Michael Schumacher broke his own ten win record by taking number eleven at the Japanese Grand Prix and ended the season leading another 1-2 formation finish for Ferrari. From a great start, through an untroubled, easy race, right to the chequered flag, Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello cemented Ferrari's untouchable superiority of 2002.
The challenging Suzuka circuit proved no match for the scarlet cars, which sailed through a race littered with engine blow ups and retirements. Allan McNish didn't even make the starting grid; after yesterday's huge crash in qualifying, the Scot took medical advice and did not race, despite wanting to.
"The doctors are there for a reason," the obviously frustrated Toyota driver said, "And I have to respect their decision. They were a bit worried that my knee might cause problems. Adrenaline gets you through and I felt good this morning. I wasn't expecting any problems this afternoon but it was a medical decision."
While the Ferraris roared off into the distance, for once there was little action between the rest of the front of the grid. Williams had a virtually anonymous race, Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya lacking any of their usual spark the whole race. Ralf managed to jump the McLaren of Kimi Raikkonen at the start and was up to third after David Coulthard retired. But it came to nothing as his BMW engine expired in the closing stages.
Montoya circled in solitary confinement for most of the race and came home fourth, his consolation being it put him third in Driver's championship ahead of Ralf. Coulthard slowed on track and cruised home to the pits with an unspecified problem of the throttle. McLaren's explanation of the problem was even more incomprehensible than usual and Coulthard was resigned: "It's disappointing," he said. "Naturally, I'd liked to have finished the season. I was pulling away from the other guys, but….."
Raikkonen climbed the order after Coutlhard and Ralf's exits and finished on the podium in third. An unspectacular last race for Williams and McLaren.
Ferrari may have dominated but as far as much of the home crowd were concerned, it was local boy Takuma Sato who was the hero of the day. Scoring his first points of the season, Sato drove a calm and confident race to come home fifth and was understandably overjoyed.
A pleased but somewhat restrained Eddie Jordan complimented Sato afterwards: "It was good not just for us (the team) but for Taku. He displayed huge talent all weekend, qualifying was impeccable and you only have to look at the race. He's done an amazing job all weekend and was the star of the show."
Jordan had a shaky start when Giancarlo Fisichella's engine blew before the race even started. Driving to the grid, the Italian's Honda expired leaving him to rush back for the spare.
Fisichella lost out at the start and had some on track fighting with the BAR of Jacques Villeneuve. Honda will be having a few scratchy beard meetings after today as not only did Villeneuve blow up while hassling the Jordan, Fisichella promptly exploded for a second time shortly afterwards. The other BAR of Olivier Panis was equally unfortunate, cruising into the pits early in the race and retiring.
"It was disappointing as the car was very fast," Villeneuve said of his untimely engine failure. "But, as usual, our starts were useless. I got away with the others around me but then the car just wouldn't go anywhere. That would have lost us the race anyway."
Renault were in line for a possible double points finish until Jarno Trulli ground to a halt at the side of the track. Both cars had good starts but Jenson Button couldn't manage to catch Sato before the line, finishing sixth for his final point with the team. Nick Heidfeld was the sole survivor for Sauber in seventh: Felipe Massa crashed out of the race early after losing the car at Degner 1.
Mika Salo bought home the single Toyota in eighth, followed by the Jaguar of Eddie Irvine. Pedro de la Rosa was another who retired to the side of the track, his problem being transmission failure, and the final finisher was Minardi's Mark Webber. Both Minardi's had spins early on and Alex Yoong bought his race to an end in a gravel trap.
Suzuka was, sadly, an uninspiring finish to what many have seen as a progressively unexciting season. Ferrari and its fans have many reasons to celebrate and while Takuma Sato was probably the happiest driver of the day, there was little of interest happening on track. There was some action between the Renaults, Jordans and BARs but it was few and far between.
Formula One closed the 2002 racing season by sidling out with a lack of enthusiasm and quietly shutting the door behind it. Except for Allan McNish, who certainly did go out with a bang in qualifying. While Ferrari's superiority is well deserved, many hope we won't be seeing the same walkover in 2003. Final top six classification: M. Schumacher, Barrichello, Raikkonen, Montoya, Sato, Button.
|3.||4||RAIKKONEN||McLaren Mercedes||M||+ 0'23"20|
|4.||6||MONTOYA||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'36"20|
|5.||10||SATO||Jordan Honda||B||+ 1'22"60|
|7.||7||HEIDFELD||Sauber Petronas||B||1 lap(s)|
|9.||16||IRVINE||Jaguar Cosworth||M||1 lap(s)|
|10.||23||WEBBER||Minardi Asiatech||M||2 lap(s)|
|11.||5||R.SCHUMACHER||Williams BMW||M||5 lap(s)|
|12.||17||DE LA ROSA||Jaguar Cosworth||M||14 lap(s)|
|13.||9||FISICHELLA||Jordan Honda||B||16 lap(s)|
|15.||11||VILLENEUVE||BAR Honda||B||26 lap(s)|
|16.||22||YOONG||Minardi Asiatech||M||39 lap(s)|
|17.||12||PANIS||BAR Honda||B||45 lap(s)|
|18.||3||COULTHARD||McLaren Mercedes||M||46 lap(s)|
|19.||8||MASSA||Sauber Petronas||B||50 lap(s)|
Teams & Drivers for 2002
The penultimate round of the 2002 Formula 1 World Championship got underway in perfect weather, the sun already shining over the most famous race track in the world at 7.30 in the morning. After securing its fifth all-red front row of the grid the Scuderia Ferrari outfit went on to take their eighth one-two finish of the year, the 60th of their F1 history!
Around 150,000 fans turned up to watch the action, making it the biggest F1 crowd of the year and they witnessed one of the closest finishes ever in Formula One when the Ferrari duo slowed down for a formation finish and Barrichello, who had been running second all race, was timed at .011 ahead of his teammate, giving him the win.
The closest finish recorded was at Monza in 1971 and the 0.010s gap remains the closest ever, although it was recorded with stopwatches which were not capable of measuring such small gaps. Today's result improved Ferrari's record this season to 14 wins from 16 races, including the last nine in a row. It was also the Scuderia's eighth victory in the United States Grand Prix, the 158th in its history and Rubens Barrichello's fifth career win.
“The finish wasn't planned before the race. We were both having fun trying to be as fast as one another and I have to thank Michael for this and also the team for all their support through the year. The US is an important part of my life which makes today special for me, Rubens said.“At the last corner, I didn't know what to do and Michael was very kind to let us finish equally. Both Michael and I know that Ferrari's interests come first and it is with that in mind, we accept the various situations which arise during the season. We have had a lot of fun, winning everything this year in the best car and I am a happy man right now. There was a lot of work to do before the race deciding on strategy and also which car to use. I preferred the T car, but as we had a small uncertainty about the brakes on it in the warm-up we decided to use the race car, which ran perfectly. My only problem this afternoon was with some backmarkers who tried to let me pass by slowing a lot on the straight, which could have caused a crash. Now I am looking forward to the next race, where I have a lot of Japanese tifosi and where the most important thing will be to have a good race for Bridgestone.”
Finishing second after dominating the entire weekend, Michael agreed with his teammate that the result was not planned. The duo attempted to cross the line together, however that was the one thing they failed to get right all weekend. Despite not taking his second victory here, Michael is happy for his teammate and believes this result justifies the teams actions in Austria.
“The end of the race was not planned. We tried to cross the line together but failed by a tiny bit and in fact we did not know who had won until we got out of the cars. I just felt Rubens deserved to win this race,” Michael said. “He has made sacrifices for me at least twice this year and I guess that what goes around comes around. It is fair to say that both of us understood and accepted the decision in Austria, because we know that the interests of the team come first. I feel that today equalises what happened there, even though we were trying to finish side by side. We have set so many records this year and now we have one for the closest finish! As for the race, the car was perfect but we tried not to push too hard in the beginning. When I came out ahead of Coulthard after the pit stop and I knew it was okay, but it was quite close. I had some traffic problems with guys trying to be nice, but choosing the wrong place to let me pass.”
“To take our fourteenth win and eighth one-two finish of the season is a fantastic result. Now that Rubens has taken second place in the Drivers' classification, we have reached all the goals we had set ourselves at the start of the year. Furthermore, we have become the first team to break the 200 points barrier from sixteen races,” added Jean Todt. “Once again today, we proved our motivation has not wavered. The team worked exceptionally well and in some ways, crossing the line side by side is a symbol for an incredible season. The happiness of our drivers and Paolo Martinelli on the podium demonstrates the harmony that exists in this team, which works with passion and determination. This one-two finish is down to the fact that the entire package-chassis, engine and Bridgestone tyres- all worked perfectly. Adding to our satisfaction is the fact that the United States is the most important market for Ferrari and Maserati.”
|3.||3||COULTHARD||McLaren Mercedes||M||+ 0'07"799|
|4.||6||MONTOYA||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'09"911|
|6.||11||VILLENEUVE||BAR Honda||B||+ 0'58"211|
|7.||9||FISICHELLA||Jordan Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|9.||7||HEIDFELD||Sauber Petronas||B||1 lap(s)|
|10.||16||IRVINE||Jaguar Cosworth||M||1 lap(s)|
|11.||10||SATO||Jordan Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|12.||12||PANIS||BAR Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|13.||8||FRENTZEN||Sauber Petronas||B||2 lap(s)|
|16.||5||R.SCHUMACHER||Williams BMW||M||2 lap(s)|
|17.||4||RAIKKONEN||McLaren Mercedes||M||23 lap(s)|
|18.||22||YOONG||Minardi Asiatech||M||27 lap(s)|
|19.||23||WEBBER||Minardi Asiatech||M||35 lap(s)|
|20.||17||DE LA ROSA||Jaguar Cosworth||M||46 lap(s)|
Guess what! Barrichello and Schumacher won for Ferrari yet again. There realy is no stopping them. But how would they perform in a Minardi. Or how would Mark Webber perform in a Ferrari F2002?
