it's extremely disappointing, and even more so because the team worked very well all weekend. Certainly well enough to have earned a few points."

Jenson Button: "Honestly, there's not much to say. We had improved the balance of the car a lot by the start of the race - the car was better than it had been all weekend. Irvine was holding me up a bit, but I couldn't get close enough to try anything at the end of the straight. Then I heard something strange on the exit of Turn 7, and lost power. I couldn't do anything but retire."

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Minardi ( Anthony Davidson - Retired, Mark Webber - Retired )

Paul Stoddart: "Today saw both KL Minardi Asiatech drivers having an early shower. Sadly, Mark has struggled with reliability this weekend and was let down by a gearbox-related problem on lap five. Sadly, Anthony found a slippery curve on lap 18, which brought his strong performance with the team to an end. With regular driver, Alex Yoong, back at Monza, the team would like to thank �Ant' for a job truly well down. I'm sure we'll see a lot more of Anthony Davidson in Formula One in the future - he really does deserve to be here
Anthony Davidson: "After Mark retired from the race, I had no benchmark to base my performance on, so I was just pushing hard trying to keep the gap level with Taku, because I could see him ahead of me in the first stint. I was happy with the performance of the car and the tyres, and it was really fun to ride behind Taku and Olivier. I just pushed a bit too hard around the Pouhon corner, though, lost grip at the back when I went over a kerb, and spun into the gravel. It's a shame, because it was a really enjoyable race up to that point. I wish I was still out there!
Mark Webber: "Again, it has been a trying weekend for us. We had a few issues on Friday in the first session, which lost us time in the second session, and also in the untimed session on Saturday morning. Qualifying went well for us, and the warm-up today wasn't bad either. We had quite a bit of fuel in the car this morning and so we were looking forward to the race. It was going okay up until we had a gearbox problem. It's unfortunate I couldn't do more laps at a track that I enjoy, but we've had a very good finishing record this season, and you cannot expect to finish every single race. This is one of the rare occasions the car has caused us some problems."

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Arrows - Missed the GP 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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