There is a rumour that Mclaren and Williams may join forces next season to beat Ferrari. Races may no longer be just an exercise for Michael Schumacher. There was the usual chicane at Monza this time with sleeping policemen, which took out the suspension of Montoya, instead the bales of straw which nearly took out everybody the year before. Yes, how do you persuade the drivers not to straight line a chicane?
Jaguar are improving. Eddie Irvine came in third after Montoya dropped out. He used to be the number two driver to Michael Schumacher at Ferrari.
Trulli gave a strong performance.
Arrows seem to have fallen by the wayside with financial problems and now have more lawyers then mechanics. Arrows owe money to Cosworth for their engines and without engines Arrows cannot race.
It is confusing to have two drivers, Salo and Sato, with nearly the same names.
The webmaster has spoken since he cannot find a good script to lift.
|3.||16||IRVINE||Jaguar Cosworth||M||+ 0'52"579|
|6.||12||PANIS||BAR Honda||B||+ 1'08"491|
|7.||3||COULTHARD||McLaren Mercedes||M||+ 1'09"047|
|8.||9||FISICHELLA||Jordan Honda||B||+ 1'10"891|
|9.||11||VILLENEUVE||BAR Honda||B||+ 1'21"068|
|10.||7||HEIDFELD||Sauber Petronas||B||+ 1'22"046|
|12.||10||SATO||Jordan Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|13.||22||YOONG||Minardi Asiatech||M||6 lap(s)|
|14.||6||MONTOYA||Williams BMW||M||20 lap(s)|
|15.||4||RAIKKONEN||McLaren Mercedes||M||24 lap(s)|
|16.||23||WEBBER||Minardi Asiatech||M||33 lap(s)|
|17.||8||MASSA||Sauber Petronas||B||37 lap(s)|
|18.||17||DE LA ROSA||Jaguar Cosworth||M||38 lap(s)|
|20.||5||R.SCHUMACHER||Williams BMW||M||49 lap(s)|
Having started sixth on the grid, West McLaren Mercedes driver David Coulthard finished the Belgian Grand Prix in fourth place. Unfortunately, Kimi Raikkonen, who had started from the front row retired eight laps from the chequered flag. Michael Schumacher won the event, setting a couple of new records.
This was his tenth win of the season, the most scored by a driver in one year. It was also his sixth win at Spa, again a new record. Rubens Barrichello was second, to make it a one-two finish for Ferrari.
Third was the Williams of Juan Pablo Montoya. Off the podium, but in the points were fourth placed Coulthard, fifth was Ralf Schumacher for Williams and Eddie Irvine picking up the final point for Jaguar.
Grey skies and a dry track with no rain expected was the scenario at Spa-Francorchamps as the 20 cars lined up on the grid for the start of the 49th Belgian Grand Prix.
As the lights went out, M Schumacher led from pole and Barrichello got the jump on Raikkonen`s West McLaren Mercedes to make it a Ferrari one-two at the start of the first of the 44 laps.
As they crossed the line for the first time, the order behind these three was Montoya, Coulthard, up from 6th, having drafted past R Schumacher after Eau Rouge, Trulli, Irvine, Button, Salo, De La Rosa, McNish, Fisichella, Villeneuve, Heidfeld, up from 18th, Massa, Sato, Panis, Webber and Davidson.
On lap 2, Montoya got past Raikkonen to go third as the Finn had a broadside moment, 5.1 seconds behind the leader. On lap 5, Massa passed his Sauber team-mate Heidfeld to move up to 15th as Webber pulled off to retire in the Minardi with gearbox problems.
Villeneuve in the BAR was pushing Fisichella`s Jordan hard for 13th spot and Massa was closing on the two of them. At this stage, the Ferraris were the only cars lapping under the 1m 50s barrier and on lap 6, second placed Barrichello was 7.3 seconds ahead of Montoya.
On lap 8, Villeneuve got past Fisichella and the Jordan man seemed to be in trouble as Massa went past also a few seconds later.
On lap 11, Jenson Button pulled off the track to retire his Renault from ninth spot. Villeneuve was closing on the 11th placed Toyota of McNish. The Canadian eventually got past in a brake locking move that nearly saw the Toyota run into the back of the BAR.
Massa was the first to make a refuelling stop, bringing the Sauber in on lap 14, followed by Sato in the Jordan. There was a problem with the Japanese driver`s right rear wheel and his stop lasted over 17 seconds. Irvine, Villeneuve and McNish all came in on the next lap, followed by Davidson in the Minardi.
The race leader was in on lap 16, stopping for 8.6s handing the lead to his team-mate. Would Barrichello come in soon or was he planning to only stop once. Salo in the Toyota and De La Rosa in the Jaguar came in together, as out on track, sixth placed R Schumacher spun the Williams but continued.
Barrichello did come in on lap 17, stopping for 10.2s. R. Schumacher and Trulli in the Renault and Heidfeld`s Sauber also refuelled.
Montoya and Raikkonen followed one another into the pit lane, the Colombian stopping for 7.8s and the Finn for 9.6. Out on the track, Davidson spun his Minardi into the gravel to retire. Coulthard was the last of the lead bunch to refuel, doing so on lap 19, stopping for 8.7s.
After the stops, the Ferraris still led, but Coulthard and moved up to third, ahead of Montoya and Raikkonen. Behind them came Fisichella, Trulli, Schumacher, Irvine, Salo, De La Rosa, Villeneuve, McNish, Massa, Heidfeld, Panis and Sato 17th and last.
Fisichella was the only driver on a one stop strategy, refuelling on lap 21. The two Sauber boys, Massa and Heidfeld were enjoying a good scrap as they closed on 12th placed McNish in the Toyota and Panis in the BAR was harrying Fisichella in the Jordan for 15th place.
By lap 27, the leaders had started to catch the backmarkers, with M Schumacher a massive 23 seconds ahead of Barrichello on lap 28, when Sato brought his Jordan in for a second stop. Third placed Montoya was a further 30 seconds behind Barrichello.
Fourth placed Coulthard was closing the gap to the Williams and was now 2.1 seconds behind, leading team-mate Raikkonen by 2.5. Massa made his second stop on lap 29 and Trulli followed. The leader came in next time round stopping for 8.8s. McNish and Heidfeld also came in as did Irvine and Salo.
Barrichello refuelled on lap 31 in 9.1s. Ralf Schumacher was also in for Williams, stuttering out of the pit lane, losing precious seconds.
De La Rosa came in from seventh on lap 32, followed by Panis. Montoya was in on 33 for a quick 7.4 stop, leaving the West McLaren Mercedes duo the only ones not to have made a second stop. Lap 34 and Raikkonen refuelled in 8.2s with Coulthard next in for 6.2s.
Raikkonen`s race came to an end on lap 36, when he pulled off the track with smoke coming from the back of his car. The order was now M. Schumacher, Barrichello, Montoya, the Colombian getting ahead of Coulthard in the stops.
With Trulli also pulling off to retire, R Schumacher was fifth and Irvine`s Jaguar was promoted to sixth. Next came Salo, De La Rosa, Fisichella, Villeneuve, Massa, McNish, Heidfeld, Panis and Sato last. On lap 38 De La Rosa spun off to retire in the Jaguar and Massa pulled off in the Sauber.
Fisichella was next to go when his engine let go in spectacular fashion with flames shooting out of the back of the car. The similarly Honda-powered BAR of Panis suffered the same fate one lap later, leaving just eleven cars running with four laps to go. Coulthard was closing on third placed Montoya and on lap 41, the gap was just half a second, but it never moved significantly after that.
|3.||6||MONTOYA||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'18"445|
|4.||3||COULTHARD||McLaren Mercedes||M||+ 0'19"357|
|5.||5||R.SCHUMACHER||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'56"440|
|6.||16||IRVINE||Jaguar Cosworth||M||+ 1'17"370|
|8.||11||VILLENEUVE||BAR Honda||B||+ 1'19"855|
|10.||7||HEIDFELD||Sauber Petronas||B||1 lap(s)|
|11.||10||SATO||Jordan Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|12.||12||PANIS||BAR Honda||B||5 lap(s)|
|13.||9||FISICHELLA||Jordan Honda||B||6 lap(s)|
|14.||17||DE LA ROSA||Jaguar Cosworth||M||7 lap(s)|
|15.||8||MASSA||Sauber Petronas||B||7 lap(s)|
|16.||4||RAIKKONEN||McLaren Mercedes||M||9 lap(s)|
|18.||22||DAVIDSON||Minardi Asiatech||M||27 lap(s)|
|20.||23||WEBBER||Minardi Asiatech||M||40 lap(s)|
Rubens Barrichello, resting at home in Sao Paulo ahead of next weekend's trek to Spa-Francorchamps, has reflected on his dominant display at the twisty Hungaroring.
In pursuit of second place in the World Drivers' Championship, the 30-year-old outqualified teammate Michael Schumacher for the fourth time this year to take pole and race unchallenged to the chequered flag after 77 laps.
Snatching the next-best slot from Juan Pablo Montoya by five points, Barrichello recalls a consummate drive where - mercifully - 'Everything was working well.'
'We had wondered how hot it would get and what effect that would have on the tyres, but they worked really well,' Rubens adds. 'We were able to open a big enough gap and the reliability of the car did the rest.'
As team chief Jean Todt called the one-two finish - the second headed by Barrichello this year - the 'easiest of the year', the Brazilian attributes the lion's share of the plaudits to Japanese tyre partner Bridgestone.
'I think the fact we work so well with Bridgestone and the way the tyre works on the car, has been the single most important thing,' he muses.
Although a Sunday night flight had been planned for his immediate trek home to Brazil, an impromptu party to celebrate Ferrari's fourth consecutive Constructors' Championship preceded all other priorities.
At their Budapest hotel, the scarlet army partied into the night with an agenda of singing, dancing, drinking - and music-making. 'It was a great party and even though the band was good, we felt we should have a go,' beams Barrichello.
'So I tried every musical instrument on the stage!' he laughs. 'I think I got more blisters on my hand from playing the drums than I did from racing the car!'
On a seedy Monday morning, Rubens headed home to Sao Paulo and was greeted in the early hours of the day by his smiling wife, Sylvia. 'It was a nice surprise, because it was 4.45,' he reflects.
Now relaxing with some light exercise, Rubens Barrichello is already looking ahead to the impending trip to Belgium for the daunting Grand Prix at the historic Spa-Francorchamps.
Now with the advantage of five points, Scuderia Ferrari will once again plough their consummate efforts into consolidating their clean-sweep of season 2002. 'I feel good about the championship,' Barrichello continues.
'I don't know if it is a coincidence, but since I became a Ferrari driver, we have won everything, which makes me proud.'
And, echoing the loving sentiments of teammate Michael Schumacher, Rubens pays tribute to Ferrari's tremendous support of the pilots' charge for the World Championship.
'The mechanics and engineers all know what a tough job it is and even Michael's guys were cheering me after the race,' Barrichello reflects.
'Of course it was special for the guys working on my car, but at Ferrari we are just one big team.'
Four rounds of the 2002 FIA Formula One™ World Championship remain, with the circus heading to Ferrari's spiritual home of Monza in mid-September before the final fly-away races at Indianapolis and Japan.
'Monza will be a h-huge party!' beams Barrichello.
|3.||5||R.SCHUMACHER||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'13"355|
|4.||4||RAIKKONEN||McLaren Mercedes||M||+ 0'29"479|
|5.||3||COULTHARD||McLaren Mercedes||M||+ 0'37"800|
|6.||9||FISICHELLA||Jordan Honda||B||+ 1'08"804|
|7.||8||MASSA||Sauber Petronas||B||+ 1'13"612|
|9.||7||HEIDFELD||Sauber Petronas||B||1 lap(s)|
|10.||10||SATO||Jordan Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|11.||6||MONTOYA||Williams BMW||M||1 lap(s)|
|12.||12||PANIS||BAR Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|13.||17||DE LA ROSA||Jaguar Cosworth||M||2 lap(s)|
|16.||23||WEBBER||Minardi Asiatech||M||2 lap(s)|
|17.||22||DAVIDSON||Minardi Asiatech||M||19 lap(s)|
|19.||16||IRVINE||Jaguar Cosworth||M||54 lap(s)|
|20.||11||VILLENEUVE||BAR Honda||B||57 lap(s)|
- F3000 ace Giorgio Pantano - together with passenger Middleweight Boxing Champion, Chris Eubank - drove to victory in Sunday's two-seater Minardi race at the Donington circuit. 'For me this was an exciting experience,' Pantano said afterwards. Damon Hill, Mark Webber, Alex Yoong, Paul Stoddart, David Saelens, Matteo Bobbi and Christijan Albers also drove two-seater machines in the charity event with eminent passengers.
- Luca Badoer smashed his own track record at Zandvoort on the weekend, the Italian demonstrating last year's F2001 Ferrari at the Formula 3 Marlboro Masters event. The laptime of 1'19'088 was cheered by a crowd of around 45,000 spectators, watched on by Max Biaggi, Carlos Checa and Randy Mamola.
- Fresh from his lap-shattering form at Zandzoort, Luca Badoer was back to serious business at Fiorano yesterday shaking down the three cars destined for Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello in the Hungarian Grand Prix. After 22 laps, the Italian practiced some launch-control starts. The F2002 chassis' were then packed into scarlet transporters and sent on their way to Budapest.
- The star-studded driver line-up of Rubens Barrichello, David Coulthard, Juan Pablo Montoya, Ralf Schumacher, Jacques Villeneuve and Mark Webber will field the media's queries this Thursday, for the official FIA Press Conference in Budapest. On Friday, team owners Flavio Briatore, Ron Dennis, Niki Lauda, Paul Stoddart and Ove Andersson will feature.
- Popular American actor and racing enthusiast Jason Priestly continues to recover from his 300kmh accident in his Indy Racing Infiniti Pro racer. Still listed as 'serious but stable' in the hospital's intensive care unit, the 32-year-old is reported as having fractures in both feet, a fracture to one of his vertebrae, face and neck lacerations and a contusion around his left eye. Priestly is no longer attached to a ventilator, and Dr Stephen Stapczynski reports that his 'pulse and blood pressure are normal.' It is still feared, however, that his spinal injury may result in some paralysis.
- Jarno Trulli is confident that his Renault R202 will perform well in the high-downforce configuration of the twisty Hungaroring this weekend. 'I think our car will suit the circuit,' he said. Jenson Button, teammate, agrees: 'The car will definitely suit the circuit. We have been competitive pretty much everywhere and we expect to run stronger than in Germany. I'm looking forward to competing with the McLarens and Saubers.' Immediately following Sunday's race, both drivers will fly to Bucharest to conduct promotional work on behalf of Renault Romania.
- Jordan Grand Prix are reporting 'minor modifications' to their EJ12 contender since the Hockenheim race three weeks ago. Gary Anderson, technical director, explains: 'This season we have had some glitches with race starts, and we have ironed those out now. The EJ12 also has some small developments specific to the very individual track at Hungaroring, and have also been working on next year's car.'
- Takuma Sato, Jordan driver, has called the twisty Hungaroring circuit 'a bit like a go-kart track.' The Japanese rookie lapped the circuit in a hire car a few weeks ago in preparation for this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix. 'Its good fun to drive but not the most difficult F1™ track,' he said. 'I also got to see a little of the Old Town which was very beautiful.' Sato is yet to score points in his rookie season. 'I can't wait to grab them!'
- British American Racing are now reporting that 'Development work for 2003 is now well underway,' while adding that Brackley is a hive of activity as next year's 'all-new car' is designed and constructed. Meanwhile, as lead driver Jacques Villeneuve arrives in Budapest, the Canadian reports that 'I went on holiday with Elly and my race engineer Jock Clear for a few days. We just chilled out and enjoyed the hot weather when I wasn't working with my trainer Erwin.' Meanwhile Olivier Panis has been in the South of France to 'Spend some time by the sea, do some watersports and try out my new speedboat.'
|2.||6||MONTOYA||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'10"503|
|3.||5||R.SCHUMACHER||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'14"466|
|5.||3||COULTHARD||McLaren Mercedes||M||1 lap(s)|
|6.||7||HEIDFELD||Sauber Petronas||B||1 lap(s)|
|7.||8||MASSA||Sauber Petronas||B||1 lap(s)|
|8.||10||SATO||Jordan Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|10.||9||FISICHELLA||Jordan Honda||B||8 lap(s)|
|11.||4||RAIKKONEN||McLaren Mercedes||M||8 lap(s)|
|12.||16||IRVINE||Jaguar Cosworth||M||10 lap(s)|
|13.||21||BERNOLDI||Arrows Cosworth||B||19 lap(s)|
|14.||12||PANIS||BAR Honda||B||28 lap(s)|
|16.||11||VILLENEUVE||BAR Honda||B||40 lap(s)|
|19.||23||WEBBER||Minardi Asiatech||M||44 lap(s)|
|20.||20||FRENTZEN||Arrows Cosworth||B||49 lap(s)|
|21.||17||DE LA ROSA||Jaguar Cosworth||M||67 lap(s)|
Raikkonen throws away his maiden win & lets Schumi through to his record-equalling world title 21/07/02
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER established himself at the top of the list of sporting all-time greats at Magny-Cours this afternoon when he steered his Ferrrari F2002 to victory in the French Grand Prix to clinch the 2002 World Drivers' Championship.
It was the German's eighth win in 11 races this season and the 61st of his career.
It was also his third-straight world title triumph, but perhaps most important of all, it enabled him to become only the second man after the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio to win the Drivers' Championship five times.
In a race full of sensational swings and drama that started with his team-mate Rubens Barrichello being left stranded on the grid even before the start of the race, Schumacher had to rely on race leader Kimi Raikkonen losing it at the Adelaide hairpin just four laps from the end to claim his win.
The young Finn hit a patch of oil, locked his brakes and left the track just long enough for the lurking Schumacher to squeeze past.
The world champion had lost his lead earlier after he incurred a drive-through penalty for crossing a pit-exit line as he blasted out of the pits ahead of initial leader Juan Pablo Montoya on lap 28.
Certainly Raikkonen looked to have the measure of Schumacher in the closing laps of the race and Ferrari technical chief, Ross Brawn confirmed afterwards that Michael's third set of tyres were his worst.
In the end Raikkonen finished second for his third podium finish of the season ahead of third-placed David Coulthard, who was told to back off in the closing laps by the Mclaren team to preserve his car.
Montoya, who once more started on pole, and team-mate Ralf Schumacher finished in fourth and fifth places, with their tyres in a far worse condition than those of the McLarens.
Jenson Button, who will lose his seat with Renault to Fernando Alonso next year, finished in the points in sixth place to save Renault from a bleak day after Jarno Trulli's engine caught fire, but if the Englishman never really looked as if his heart was in it and seemed to be going though the motions, you could hardly blame him.
|2.||4||RAIKKONEN||McLaren Mercedes||M||+ 0'01"105|
|3.||3||COULTHARD||McLaren Mercedes||M||+ 0'31"976|
|4.||6||MONTOYA||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'40"676|
|5.||5||R.SCHUMACHER||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'41"773|
|7.||7||HEIDFELD||Sauber Petronas||B||1 lap(s)|
|8.||23||WEBBER||Minardi Asiatech||M||1 lap(s)|
|9.||17||DE LA ROSA||Jaguar Cosworth||M||2 lap(s)|
|10.||22||YOONG||Minardi Asiatech||M||4 lap(s)|
|12.||16||IRVINE||Jaguar Cosworth||M||20 lap(s)|
|14.||8||MASSA||Sauber Petronas||B||24 lap(s)|
|16.||11||VILLENEUVE||BAR Honda||B||37 lap(s)|
|17.||12||PANIS||BAR Honda||B||43 lap(s)|
|18.||10||SATO||Jordan Honda||B||49 lap(s)|
It's a Ferrari 1-2 in a rain-affected race where Bridgestone tyres ruled 07/07/02
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER put himself within just six points of claiming his fifth world championship when he comprehensively won his second British Grand Prix at a showery Silverstone on Sunday.
On his slowing down lap Ferrari Technical Director Ross Brawn got on the radio to Schumacher and said: "Congratulations Michael, you've broken your Silverstone jinx".
And so he had. The German drove faultlessly in a race where the elements shuffled up the F1 pack.
Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello was second in yet another one-two triumph for the Scuderia after starting at the back of the grid as a result of a stall at the start of the formation lap.
On a day marked by the absence of a single British driver in the top ten at their home grand prix, Juan-Pablo Montoya was third in a BMW-Williams.
Montoya had started in pole position for the fourth successive time and held onto his lead until the 16th lap when a relentless Schumacher tore past him as the Colombian - hampered by inferior Michelin tyres on a huge day for Bridgestone - made a rare mistake and went wide, giving the German a massive gap to exploit.
Of the first 10 cars across the finish line seven were shod with Bridgestone, whose combination of dry, intermediate and wet tyres were clearly superior to those of their French rivals.
And the drivers to benefit most were the BAR-Hondas of Jacques Villeneuve and Olivier Panis, who were fourth and fifth, Sauber's Nick Heidfeld, who finished in the points in sixth place and the seventh-placed Jordan-Honda of Giancarlo Fischella.
If the day started disastrously for Barrichello, who stalled his car while on the front-row, it was even worse for Allan McNish.
His Panasonic Toyota was left stranded with clutch trouble and the luckless Scot was forced to abandon his debut home grand rix race before it had started.
There was early drama too for Sauber's Felipe Massa. The young Brazilian went into a wild 720 degree spin at the first corner, but was lucky to avoid a collision and carried on racing, only to spin out again on the 11th lap.
Barrichello, meanwhile, was hurrying past one car after another and by the 11th lap had already managed to get into ninth place behind the Renaults of Jarno Trulli and Jenson Button.
It had been drizzling until now, but suddenly the rain began to pelt down and in quick time both leaders, after slipping and sliding, pulled into the pits for a change followed by almost all of the field.
David Coulthard stayed out on dry tyres in his McLaren Mercedes and briefly led the race, but must have regretted the decision because he had soon dropped down the order. By the 16th lap, when Michael Schumacher surged into the lead past Montoya, Coulthard had dropped back to 11th place.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen was showing real speed in his Arrows A23 and was up to 6th place, past Jenson Button, and looked to be in a points scoring mood on his Bridgestone Intermediates. Sadly the German's challenge ended two laps later when ironically his Cosworth engine let go.
Team-mate Bernoldi lasted longer, but on lap 29 his car also rolled to a stop to bring an end to what has been a week of great crisis for the financially-strapped British team.
Prior to this, Barrichello had also overtaken Montoya to put the dominant Ferraris into a one-two position as their Michelin-shod competitors struggled to come to terms with the changeable weather conditions.
McLaren, especially, were having enormous trouble, losing ground dramatically as they dithered, not seeming to know which tyres they should be using.
By the 33rd lap the Bridgestone runners were rampant, Montoya in third place being the only Michelin runner among the top eight.
Villeneuve's BAR-Honda was now fourth, Nick Heidfeld's Sauber fifth, the second BAR driven by Olivier Panis in sixth place with Giancarlo Fisichella's Jordan-Honda seventh and Massa eighth.
On lap 41 both Barrichello and Montoya pitted as the track began to dry out and the sun briefly broke through.
Barrichello came out in front, but was caught napping at Stowe and the Colombian surged past him into second place.
Michael Schumacher, meanwhile, was leading by some 40 seconds and a superbly efficient final pit stop of 6.8 seconds ensured he retained a lead of at least 20 seconds when he came out.
Barrichello, meanwhile, was pushing Montoya hard and on lap 47 of the 60, he retook his second place after getting his Ferrari into the slipstream of the Williams, before brushing past his fellow South American at Copse corner.
From then on it was a procession for the Scuderia, both Schumacher and Barrichello underlining Ferrari's dominance by taking turns to set and reset the race's fastest lap.
|3.||6||MONTOYA||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'31"661|
|4.||11||VILLENEUVE||BAR Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|5.||12||PANIS||BAR Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|6.||7||HEIDFELD||Sauber Petronas||B||1 lap(s)|
|7.||9||FISICHELLA||Jordan Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|8.||5||R.SCHUMACHER||Williams BMW||M||1 lap(s)|
|9.||8||MASSA||Sauber Petronas||B||1 lap(s)|
|10.||3||COULTHARD||McLaren Mercedes||M||2 lap(s)|
|11.||17||DE LA ROSA||Jaguar Cosworth||M||2 lap(s)|
|13.||10||SATO||Jordan Honda||B||10 lap(s)|
|14.||4||RAIKKONEN||McLaren Mercedes||M||16 lap(s)|
|16.||21||BERNOLDI||Arrows Cosworth||B||32 lap(s)|
|17.||16||IRVINE||Jaguar Cosworth||M||37 lap(s)|
|18.||20||FRENTZEN||Arrows Cosworth||B||40 lap(s)|
|20.||23||WEBBER||Minardi Asiatech||M||51 lap(s)|
Rubens Barrichello put his Austrian GP heartache behind him with a well-deserved victory in the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.
Barrichello was denied victory by Ferrari team orders at the A1 Ring six weeks ago. But this time he was allowed to lead team-mate Michael Schumacher home to claim the second win of his F1 career.
The Brazilian made a great start and getting past his team-mate and got past both Williams drivers in a scintillating opening lap. The two-stopping Ferraris were simply a class apart from the Williams and McLarens, both on one-stop strategies, and it was clear there were only two cars in it by the end of the first tour.
Barrichello blasted down the inside of Ralf Schumacher to grab the lead at the Dunlop Kurve while Schumacher had an aggressive battle with Montoya for third place, which he wrestled off the Colombian with a decisive dive down the inside into the Veedol Chicane. He then got past brother Ralf on lap three.
The two Ferraris ran nose-to-tail until Michael spun on lap 25 at the RTL curve while trying to press Barrichello just before the Brazilian made his first pit stop.
The mistake virtually gave Barrichello the victory as, although Schumacher brought the gap down in the closing laps, Ferrari ensured that both drivers held station to the flag.
It was a just reward for Barrichello who was devastated when he was forced to gift Schumacher victory at the A1-Ring after dominating the race there. This time around Ferrari sensibly stopped their drivers from fighting in the few remaining laps after the second set of pit stops to ensure a 1-2 finish and repay Barrichello's loyalty. Unlike, in Austria it was a sensible and measured use of team orders.
The team also probably had one eye on the FIA hearing into the Austrian debacle which is due to take place on Wednesday. Because of this there was never any question of Barrichello being forced to move for Michael once more.
Behind the Ferrari steamroller Williams were all at sea with McLaren left to pick up the pieces. Ralf Schumacher and Juan-Pablo Montoya both suffered chronic tyre problems and it was all they could do to keep their cars on the road.
This meant that David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen closed right onto the tail of Montoya as the Colombian desperately tried to hold off the two McLarens. It all ended in tears on lap 29 when DC made a bold bid around the outside into new hairpin. Montoya tried to tough it out on the inside and spun the Williams into the right front corner of Coulthard’s car. Both were out on the spot with suspension damage.
This left Raikkonen with a clear run on Ralf and the Finn caught the ailing Williams easily although Schumacher pitted before he could be overtaken. This left the McLaren, which was using its Michelins far better than the Williams, with a clear run to third place.
Schumacher Jr trailed home in fourth place after a race which Williams will want to forget. Jenson Button put in a good day’s work to bring the Renault home in fifth and take his first points since Imola. He was ahead of Felipe Massa’s Sauber, who held off the attentions of team-mate Nick Heidfeld and Jarno Trulli, to take the final point.
|3.||4||RAIKKONEN||McLaren Mercedes||M||+ 0'46"435|
|4.||5||R.SCHUMACHER||Williams BMW||M||+ 1'06"963|
|6.||8||MASSA||Sauber Petronas||B||1 lap(s)|
|7.||7||HEIDFELD||Sauber Petronas||B||1 lap(s)|
|9.||12||PANIS||BAR Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|10.||21||BERNOLDI||Arrows Cosworth||B||1 lap(s)|
|11.||17||DE LA ROSA||Jaguar Cosworth||M||1 lap(s)|
|12.||11||VILLENEUVE||BAR Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|13.||20||FRENTZEN||Arrows Cosworth||B||1 lap(s)|
|15.||23||WEBBER||Minardi Asiatech||M||2 lap(s)|
|16.||10||SATO||Jordan Honda||B||2 lap(s)|
|18.||22||YOONG||Minardi Asiatech||M||12 lap(s)|
|19.||16||IRVINE||Jaguar Cosworth||M||19 lap(s)|
|20.||6||MONTOYA||Williams BMW||M||33 lap(s)|
|21.||3||COULTHARD||McLaren Mercedes||M||33 lap(s)|
|22.||9||FISICHELLA||Jordan Honda||B||34 lap(s)|
A successful one-stop strategy gave Michael Schumacher victory in the Canadian Grand Prix as his rivals fell by the wayside. The German held off David Coulthard and team-mate Rubens Barrichello to secure Ferrari’s 150th Grand Prix victory.
Juan Pablo Montoya maintained his grid advantage into turn one but Rubens Barrichello started like a man possessed. The Brazilian took his team-mate for second and breezed passed Montoya to take the lead at the start of the second lap.
Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard also enjoyed good starts to move up to fourth and sixth places respectively but it was Mika Salo who made the biggest move, climbing to 11th from 18th on the grid.
Giancarlo Fisichella and Jaguar Racing’s Pedro de la Rosa were the losers of the opening lap, the Jordan man dropping from sixth to eighth with the luckless Pedro being forced into the wall by an over eager Allan McNish. Although the Jaguar man made it back to the pits, he rejoined a lap down and his remote chances of a points finish evaporated. Eddie Irvine was similarly disappointed to drop back to 17th.
At the front of the field, Barrichello set his intentions by lapping in the 1m17s getting close to the lap record after only five laps!
Local hero Jacques Villeneuve was the focus of everybody’s attention and quickly became engaged in a terrific scrap for 12th place with Takuma Sato. His fun would not last for long, however, as the unfortunate Canadian became the first retirement of the race when he lost drive and pulled over between turns12 and 14.
“I just had to stop. It was probably an engine failure but it could be something else,” said a dejected Villeneuve.
With Villeneuve’s car poising a safety problem, the safety car was deployed and the field bunched up. The Williams team chose the opportune moment to pull Montoya in for a fuel and tyre stop on lap 14, the Colombian losing just two places. The tactic paid handsome dividends when Montoya took both Raikkonen and Ralf Schumacher on the straight as Ralf missed the chicane, putting him back up to third.
Rubens Barrichello became the first of the front runners to pit on lap 25, a 10.6 second stop putting the race leader back down to fifth.
Pedro’s race finally came to an end on lap 33, the luckless Spaniard pulling over to the side of the road before the bridge. And the Jaguar Racing team’s disappointing race came to an end nine laps later as Eddie Irvine retired with a blown engine.
“We weren’t really in it at all, just hanging about at the back waiting for something to happen,” said Irvine. “Until the new package arrives we can just twiddle out thumbs and hope to pick up some scraps.”
Race leader Michael Schumacher made his decisive stop on lap 38, an 11 second stop putting him out behind Montoya and the race seemed to be between the Williams and Ferrari duo. The tide turned in Montoya’s favour on lap 51 when Montoya came in for a second pit stop. An 8.2 second splash and dash put the Colombian some 8 seconds behind Schumacher but Montoya’s luck deserted him on lap 56 when a blown BMW engine ended his race.
Two botched pit stops put Ralf Schumacher out of contention and David Coulthard came through to snatch second place from a two stopping Barrichello to cap off a fantastic sporting weekend for Britain.
|2.||3||COULTHARD||McLaren Mercedes||M||+ 0'01"132|
|4.||4||RAIKKONEN||McLaren Mercedes||M||+ 0'37"563|
|5.||9||FISICHELLA||Jordan Honda||B||+ 0'42"812|
|7.||5||R.SCHUMACHER||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'51"518|
|8.||12||PANIS||BAR Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|9.||8||MASSA||Sauber Petronas||B||1 lap(s)|
|10.||10||SATO||Jordan Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|11.||23||WEBBER||Minardi Asiatech||M||1 lap(s)|
|12.||7||HEIDFELD||Sauber Petronas||B||1 lap(s)|
|13.||20||FRENTZEN||Arrows Cosworth||B||1 lap(s)|
|14.||22||YOONG||Minardi Asiatech||M||2 lap(s)|
|16.||6||MONTOYA||Williams BMW||M||14 lap(s)|
|18.||16||IRVINE||Jaguar Cosworth||M||29 lap(s)|
|20.||17||DE LA ROSA||Jaguar Cosworth||M||41 lap(s)|
|21.||21||BERNOLDI||Arrows Cosworth||B||54 lap(s)|
|22.||11||VILLENEUVE||BAR Honda||B||62 lap(s)|
Ron Dennis has made it clear that as Mclaren team boss it is his choice of who drives for his team during the 2003 season. David Coulthard has made comments recently that his seat at the team is safe, even if Mika Hakkinen may make a return to F1 next season meaning that one of the current drivers will be left out.
Dennis told reporters that the driver lineup was not the drivers choice, and that no matter what David has said he can not alter what will happen.
Kimi Raikkonen came in to replace Hakkinen at the start of this season, and has already outraced and outqualified Coulthard more often than not. Raikkonen is believed to stay at the team for next season, while Hakkinen is still a question mark.
Many have said that Hakkinen's return would be ideal for Raikkonen, enabling the young driver to learn from the best while Dennis only said: "I have had two long meetings with Mika and in the documentation which covers his involvement with us, there are some provisions dictating the timing for making a decision."
At the race in Monaco, Hakkinen was present to reveal that he still had a few weeks to decide whether he will return or not. Two of those weeks have already passed, with many expecting the German GP in July to be the time when the choice is revealed to all. Hockenheim has traditionally been the race where Mclaren announces driver lineups or contract extensions.
A thrilling contest was in store for the fans at Monaco, who saw David Coulthard finally put his troubles behind him and take the win from a hard charging Michael Schumacher. Ralf Schumacher hung on to take third despite having to make an unscheduled pitstop late in the day with a damaged rear tyre.
Coulthard had a dream getaway to take the lead from second place as the lights went out. By contrast Juan Pablo Montoya’s Williams seemed to bog down as the launch control changed up and the Scot went away from him. Schumacher held off the charging pack for third, with his brother in tow, as team-mate Rubens Barrichello dropped to seventh.
Jacques Villeneuve and Jenson Button had problems from the start and although they managed to get going the Canadian was a lap down instantly, with Button sliding back to 17th. Video replays showed that the Englishman jumped the start and then stopped, just as everyone else took off. He was awarded a penalty for his trouble.
After 10 laps there were 10s covering the first 10 runners, then the pace began to quicken as temperatures stabilised, fuel loads lightened and tyres came on song. DC started to drop in a sequence of fastest laps, leaving Montoya in the clutches of the Schumachers.
On lap 20 Heinz-Harald Frentzen - the fastest man in warm-up - posted the quickest lap of the race in eighth position. At this point Monaco’s legendary capacity for attrition seemed strangely absent. Then Takuma Sato lost control of his Jordan in the tunnel and sailed into the barriers, posting the first retirement of the day.
By lap 30 attrition seemed to be back in fashion. Alex Yoong hit the barriers at Massanet and David Coulthard’s McLaren started smoking ominously, even though his lap times were still good. Rubens Barrichello had a coming together with Kimi Raikkonen - resulting in retirement for the McLaren driver - and on Lap 46 Montoya’s BMW engine blew up allowing Ralf Schumacher into second place (Michael having pitted two laps earlier).
Jacques Villeneuve retired his BAR shortly afterwards, while the Jaguar Racing boys were all the time benefiting from the fall out. When Villeneuve’s team-mate, Olivier Panis, was punted into the wall at Ste Devote by an over ambitious Button, Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa found themselves in 11th and 12th respectively. The Spaniard had been leading his team-mate until the pitstops, when Eddie got out ahead of him.
Sauber’s Felipe Massa had a big shunt at the infamous Ste Devote a few laps later, and Toyota’s Mika Salo found himself in the barriers at Massanet after making a mistake. With 10 laps to go there were only 12 cars in the race and the final showdown was nailbiting, as Schumacher hounded Coulthard and Giancarlo Fisichella pressed ex-team-mate Jarno Trulli for fourth.
|3.||5||R.SCHUMACHER||Williams BMW||M||+ 1'17"45|
|5.||9||FISICHELLA||Jordan Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|6.||20||FRENTZEN||Arrows Cosworth||B||1 lap(s)|
|8.||7||HEIDFELD||Sauber Petronas||B||2 lap(s)|
|9.||16||IRVINE||Jaguar Cosworth||M||2 lap(s)|
|10.||17||DE LA ROSA||Jaguar Cosworth||M||2 lap(s)|
|11.||23||WEBBER||Minardi Asiatech||M||2 lap(s)|
|12.||21||BERNOLDI||Arrows Cosworth||B||2 lap(s)|
|14.||8||MASSA||Sauber Petronas||B||14 lap(s)|
|15.||12||PANIS||BAR Honda||B||26 lap(s)|
|17.||6||MONTOYA||Williams BMW||M||31 lap(s)|
|18.||11||VILLENEUVE||BAR Honda||B||33 lap(s)|
|19.||4||RAIKKONEN||McLaren Mercedes||M||36 lap(s)|
|20.||22||YOONG||Minardi Asiatech||M||48 lap(s)|
|21.||10||SATO||Jordan Honda||B||55 lap(s)|
Michael Schumacher won the Austrian Grand Prix after Ferrari controversially ordered Rubens Barrichello to yield just yards from the line.
The Brazilian had the measure of his world champion team-mate all weekend and looked on course for his second ever grand prix win. After leading from start-to-finish, Barrichello looked to have the race in the bag.
But 50 yards from home, the Brazilian throttled back and waved Schumacher past in a carbon copy of last year's Austrian debacle where he was asked to do the same thing. Then it was only for second place. This time it was for a victory.
The move caused fury among the crowd. Many spectators felt they had been cheated and booed the Ferrari duo on the podium, much to the amusement of third-placed Juan-Pablo Montoya.
The race was disrupted by two safety-car periods, the second caused by a horrific collision between Nick Heidfeld and Takuma Sato.
The German's Sauber speared off the track – possibly with an exploded brake disc - under braking for the ultra-tight Remus corner just after the race was re-started following the first safety car spell. He was launched off the kerb and into the side of Sato’s Jordan, who was minding his own business ahead.
The safety car was immediately deployed again as both drivers were tended to. Heidfeld was carried to the side of the circuit but was later found to have just a bruised leg. Sato’s situation looked grave for a while. He was treated by the side of the track for some time until he was lifted into a waiting ambulance.
However, despite being shocked by the accident, the initial diagnosis is that the Japanese has no serious injuries.
The race had been dominated by Barrichello prior to Sato’s miraculous escape. The Brazilian had made a perfect getaway and had pulled out a small lead over team-mate Schumacher Sr who had outdragged his younger brother to grab second in the run to the first corner.
It looked as though Ferraris two-stop strategy was going to be ruined by the first safety car period, caused by Olivier Panis’ engine seizing spectacularly on the start-finish straight. But quick thinking by Ferrari brought both Barrichello and Schumacher in immediately.
Once the mess from the Heidfeld–Sato incident has been cleared up Barrichello once more found himself out in front. But this time Ralf was once more ahead of Michael as the Williams had snuck ahead of the Ferrari as Schumacher senior made his stop.
Barrichello again pulled away from the Schumacher brothers as the Ralf held Michael up a little. But once the Williams peeled off into the pits for his only stop the race was on again at the front.
Barrichello stopped first for his final pit visit with ten laps to go and his team-mate was in one lap later. The German had not done enough though and as Barrichello swept through into the lead it looked as though the race was his. But Ferrari had other ideas and the Brazilian moved over.
Montoya managed to get ahead of Ralf Schumacher for third as he put in some pacey laps during their pit-stop sequence.
Giancarlo Fisichella took fifth for Jordan after David Coulthard made an error that dropped him to sixth. The McLaren man resisted pressure from Jenson Button and BAR’s Jacques Villeneuve to take the final point.
|3.||6||MONTOYA||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'17"730|
|4.||5||R.SCHUMACHER||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'18"448|
|5.||9||FISICHELLA||Jordan Honda||B||+ 0'49"965|
|6.||3||COULTHARD||McLaren Mercedes||M||+ 0'50"672|
|10.||11||VILLENEUVE||BAR Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|11.||20||FRENTZEN||Arrows Cosworth||B||2 lap(s)|
|12.||23||WEBBER||Minardi Asiatech||M||2 lap(s)|
|14.||22||YOONG||Minardi Asiatech||M||29 lap(s)|
|15.||16||IRVINE||Jaguar Cosworth||M||33 lap(s)|
|16.||7||HEIDFELD||Sauber Petronas||B||44 lap(s)|
|17.||10||SATO||Jordan Honda||B||45 lap(s)|
|18.||12||PANIS||BAR Honda||B||49 lap(s)|
|19.||8||MASSA||Sauber Petronas||B||64 lap(s)|
|20.||4||RAIKKONEN||McLaren Mercedes||M||66 lap(s)|
|21.||21||BERNOLDI||Arrows Cosworth||B||69 lap(s)|
|22.||17||DE LA ROSA||Jaguar Cosworth||M||71 lap(s)|
|2.||6||MONTOYA||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'35"630|
|3.||3||COULTHARD||McLaren Mercedes||M||+ 0'42"623|
|4.||7||HEIDFELD||Sauber Petronas||B||+ 1'06"697|
|5.||8||MASSA||Sauber Petronas||B||+ 1'18"973|
|6.||20||FRENTZEN||Arrows Cosworth||B||+ 1'20"430|
|7.||11||VILLENEUVE||BAR Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|11.||5||R.SCHUMACHER||Williams BMW||M||2 lap(s)|
|13.||12||PANIS||BAR Honda||B||22 lap(s)|
|14.||16||IRVINE||Jaguar Cosworth||M||24 lap(s)|
|15.||21||BERNOLDI||Arrows Cosworth||B||25 lap(s)|
|16.||10||SATO||Jordan Honda||B||55 lap(s)|
|17.||9||FISICHELLA||Jordan Honda||B||60 lap(s)|
|18.||4||RAIKKONEN||McLaren Mercedes||M||61 lap(s)|
|19.||17||DE LA ROSA||Jaguar Cosworth||M||63 lap(s)|
We have lost both of the Minardi drivers M.Webber and A.Yoong!!
Before we lost the Prost team through bankruptcy.
|3.||5||R.SCHUMACHER||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'19"755|
|4.||6||MONTOYA||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'44"725|
|6.||3||COULTHARD||McLaren Mercedes||M||1 lap(s)|
|7.||11||VILLENEUVE||BAR Honda||B||1 lap(s)|
|8.||8||MASSA||Sauber Petronas||B||1 lap(s)|
|10.||7||HEIDFELD||Sauber Petronas||B||1 lap(s)|
|11.||23||WEBBER||Minardi Asiatech||M||2 lap(s)|
|12.||21||BERNOLDI||Arrows Cosworth||B||12 lap(s)|
|13.||16||IRVINE||Jaguar Cosworth||M||17 lap(s)|
|14.||4||RAIKKONEN||McLaren Mercedes||M||18 lap(s)|
|15.||12||PANIS||BAR Honda||B||18 lap(s)|
|16.||17||DE LA ROSA||Jaguar Cosworth||M||32 lap(s)|
|18.||20||FRENTZEN||Arrows Cosworth||B||37 lap(s)|
|19.||9||FISICHELLA||Jordan Honda||B||43 lap(s)|
|20.||10||SATO||Jordan Honda||B||57 lap(s)|
Williams driver Ralf Schumacher was not happy to see his older brother Michael romp away to an easy win yesterday in the San Marino Grand Prix.
“"It is not really nice to see someone win by so much.”
"It is not really nice to see someone win by so much, and lapping a McLaren, because we only have two weeks until the next race and it seems there is a bit of work for us which we supposedly are not able to do until the next race," Ralf said. "But then again the season is very long so anything can happen."
Rubens Barrichello left Mugello, pleased with the two days of testing with the F2002. "I am happy with the work we did during this session," said Rubens. "Everything went in the right direction, with the F2002 and its new engine proving to be quite a step forward for the team. Now I plan to take it easy for the weekend to be ready for the San Marino Grand Prix. I can't wait to race at Imola with the new car."
Before leaving, Rubens looked back over the Interlagos weekend: "The only thing I can say about Brazil is that I feel I did my best for the team," said Barrichello. "All weekend I was quite calm and I didn't feel under pressure in the way I used to feel at my home race. In the race, my two stop strategy was looking good and the car had felt competitive since the race morning warm-up. I knew something good would be possible and it was looking that way in the early stages."
Barrichello's climb through the field was definitely one of the most entertaining parts of the race.
"Yes, I enjoyed the early part," agreed the Brazilian. "I was overtaking people without losing any time. Then eventually I caught up with Ralf and then Michael. I knew I had to get out in front early in the race to start building up a gap while the others were running more fuel, so I could not afford to waste time. I had to go for it. Everything was working fine. Then, all of a sudden, as I braked going into Turn 8, I felt something was wrong, because the back of the car stepped out on me. Then I went for the throttle and there was nothing there and the gears were not working. I radioed the pit and they told me I had lost hydraulic pressure. I tried to get it back to the pits, but the car was stuck in fifth gear and there was not enough power to get up the hill. It was really sad. A lot of people say Brazilians are unlucky in Brazil and I don't believe that. But if the car breaks what can you do? I think that, given the way the car was going, I could have easily been third and there was even a suggestion I could have done better than that."
Some of the Paulista's local media tried to make a big deal out of Barrichello not having the new F2002, but Rubens was not concerned. "I was under no illusions all weekend," he maintained. "I knew the new car was faster, but I never felt I should be driving that car. I just stuck with my car and made it work. So I was proud to see the car doing well. Obviously, I was a little disappointed after Saturday not to have qualified higher, but after the penalty and the gear selection problems it was the best I could do."
Barrichello was touched that the Ferrari President called him on Sunday afternoon. "Montezemolo spoke to me after the race," he said. "He was sorry I couldn't finish. It was nice to hear from him and it was also nice to hear from Jean Todt as well. He was really supportive because he thought I had driven a good race."
|2.||5||R.SCHUMACHER||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'00"588|
|3.||3||COULTHARD||McLaren Mercedes||M||+ 0'59"109|
|5.||6||MONTOYA||Williams BMW||M||+ 1'07"564|
|7.||16||IRVINE||Jaguar Cosworth||M||1 lap(s)|
|8.||17||DE LA ROSA||Jaguar Cosworth||M||1 lap(s)|
|9.||10||SATO||Jordan Honda||B||2 lap(s)|
|10.||11||VILLENEUVE||BAR Honda||B||3 lap(s)|
|11.||23||WEBBER||Minardi Asiatech||M||3 lap(s)|
|12.||4||RAIKKONEN||McLaren Mercedes||M||4 lap(s)|
|13.||22||YOONG||Minardi Asiatech||M||4 lap(s)|
|14.||7||HEIDFELD||Sauber Petronas||B||10 lap(s)|
|16.||8||MASSA||Sauber Petronas||B||30 lap(s)|
|18.||12||PANIS||BAR Honda||B||46 lap(s)|
|19.||20||FRENTZEN||Arrows Cosworth||B||46 lap(s)|
|20.||21||BERNOLDI||Arrows Cosworth||B||52 lap(s)|
|22.||9||FISICHELLA||Jordan Honda||B||65 lap(s)|
The Mclaren team is prepared to battle back to the top after being left behind in performance by both Ferrari and Williams. The team is currently a whole 22 points behind Williams' lead in the Constructors Championship with both drivers David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen having only scored a third place each.
"The lesson we take to Imola is to work harder," said Dennis. "It is the only thing that fixes things.
"I think we have a competitive chassis and the lap times show that. There is a gap to the Ferrari but we are working on changing that."
While Mclaren have eight points, Williams has already picked up three second place finishes, a win, and a fifth place. Ferrari meanwhile has two wins and a third from Michael Schumacher, with his team mate Rubens Barrichello yet to score.
To make the team feel worse, Ferrari brought its new F2002 car to the Brazilian GP last week and it immediately won the race, outpacing their cars by almost three tenths of a second each lap. Dennis believes this is not a problem.
"I think the new Ferrari is beatable," he said. "Some people have been portraying it as unbeatable but it's not. Time will tell."
Some of Formula 1’s top teams look likely to clash with the FIA over the proposal of a sweeping testing ban following the introduction of new engine rules for next season.
The FIA wants to stop all testing over the course of a grand prix season and turn the Friday before each race into a dedicated test day in an effort to reduce the costs of running and maintaining a competitive team. A change to the format of Formula 1 requires the unanimous support from the teams.
“We do not support this at all.”
“We do not support this at all,” said Ferrari sporting director Jean Todt. “You will then need to have a huge investment in simulation activities and all that. F1 is not F3000 and is really the pinnacle of motor racing.”
Williams team boss Frank Williams has joined Todt in opposing the move.
“The ban on testing can only be arranged by teams and is a commercial matter. I am absolutely against it and I always have been.”
Team heads and key personal will meet to discuss the matter in a few weeks time.
After two tough flyaway races, the Formula One circus travels to the other side of the world, to Brazil, for the final long-haul Grand Prix before the start of the European season. Interlagos, in the city of Sao Paulo, hosts the 2002 Brazilian Grand Prix; round three of the Formula One World Championship.
Built in 1940, Interlagos has been on the Formula One calendar since the World Championship began back in the fifties and owes much of its success and history to its country’s drivers. The crowd had much to cheer for with local heroes Carlos Pace and Emerson Fittipaldi racing in the seventies and Ayrton Senna in the eighties and nineties. Renowned for excellent racing and an electric atmosphere, OrangeArrows driver Enrique Bernoldi will enjoy being the local boy again.
The Interlagos circuit a demanding one, made up of fast corners and long straights, with a combination of slow corners in the infield section that often forces a compromised set up for the cars. Unusual for running in an anti-clockwise direction, it will put extra strain on the drivers’ neck muscles as every other track (bar-Imola) runs the opposite way. Changeable weather is always a factor over the weekend as the bright skies can change to thunderstorms in a matter of minutes.
Enrique Bernoldi’s racing roots began at an early age and it is hardly surprising as he was surrounded by the Brazilian Formula One greats such as Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna. Starting in kart racing, his career took off at just the age of nine at the local track. In his first year taking part, Enrique won the local karting championship and, seeking a greater challenge, he moved to Sao Paulo to take on Brazil’s best kart racers. In three years, he had won two Sao Paulo Championships and two national Championships defeating rivals such as Helio Castro-Neves and Tony Kanaan.
"I will always enjoy the Brazilian Grand Prix as it is in my home country but the flip-side is that there is greater pressure to perform in front of the home crowd. I was having a good race in Malaysia before I had to retire so I am really looking forward to having a full run in the A23 as the pace is there for us to challenge for points. The track itself has a good mix of corners and a few overtaking spots and can be demanding due to the bumpy surface."
“Interlagos is a good circuit for me as I have had some good experiences there and many happy memories. We are making good progress with the A23 and should have another step forward for Brazil. After Malaysia we can look forward to challenging for a top ten position in qualifying. More than anything I am looking forward to getting a good start!"
Mike Coughlan, Technical Director “The team is really looking forward to Brazil. Obviously after the difficulties we had in the first two races, we’re keen to get out and show our true potential. We only really got a glimpse of it in Malaysia, but the pace is clearly there. I know that both drivers enjoy racing at Interlagos and it’s Enrique’s home Grand Prix so that will give him an extra boost as well as to the team. We should be aiming for another good qualifying position with the speed that we have and that should put us in good stead for the race.”
Jenson Button has stated his opinion that Michael Schumacher was at fault for the first turn incident involving Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya at the Malaysian GP. Button started from eighth on the grid and was just behind Schumacher when he collided with Montoya, and believes that it was Schumacher who closed the door on Montoya.
"I came away from the line at the start and saw Michael Schumacher come right across Juan Pablo Montoya,” he said in the Daily Telegraph. “Montoya braked late into the first corner and held his line, leaving enough room for Michael. Their scrape was definitely down to a mistake by Michael, so it was strange that Montoya was penalized.”
Button eventually finished the race in fourth place, after he suffered a suspension failure on the last lap which allowed Schumacher to easily take third away from the Brit.
Sounds familiar doesn't it? Remember David Coultard and Michael Schumacher or Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher.
Corinna and Michael Schumacher made a very hasty departure from the Sepang paddock as they were both eager to see their two children again, having been away from home for three weeks. By Monday morning they were back home in Switzerland and were soon immersed in family life once more.
"We slept well on the plane and so were feeling pretty good when we arrived," said a smiling Michael Schumacher. Before turning in for the night, Michael watched a video of the Malaysian Grand Prix, the first time he had actually seen the race. "From the cockpit, a lot of things don't seem as clear and detailed as they do to those watching from outside, who also have to ability to use replay and slo-mo. That's why it is hard to give a verdict on any specific incident immediately after the race."
“I did actually notice I am much further over the kerb than I had thought at the time. I cannot really remember.”
With the benefit of hindsight, how does he now view the accident with Juan Pablo Montoya's Williams? "That's racing," said the four times world champion. "A situation like this one doesn't usually happen too often. Having said that, it was a shame I lost the front wing. We were very close. Looking at the video, I did actually notice I am much further over the kerb than I had thought at the time. I cannot really remember. Obviously, I was concentrating more on the car on my left, so I was more aware of where the left side of my car was rather than the right."
Making the most of this accident was Ralf, who was thus able to celebrate his fourth F1 win. "He really drove an exceptional race," said Michael. "I think he would have won anyway. If you look at his times they were similar to Montoya's, who was on a two stop strategy and therefore had a lighter car. Ralf was very strong, with a heavier car. I am really happy for him."
The outcome is that the championship is now very open. Michael is not at all surprised that BMW-Williams is proving to be such a strong competitor.
"I can only repeat that we were expecting the championship to be very close. I have said this often since the start of the year. It seems that people forgot that, after our unexpectedly good performance in Melbourne. For our part, we are not surprised. On the contrary, I am happy to have picked up 14 points so far. On top of that, I would also repeat that we should not yet be writing off McLaren- Mercedes."
Jean Todt and the Ferrari return to Europe this week happy that they have earned 14 points in the World Championship from the first two Grands Prix of the year, particularly as they have been won by a car based on last year’s Ferrari 2001.
“We’re glad to have the points,” he said. Even so, Todt himself admits that third place in yesterday’s Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit was “disappointing.”
“Given our qualifying performance, the result in last weekend’s race can only be described as that,” said the Ferrari team principal. He was particularly upset for Rubens Barrichello, who he admitted would normally have finished on the rostrum, but for an engine failure. “That’s rare for us,” continued Todt. “It’s a real shame for Rubens, though, particularly as this is the second race in which he has failed to score points.”
However, there was much focus on the accident at the first corner, where Michael Schumacher – on the inside of the corner – and Juan Pablo Montoya – on the outside – collided which necessitated a pit stop for Michael which relegated him to the back of the field, and resulted in a ‘drive-through’ penalty for Juan Pablo.
“It’s the second time that an accident at the first corner has been expensive for us,” said Todt. “Last time it was worse. All we had to do this time was change the wing. But then it turns into a different race for the team and driver. In a way, it’s good for racing because it’s unpredictable.”
And once again, the decision of the stewards to penalize Montoya was discussed. “We have to accept the stewards’ decision,” explained Todt. “Definitely, it would be better to have a clear rule but I think it’s very difficult to make a clear rule. I think it was a racing incident.
“Williams are our closest rivals.”
“It’s very difficult to change the regulations. It’s not rational or mathematical. You have to judge a situation very quickly. It’s like soccer. You have to judge it even quicker in soccer. Here you have one race every two weeks. We have more time, but still, even though you can depend on the on-board camera, it’s very difficult. In Australia, everyone was complaining that nothing was done. Here everyone is complaining because something has been done.”
Meanwhile, the team returns to Europe to continue testing the F2002. Asked if there was more pressure now to start using it, Todt said “We don’t work with pressure. Pressure is on the outside. The others are strong, they are pushing, but as soon as we are confident we will take the new car.”
As for the Brazilian Grand Prix in two weeks time, Todt refused to be drawn as to whether the scenario might be the same as in Malaysia. “It’s never the same because the track is different, the temperatures are different, the surface of the track is different, the tyres constructions and compounds are different. Every time is a new challenge.”
But he did admit that after their historic one-two in Malaysia “Now I can say, yes, Williams are our closest rivals. You know it changes very quickly. But I wouldn’t write McLaren off.”
|2.||6||MONTOYA||Williams BMW||M||+ 0'18"628|
|3.||4||RAIKKONEN||McLaren Mercedes||M||+ 0'25"067|
|4.||16||IRVINE||Jaguar Cosworth||M||1 lap(s)|
|5.||23||WEBBER||Minardi Asiatech||M||2 lap(s)|
|7.||22||YOONG||Minardi Asiatech||M||3 lap(s)|
|8.||17||DE LA ROSA||Jaguar Cosworth||M||5 lap(s)|
|9.||3||COULTHARD||McLaren Mercedes||M||25 lap(s)|
|10.||11||VILLENEUVE||BAR Honda||B||31 lap(s)|
|11.||20||FRENTZEN||Arrows Cosworth||B||42 lap(s)|
|12.||21||BERNOLDI||Arrows Cosworth||B||43 lap(s)|
|13.||10||SATO||Jordan Honda||B||46 lap(s)|
|16.||5||R.SCHUMACHER||Williams BMW||M||58 lap(s)|
|17.||9||FISICHELLA||Jordan Honda||B||58 lap(s)|
|18.||8||MASSA||Sauber Petronas||B||58 lap(s)|
|19.||7||HEIDFELD||Sauber Petronas||B||58 lap(s)|
|21.||12||PANIS||BAR Honda||B||58 lap(s)|
8 cars were involved in a pile up at the first bend. The safety car was called out. There was no restart. Montoya was a serious challenge to Michael Schumacher after a clever overtaking move. But after some laps M. Schumacher retook the lead and held on to yet another victory in last years car. Not bad for an old car.
Ralf Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello will have to agree to disagree after both blamed each other for the huge first corner accident that claimed eight cars in Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.
Schumacher smashed into the back of Barrichello when the Brazilian defended his line into the first corner. The Williams man was launched into the air and six other cars were eliminated in the ensuing chaos.
Ralf said: "I got a great start but it’s a shame I couldn’t make use of it.
"Rubens changed direction twice too much. It is down to his decision where he brakes but he weaved too much and that’s what caused the accident.
"He closed the door on me once and then he did it again and from the replay it looks as if he is braking.
"It is another racing incident. He tried to defend his position and I tried to overtake. That’s racing."
But Barrichello hit back: "I think it is a racing accident. If I wasn’t there he wouldn’t have made corner, it’s as simple as that.
"Even if he thinks that I moved too many times, I moved to the left only a centimetre or two.
"It is silly. We were going to be first and second. I would have kept my place and he would have gained a position. It’s silly."
Nick Heidfeld, Felipe Massa, Jenson Button, Giancarlo Fisichella, Olivier Panis and Jenson Button were the other drivers taken out in the incident.
Button said: "It wasn’t really much of a grand prix for me. It wasn’t the best ever. Heidfeld came down the grass and crashed on top of us.
"It hasn’t been the best race for me, or for the whole team."
Length: 5.303 km
Testing factor: The circuit, which runs around the Albert Park lake, is only used for a few weekends of racing during the year, so it can be difficult to find grip in the early practice sessions.
History: The circuit was first developed in 1953 but, after intermittent races, it was left to ruin during the 1960s. It was re-introduced in 1996 when the Australian Grand Prix moved from Adelaide.
2. Driver results at Albert Park
Most poles: Mika Hakkinen (3 - 1998, 1999, 2000)
Most wins: Michael Schumacher (2 - 2000, 2001)
3. Team results at Albert Park
Most poles: McLaren (3 - 1998, 1999, 2000)
Most wins: Ferrari (3 - 1999, 2000, 2001)
4. Renault results at Albert Park
Never raced in Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park
As Engine Supplier…
Number of victories: 1 - 1996, Damon Hill, Williams-Renault
Number of poles: 1 - 1996, Jacques-Villeneuve, Williams-Renault
Number of points: 22
5. Lookback - Memorable moments
The vision of Martin Brundle heroically running back to the pits to take a re-start after his airborne Jordan split into two following a dramatic opening-lap crash in 1996.
Jacques Villeneuve leading the race on his Formula One debut in 1996 only to have his hopes dashed by mechanical problems which forced him to give way to the oil-covered car of team-mate Damon Hill.
David Coulthard's controversial decision to stand by a gentleman's agreement and hand over his certain victory to team-mate Mika Hakkinen by waving him by in 1998.
Eddie Irvine's elation on the podium after taking his first Grand Prix victory in 1999 after both McLaren cars were predictably dominant only to break down before the finish.
6. Last year
Pole: Michael Schumacher, 1m26.892s
Winner: Michael Schumacher, 1hr38m26.533s
Fastest lap: Michael Schumacher, 1m28.214s
Roller-coaster: Michael Schumacher flipped his Ferrari in opening practice. "It was just a gentle roll," he said.
Raceday tragedy: Marshal Graham Beveridge was killed after a collision between Ralf Schumacher's Williams and the BAR of Jacques Villeneuve. "We have to find ways of improving safety for those people who are here to look after ours," Michael Schumacher said.
The final Australian Grand Prix held in Adelaide, in 1995, attracted a record crowd of 205,000.
Australian Alan Jones, Formula One champion in 1981, is now a member of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation responsible for the running of the race.
Australia's Albert Park is one of only three tracks officially designated as street circuits, the others being Montreal and Monaco.
The Australian Grand Prix first became a world championship event in 1985, when the race took place in Adelaide.
The race organisers have to move 40,000 tonnes of equipment during the weekend at a cost of $16 million (US). There are also 13,000 operational staff working on the event.
Alex Wurz, West McLaren Mercedes third driver talks us through a lap of Albert park.
"Crossing the start-finish line at the 3.295 mile / 5.303 km Albert Park circuit, you accelerate to 190mph / 305kph in seventh gear, before braking hard for the right-left weave of turns one and two. This sees you pull 3.5G as your speed drops to 87mph / 140kph in second gear. You apply the throttle on the exit for the Aughtie Drive straight, reaching some 185mph / 300kph in sixth gear on the approach to the tight right of turn three, which is taken at 50mph / 80kph in second gear. This is immediately followed by turn four, a sharp left hander which flicks you onto the short Whitford straight. A burst on the throttle takes you to 150mph / 240kph in fifth gear along the straight before dabbing the brakes for the sweeping right hander of turn five, which is taken at 142mph / 230kph in fourth gear, and in qualifying nearly flat. It is crucial that you maintain your speed through these corners to ensure you have a good exit as you power down towards turn six, reaching 177mph / 285kph in fifth, before braking for the second gear right hander which is taken at 75mph / 120kph. Exiting, you take it flat out through the long, flowing right hand Lauda curve, reaching some 177mph / 285kph in sixth gear on the approach to the sharp right of Clark, which is negotiated at 60mph / 100kph in second gear. Hard on the throttle you sweep through the left hander of turn ten, which sees your speed increase to 183mph / 294kph in seventh gear. This leads you into the left-right flick of eleven and twelve. Maintaining fifth gear through this section of the track, you then push hard on the throttle on the approach to Ascari. Braking hard as you reach the tight right hander, your speed drops from 185mph / 300kph in sixth gear to 77mph / 125kph in second. A short straight leads to Stewart, another right hander, which is negotiated at 110mph / 180kph in third gear. Again a short burst of acceleration on the approach to Prost, reaching 145mph / 235kph in fourth before braking hard for the final two corners. The first corner, a tight left hander, is taken in first gear at 45mph / 70kph. As you exit this corner you apply throttle for a short time and shortshift into third gear for the last bumpy right hander onto start finish straight to begin another lap."
Michael Schumacher has played down the chances of Ferrari winning in Australia, giving them their fourth straight victory at the Melbourne circuit of Albert Park.
Last week, Ferrari revealed they would not be taking their 2002 challenger, the F2002 to Australia, opting instead for the proven reliability of the F2001.
"It would have been better to start the season with the F2002, as everyone else will start with their new cars, which are definitely faster, but maybe not more reliable," Schumacher told Gazzetta dello Sport. "At the first race there are often many retirements, but we have no doubts, our objective is to get three or four points, but also to be there to take advantage of any chance that might arise. It's a shame that we are running a bit late.”
"In any case, I prefer not to make any prediction on the F2002. We won't be able to make proper performance comparisons with our competitors until Australia." He added.
Wednesday was the fourth day of testing for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro at the Fiorano circuit. Once again, it was Michael Schumacher who was on track, continuing the development work on the F2002.
Michael began the programme at 15.45, ending at 17.15. He completed a total of 25 laps, with a best time of 59.253.
Today, testing switches to the Autodromo di Mugello circuit, with Michael Schumacher again at the wheel of the F2002.
Testing resumed at the Barcelona track with the amount of cars present rising to 16. Ferrari joined the session today with both race drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello, with Schumacher setting the day's pace at a 1:18.470 lap time.
Schumacher completed 105 laps in the F1-2001 while testing tyres and electronics. Running with the new Ferrari engine, Schumacher's time was still over a second slower than Alexander Wurz's lap record set last Thursday in the 2001 Mclaren, and about seven tenths off Kimi Raikkonen's time set in the 2002 Mclaren. Many seem to be thinking the same thing around the pits - Ferrari may not be too dominant this year.
Sauber also joined the testing today with Nick Heidfeld piloting the new 2002 car, and Felipe Massa behind the wheel of last year's car. Heidfeld was only three tenths off Schumacher's time, and was the fastest 2002 car on track.
"I had a trouble-free day and the car felt fantastic," said Heidfeld. "It is more stable and has more grip than the C20, and everything we did with it today had a positive outcome. I am feeling very optimistic for the season ahead."
Between the two Sauber's were the Williams cars of Antonio Pizzonia and Ralf Schumacher. Pizzonia, driving the 2001 car, was slightly faster than Ralf in the 2002 car. Pizzonia's car was fitted with the new BMW engine, while Ralf tested the gearbox. Schumacher had a problem with the FW24, thought to be gearbox related, which ended his day in the early afternoon. With the problem fixed, the car was handed over to Juan Pablo Montoya who practiced pitstops and did not complete any flying laps, hence his time being almost thirty seconds slower than the lead.
Jenson Button continued work in the new Renault R202 car while his teammate Jarno Trulli resumed work in last year's Benetton B201. Button had a mostly trouble free day, and is clearly pleased with his new ride. Trulli on the other hand was plagued by electronics problems, and did not have an easy day.
Jacques Villeneuve was testing today in the new BAR004 car and he did not seem very pleased. "I'm not pleased," he said. "The car doesn't feel as good as it did three weeks ago – there's been no progress. I had a problem with the seat, but that's normal with a new car. I don't know when the team is going to have a new chassis ready and I'm not sure that we are going to be good enough in time for Melbourne."
Craig Pollock made his first appearance in the pitlane since he left the BAR team in December. He said he was "acting as Villeneuve's personal manager."
Jordan had a dire day with both cars all the way at the bottom of the time sheets, disregarding Montoya as he didnt complete any flying times. Takuma Sato complained of seat problems and problems with the car, while the team gave Marcel Lasee a test in last year's EJ11 car. Lasse performed great, not finishing far from Sato who is much more experienced. Lasee will compete in German F3 this year.
|16||Juan Pablo Montoya||Williams-BMW*||M||1m46.189s||16|